The University Libraries are committed to providing our academic community with access to the materials that they need to successfully conduct their research and teaching. This is an increasingly difficult task when publishing outputs have skyrocketed and costs far surpass increases to our collections budget. Even though we have successfully negotiated lower price increases to many core resources, the Libraries still pays more than $14 million a year to provide access to books, research journals, databases, and other scholarly resources.

On this page:

The Libraries are engaging in conversations with our academic community, other libraries, and the publication industry to discuss these challenges and develop more sustainable models for creating, acquiring, and disseminating research. The Libraries present the following information about the cost and usage of major resources in an effort to promote transparency about our spending and support an open dialogue with our community.


Collections Budget Overview

FY20 Budget
Total budget = $14.89M
  • Continuing resources (journals/databases) = $10.6M
  • One-time funds (books, DVDs, maps, scores, etc.) = $3.29M
  • Access costs (online catalog, interlibrary loan services, collection maintenance) = $1M

CU Boulder Collections Budget over Time, showing totals from FY03 to FY20

Budget information from FY03 - FY20. The Libraries fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30. View data in tabular format.

Major Journal Packages

According to Library Journal's 2019 Periodicals Price Survey, the average 2019 price for journals in scientific disciplines was:

  • Chemistry $5,950
  • Physics $5,089
  • Engineering $3,994
  • Biology $3,769
  • General Science $2,038