Tiered Pricing FAQ

Liverpool University Press introduced a tiered pricing system for institutions in 2017, new and renewed 2020 institutional subscriptions are now available for purchase.iv


What is tiered pricing? 

Journal subscriptions are offered to institutions on a pricing scale – what you pay depends on which tier your library is included in. LUP will also be offering new licensing options - single institution and multi-site for single institutions. 

What are the benefits of a tiered pricing system? 

The traditional approach of ‘one price fits all’, stemming from when only print journal subscriptions were available, is limiting when the decision of whether to purchase or renew an institutional journal subscription is often governed by its potential or current online use. We want to facilitate all varieties and sizes of institutions in accessing all of the journals they require in a fairer way, without them having to compromise due to cost. 

Tiered pricing has become an industry norm and reflects how much more an online edition of a journal offers institutions including extensive and fully searchable back archives, with single institution and multi-site licenses meaning extended access for larger institutions with multiple campuses and a lower price for smaller institutions that anticipate less online usage. 

What tier will my institution be in and how much will my library have to pay?

A complete list of 2021 institutional journal prices by tier is available here.  If you are unsure of your institution's tier, please contact us.  

How are the tiers assigned? 

A hybrid model, in which an institution's 'type' and number of FTEs are both considered, was used to assign tiers 1-5 to our institutional customers. All customer data was analysed using Ringgold’s Identify database which includes three schema: the Carnegie Tier system (applicable only to institutions in the USA and Canada), the Jisc Banding system (for UK institutions only), and the Ringgold Tier (available for almost all records in the database, and based upon the HighWire Shop For Journals system, specifically designed to align tiered pricing models with an institution’s budget). 

Each tier is defined as follows: 

  • Tier 1: Large institutions with active research programmes 
  • Tier 2: Small to mid-sized research universities; commercial customers 
  • Tier 3: ‘New universities’ and other medium-sized institutions with a focus on undergraduate study 
  • Tier 4: Smaller / specialised institutions and lesser-funded institutions 
  • Tier 5: Non-profits, museums, schools 

What is the difference between a single institution licence and a multi-site licence? 

Single Institution Licence
Single institutions are classed as being located within one metropolitan boundary with a single billing address for all subscription purchases.  

Multi-Site Licence for Single Institutions 

A multi-site license applies when a single institution wants to offer online access to its subscribed journals at more than one campus outside of the purchasing institution’s metropolitan boundary. Those institutions purchasing a new multi-site subscription pay an additional 50% of the subscription price for their tier, per campus outside of the purchasing institution's metropolitan boundary.