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UnConference - Journal Collections Notes

Page history last edited by jaking 11 years, 9 months ago

UnConference - Journal Collections Notes 

Facilitators: Kimberly Chapman & Jeffra Bussmann; These notes provided by P. Watkins, 1/08/10


Journal Collections: How Science Librarians are fine-tuning Journal Collections during Tight Times

  • In the wake of materials budget cuts and the increasing overlap between existing print journals and those found in database aggregators, meeting attendees noted the importance of keeping core print journals even as new additions are increasingly being driven by usage data and faculty input/approval plans.
  • Because usage statistics are difficult and time-consuming to compile, many don't rely on these as much as they do on polling faculty/researchers to determine the topics in journals they are interested in. A journal will not be cut as long as it continues to feature topics of interest and relevance, even if a current issue doesn't happen to cover a specific topic in every single issue. 
  • Go ahead and cut a journal in lieu of electronic format, but it's important to know if the database aggregator supplies backfile issues and not just a 'full archive'. Those present expressed concern that with all the cuts in print journals these days, will there soon be no libraries that can share print issues? 
  • What are libraries doing with microfiche and what is happening to old print back issues? Being tossed out?
  • E-publishing ahead of print is a problem; libraries can't always obtain e-published books and documents when engineers want them on-demand due to budget constraints; becoming increasingly difficult to find old magazine articles.
  • One state college's journal collections are 'data-driven' by usage statistics compiled in EXCEL spreadsheets; librarians can only suggest holdings to faculty. What happens when faculty says 'we MUST keep' yet usage statistics suggest otherwise? How are the needs of undergrads factored into collections decisions? Some use 'pay-per-view' models (Science Direct offers this).
  • How are libraries dealing with low usage journals? Some librarians retain journals with more than 20 uses/year and/or those which cost less than $20/use. 
  • Some colleges looking @ licensing vs. owning collections
  • More and more 'open access' evangelizing is going on, but what to do when faculty asks the library to pick up the cost of paying their author fees for open access in an institutional repository?
  • Some colleges are buying journals within their consortium, but how to select/slim down one's own journal holdings in the face of a consortial package? One university's journal needs are not the same as others and titles can be lost. The librarians must carefully note what their researchers need when thinking of selecting/de-selecting journals in such arrangements.
  • Be careful using a journal aggregator's usage statistics; these may not be the best source. Use an aggregator's usage stats for a journal only if it is not necessary to the core collection; when condudting analysis, be sure to include usage catagories as: Not for curriculum support; Not used.
  • Ulrich's Serials Analysis and ISI Journal Citation systems were mentioned as tools for library serials analysis and reporting.
  • Some libraries are posting usage stats in an Excel spreadsheet for faculty to review before decisions are made; still other librarians cut titles FIRST, then post the remaining journals and if faculty want something they may request it; hard to have it both ways especially when budgets are involved.
  • Some libraries are marketing journal collections to faculty by promoting the journals that are related to classes being taught and re-iterating there isn't enough money in the budget to buy current books and journals.

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