SUNY to cancel ScienceDirect big deal and subscribe to nearly 250 titles instead

Following more than a year of negotiations, SUNY and Elsevier could not reach mutually acceptable terms on renewing our license to all Elsevier ScienceDirect journals “known as the big deal” – to learn more read SUNY Plans to Cancel ScienceDirect Big Deal. Instead, in consultation with SUNY librarians across the system, the SUNY team negotiated a plan to subscribe to approximately 250 core titles for the entire system – click here to view the Elsevier Core and Lost Titles List 2020 (which provides separate lists of the core titles and the titles lost due to the big deal cancellation). We will also continue to have access to our ScienceDirect big deal title list for issues covering the period 2010-2019. Access to the ScienceDirect big deal terminates April 1, 2020.
Binghamton University may supplement SUNY’s core title subscription with additional ScienceDirect titles. To this end, we invite academic departments or programs to forward recommendations for additional titles. To assist in selection, prioritize your departmental recommendations, providing a justification for each title requested. Why is a subscription critical? Is it of high importance to its field? Do several faculty members recommend the title? Are faculty members on the journal’s editorial board? In particular, indicate why access through Interlibrary Loan, typically a one-two day turnaround (sometimes within a few hours), would not suffice for this title.
Departmental recommendations should be forwarded to Jim Galbraith, Head of Collection Development, at by April 30. Once your recommendations are received, selection of supplemental titles will be done in consultation with the subject librarians. Due to our budget, there is a limit to the number of titles to which we can subscribe. In addition to departmental justifications, criteria for selecting titles will include:

  • How well the title fits in our collection: Does it address a need or round out an area of collection strength?
  • Past usage of the title as shown by usage data
  • Accessibility of articles from the journal: How quickly can we obtain copies of the articles? Is open access content available from the title?
  • Cost

We cannot substitute titles on the SUNY core title list at this time but there may be an opportunity to swap titles on future lists.
From year to year, we will monitor the usage and cost of the supplemental titles. In particular, we will compare the cost of the subscription versus the cost to Interlibrary Loan the same number of articles accessed. We may cancel or substitute the supplemental journals in the future if the subscription is not cost-effective.
For titles that we will no longer have a subscription, faculty, students and staff may use the following alternative options to access articles:

For more information, contact Jim Galbraith at or your subject librarian.