Some databases and journals, including Web of Science, not renewed for 2023

January 6, 2023

The Library has not been able to renew several databases and journals in 2023, including Web of Science.

For a list of databases and journals relevant to your area, please contact your Subject Librarian.

Due to the University’s challenging financial situation and the need to significantly reduce capital budget expenditure, which supports the Library’s collection budget for 2023, subscriptions have had to be reviewed rapidly, and without the wide consultation with staff and students that we would normally undertake.

Web of Science is an indexing, abstracting and citation tool which has significant overlap in titles indexed with Scopus, very similar functionality, and costs considerably more than Scopus. A recent article comparing the master journal lists of Web of Science (13,610 journal entries) and Scopus (40,385 journal entries) found that 99.11% (13,489 entries) of the Web of Science titles are also in Scopus. Coverage in Scopus is much wider – 66.07% (26,269 entries) of titles are not in Web of Science (Singh et al, 2021).

Two New Zealand university libraries (University of Canterbury and AUT) cancelled Web of Science in recent years, and at least two other university libraries are likely to cancel for 2023.  

We can assure you that all parts of the University are being asked to reduce expenditure and in proposing a reduction of expenditure on these items we have carefully considered the implications for both staff and students. Our decisions have been based on cost per use (i.e., the actual cost of each article or content viewed or downloaded) where available, in comparison to the cost of obtaining these through interlibrary loan. Decisions have not been based on the value of the resource to the researcher or research.

We understand that the decision to discontinue support for these resources may cause deep concern and a sense of frustration. We must, however, balance the need to significantly reduce our capital expenses with our commitment to continue to deliver a high-quality library service. We trust you understand that, given the University’s financial situation, this is a difficult but necessary decision.

Alternative access is available for most resources. We advise to first search Google Scholar via the Library when looking for specific journal articles, as increasingly these may be available Open Access. The next step would be to request an interlibrary loan. There is no charge for standard time-frame requests for postgraduate students and staff, and the majority of requests for journal articles are fulfilled within 24 hours, Monday-Friday. Complete a Journal request form to request an interlibrary loan.

If you have any questions, please contact your Subject Librarian.

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