Scholarly Communications

Libraries and Publishers

Libraries have long purchased journals and books from publishers for their institutions. There have been a number of changes in scholarly communication and publishing, from the initial move to electronic versions, to new models of licensing content that include "renting" access to journals and books. Libraries now acquire and provide content in many different ways. With the ever-increasing cost of journals, we continually evaluate our collections to maximize our budget.

The cost of subscriptions to journals and other electronic resources consistently outpaces increasingly flat or shrinking library budgets. Many publishers make large profit margins selling access to articles that report on research funded by grants and conducted by researchers employed by universities. Many institutions and private citizens are unable to access the research behind these subscription paywalls. This has led many institutions to cut journals and to promote open access journals and publishers.

Libraries across Duke University are currently re-evaluating our subscriptions of Elsevier and Wiley journals for 2022. Elsevier and Wiley subscriptions represent a large percentage of the Medical Center Library & Archives annual journals budget. Annual cost increases for these subscriptions result in cuts to other parts of our library budget. By renegotiating these subscriptions, we hope to contain costs and help address some budgeting issues.

See the resources and FAQs below or reach out to us for help at

Resources and Guidance


  • Why does the Library subscribe to certain journals and not others?

    We seek to maintain a collection of journals, books, and other resources that meet the needs of our community, which includes students, faculty, and staff who conduct research, engage in education, and care for patients.

    We have a diverse community with many needs, and sometimes we cannot meet them all due to costs, licensing rules, or other reasons. We encourage you to recommend purchases using our online form.

    If you need access to an article or book that is not in our collection, please make a request using our Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan Service. There is no cost for books or articles requested through this service.

  • My journal is charging me a fee to publish - how do I pay?

    Most authors pay with discretionary or departmental funds. Previously, researchers at Duke who published in fully open access journals of fully open access publishers could apply for funding through the COPE Fund. However, Duke University Libraries will no longer be supporting the COPE fund, effective June 30, 2022. Please see the COPE Fund Website for further information.