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Book and Journal Budgets

The University allocates a budget to the Library for books, journals and other information resources each year.  This budget is then allocated to Schools and Colleges using an allocation formula that is designed to ensure that resources are spent fairly across all disciplines. 

A School's allocation for a given academic year is calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent academic staff and students registered with them the previous academic year.  Student numbers are weighted depending on category - e.g. postgraduates vs. undergraduates, and their programme of study - e.g. Taught Masters vs. PhD or Diploma vs. Bachelor degree.  The more advanced the programme and category of student, the greater the weighting they attract.

This allocation forms the overall budget for a School or College.  Each School's commitment for journals and other subscriptions is estimated at the start of the year and this is set aside as their journal fund.  The remaining balance is allocated to their book fund.  As actual journal costs are confirmed during the year, the requirement for journals is adjusted and may result in journal funds being transferred to or from the book fund.  Please note that Schools are not permitted to commit more than 85% of their overall budget on journals or other recurrent subscriptions.  This is to protect some funds for book purchasing, but also to ensure a cushion against currency fluctuations and journal inflation.

Schools and Colleges are not allowed to carry unspent funds forward from one financial year to the next, however funds committed to book orders that have not arrived by year end, will be carried forward to cover these commitments.  These funds form part of the overall book fund.

If you would like to know the budget allocation for your School for a given year, please contact Neil O'Brien,  Acquisitions Librarian.

Spending Reports

Regular spending reports are made available as the financial year progresses, so that academic schools and the Library can monitor spending and avoid clawback. These are available from Neil O'Brien, Acquistions Librarian. 

Budget Clawback

In order to ensure that book and journal funds are spent by year end and in an attempt to spread ordering throughout the academic year, the Library operates a clawback procedure.

This clawback procedure requires Schools to spend 50% of their allocated bookfund by the end of February each year.  Any Schools with less than 50% of their fund spent or committed at this point, will have some funds clawed back to the relevant College fund. The amount clawed back will be calculated based on 50% of initial allocation minus any expenditure/commitments to date. The Acquisitions Team will then use these funds for cross-disciplinary purchases or to boost/update our collection in areas that are weak.

The second clawback takes place at the end of May. At this point Schools are expected to have spent or committed 75% of their initial allocation. Once again any Schools with less than 75% of their fund spent or committed at this point will have some funds clawed back to the relevant College fund. The amount clawed back will be calculated based on 75% of initial allocation minus any expenditure/commitments to date.

We would urge all Schools to spend their book budgets throughout the academic year so as to avoid clawback.  Each year we receive the bulk of orders between June and September and this means that delays occur, often leading to required material not being available for the start of the Semester.  We would urge staff to submit orders for reading material for Semester 1 by the end of May and for Semester 2 by mid-November, so as to ensure that your material has been ordered, received and is available for students in plenty of time.  This will also ensure that clawback is avoided.

If you have any questions about the clawback process or would like to check the status of your schools fund please don't hesitate to get in touch with  Neil O'Brien.

Monica Crump

Crump, Monica

Head of Collections
Tel: +353 91493765

Neil O'Brien

O'Brien, Neil

Acquisitions Librarian
Tel: +353 91493338