Sian Brannon, University of North Texas


  • A Serials Transparency List, inspired by University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University, includes an institution’s electronic resource pricing and inflation information over time. 
  • The list, which includes vendor names and product titles, makes it easy for other libraries to compare their pricing and annual increases for specific publisher deals to those offered to that institution. 


  • Maintaining the confidentiality of package deals offered to libraries is a barrier to negotiation and honest pricing.
  • Transparency in costs and inflation rates is a benefit to libraries who are trying to be the best stewards of their funding.

What’s in it

  • Individual subscription title
  • Vendor or Provider
  • Publication Type (periodical, database, monographic series)
  • Format (print, online, CD, DVD, etc.)
  • Order Type (subscription, package, etc.)
  • 3 years of pricing with inflation calculations
  • Notes on reason for redaction

Where to put it

  • Post your (redacted!) list AND data in your institutional repository.
  • Include a “data dictionary” to explain your fields and calculations.
  • Share! Send notifications of posting through your networks and listservs.


All you need is your ILS, Excel, and your contracts (or ERMS)!

  • Generate a list of current individual subscriptions with several years of payment data in your ILS.
    Include information to display to the public and information that can be useful to staff (e.g., ILS record #s).
  • Export into Excel.
  • Use Excel formulas to calculate inflation rates from year to year.
  • Save a copy of the list with all information for internal use.
  • Use your license records (in your ILS, ERMS, or contracts) to determine if confidentiality clauses restrict the sharing of prices for each resource.
  • Save another copy of the list for posting publicly, and redact (i.e., delete) those prices where the license prohibits sharing.
  • Refresh list annually with updated payment data and new subscriptions.


Examples (not exhaustive)

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