September 1, 2011
September 1, 2011. First introduced by Academic Press (AP) in 1996, the Big Deal—in which publishers sell online subscriptions to large bundles of electronic journals—is now the principle means by which academics access research literature. When it was introduced, the Big Deal was widely seen as a solution to the so-called serials crisis, and both publishers and librarians embraced it enthusiastically. However, the Big Deal today is the biggest bugbear for librarians and currently the focus of a face-off between U.K. librarians and publishers. How did an initiative that was once viewed so positively become an object of dislike and derision? What is the solution?