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Florida State University will cancel its comprehensive subscription to Elsevier journals.

Julia Zimmerman, dean of university libraries at Florida State, released a statement saying the decision to cancel the libraries’ “big deal” with Elsevier had been made after “long deliberation.”

“FSU is being charged too much -- all because of a poorly thought-out 20-year-old contract between Elsevier and the State University System,” said Zimmerman. Florida currently pays just under $2 million a year for access to Elsevier content. She said other public universities are paying much less for the same content.

Zimmerman said that Florida had tried “every possible way” to negotiate a better deal, without success. “A partial cancellation is our only remaining option,” she said.

From January 2019, FSU will only subscribe to a subset of “most-needed journals” from Elsevier. Zimmerman said the cancellation would enable the library to acquire other materials requested by faculty, which had previously been denied.

This is not the first time that Florida State University has canceled a “big deal” with a publisher, according to SPARC’s Big Deal Cancellation Tracking resource. The institution canceled its Springer Nature package in 2015 after it transpired that FSU was being charged several times more than other Florida universities for the same product.

The Elsevier contract was based on enrollment at the time it was signed. Since then, some Florida universities have grown at faster rates than has Florida State.

A spokesman for the company said via email, "Elsevier provides different options for its customers, including all access options such as the Freedom Collection, as well as title by title options that provide customers flexibility to choose the most appropriate titles for their collections. We will look to work with FSU on the options that best meet the balance of their collection needs and costs."