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Demand-driven acquisition and the sunk cost model

Julia Proctor (University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




This paper aims to examine demand-driven acquisition (DDA) models that require an initial or minimum investment through the University of Wyoming’s experience with Elsevier’s Evidence-Based Selection model.


In an attempt to avoid title-by-title selection and a desire to explore an alternative to all or nothing e-book packages, the University of Wyoming Libraries (UWL) participated in Elsevier’s Evidence-Based Selection purchase model for 2011 and 2012 e-book content in the 2013 calendar year. After an initial investment, the library was given access to the content. At the end of one year, UWL was provided with use data for the content and could choose an amount of content to retain up to Elsevier’s established “access fee”.


Many studies have shown that print monographs in academic libraries do not circulate in high volumes. The use data for the titles included in the Evidence-Based Selection model was congruous with studies of print monograph circulation. Through a review of the literature and an account of the UWL’ experience with Elsevier’s Evidence-Based Selection model, this paper advocates for libraries to exercise caution when considering a DDA model requiring an initial investment.


DDA is a purchase model that is becoming immensely popular, and in some libraries, the primary mode of acquisition. The value of this paper lies in the examination of a DDA model of a major academic publisher and the account of one library’s experience with that model.



Proctor, J. (2015), "Demand-driven acquisition and the sunk cost model", Collection Building, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 2-5.



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