The Big Deal
The Big Deal is a business practice of many large commercial publishers that entails offering universities access to a large group of journal titles at a discounted price. In the Big Deal, libraries agree to buy electronic access to all of a commercial publisher’s journals for a price based on current payments to that publisher, plus some increment. Under the terms of the contract, annual price increases are capped for a number of years. The Big Deal can lower the average cost of access per journal, but reduces library control over collections and increases publishers’ market power over libraries.
The Big Deal usually allows the library to cancel paper subscriptions at some savings or purchase additional paper copies at discounted prices. But the content is, henceforth, “bundled” so that individual journal subscriptions can no longer be cancelled in their electronic format.