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Re: Cancellation of print journals (Helen Aiello) Marcia Tuttle 13 Apr 2000 17:53 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 12:35:51 -0400
From: Helen Aiello <haiello@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU>
Subject: Re: Cancellation of print journals (JoAnne Griffin)

Dear JoAnne,

I am replying to your request for info preceded by our institution's
policy, created in Mar.1998, which is being implemented increasingly as I
will detail below.

Wesleyan University in Middletown,CT - a small liberal arts, undergraduate
college with about 2900 undergrads, and a very few grad programs
(Chemistry, MBB, Ethnomusicology) instituted the following policy vis a vis
paper versus electronic journals: (this was part of a much larger policy
regarding cancellations/retention of journals holdings and other serial
related collection issues).
1.  The library will provide journal subscriptions in one format only.  In
acquiring new journal titles, preference will be given to electronic
formats, with possible exceptions as noted below.  Retrospectively, as a
journal for which we already have a paper subscription becomes available in
an electronic format, cancellation of the paper subscription and
conversion  to an electronic subscription will be favored unless doing so
compromises student/faculty use or is not cost effective.

         A)  Two formats may be acquired:
·       When a paper copy is deemed essential by the Wesleyan community and
electronic access is available as a part of a subscription package with no
or little additional cost.
·       When a paper copy is deemed essential, but hot links available in
an electronic edition facilitate research in a significant way.

         B)  A paper subscription will be preferred:
·       When the image quality required by our primary users is greater
than what can be provided electronically through Internet and/or fax
·       Student/faculty use of back issues of the journal over time can be
anticipated as unlikely to decline, and permanent access to an electronic
archive of the journal is unclear.
·       When the electronic coverage provided omits important information
found in the paper edition.

2.  Wesleyan will not attempt to serve as an archival repository for
electronic journals, but will rely upon the producers of journals or other
sites to provide access to journal archives.  We will actively participate
in national programs and organizations to insure that access is available
as needed.
While we do not envision changes in policy at this time, when
cost-effective means of providing access to retrospective issues
electronically seems assured we will consider discarding bound
retrospective holdings.

This policy was presented to the chairs of the academic a series
of luncheons and reception ran from full acceptance to some reluctance.  In
between falls a segment that has had little reaction,  not because they do
not care but because most/all of their journals are not yet available in an
online format and are therefore unaffected by the policy at this time.

Concomitantly, we also were in the position of having to trim our serials
budget of current commitments (I can see the surprise on everyone's face!)
to make way for new subscriptions as well as absorb the increasing
electronic resources we were acquiring, such as databases, that fell into
the serials budget. Therefore, for now at least, our energies have
concentrated in those areas where it costs us additional money to purchase
the e-text. For example MUSE titles or Academic IDEAL titles' paper format
equivalents are being looked at rather than WILEY or Oxford UP  or Springer
titles where we have access to the e-text as a 'bonus' to our paper subs.

Since implementation, we have outright cancelled the paper all the
MUSE titles (the initial MUSE project titles which,  for us, numbered about
26 paper format titles).  There has been little or no impact yet from this
decision since the cancellations were effected for the year 2000, and as
several of the MUSE titles are wont to be, the end of the sub./volume is
coming just about now (Mar./Apr.00).

Another large group of paper format cancellations in lieu of e-text were
the Academic Press titles.  We signed on recently to Academic's IDEAL (to
start with 2000).  To compensate for the cost, we cancelled all of our
paper format Academic titles which,  for us, numbered 63.  The negotiations
with the faculty on this one were a bit more involved.  Most of the titles
we were cancelling - as well as would add - were in the area of the
Sciences, and our Science Librarian (Tim Klassen), successfully managed to
work with the Sci.Depts. and come to agreements.  We had to retain four (4)
paper format subscriptions and this was due largely to the hardware
problems that I suspect many schools face.  The titles retained in paper
format had illustrations that would not print acceptably on the copiers
available to the faculty so affected.

Another group of titles that we are eyeing are our Elsevier titles: we are
considering signing on to the ScienceDirect program that Elsevier has
offered most recently.  To offset the cost of the electronic product, all
of our paper format Elsevier titles (103) will be put up for cancellation
unless a good reason can be put forth by faculty to retain some titles in
the paper format.  We are at the talking stage only, on this one.

There are likely to be more block cancellations of paper format when the
e-text is available, especially as more publishers offer online access only
subscriptions that cost less than paper & e-text combined.  In fact, two
very recent additions to our collection were for the e-text format only.

Archiving is only a nominal consideration at our institution.   Our
administration feels that our size of school will never be able to offer at
this time the type of servers that could accommodate/maintain all e-text
titles we are acquiring: we are putting our trust in the
publishers/societies/larger schools that can explore and maintain archives.
Will this mean that we may be faced eventually with a serial pay per view
collection?  This is the stuff for many and long conferences and so I can
not touch this topic at this time.

All I can provide is anecdotal evidence:
Faculty who have had access to substantial portions of their journals
available online seem to accept the decision to convert to e-text
only  more readily.  For example, our Physics dept. (faculty/grad students)
were about the first dept. to see substantial portions of their journals
online. As a result, they are very accepting and in fact are ready to
cancel, when possible, paper format subs if this can allow purchasing more
subscriptions.  Therefore, providing exposure to e-text format journals has
been a consuming task for me as I try to get access to as many e-text
journals as possible.
Our usage stats on JSTOR (which is through the roof for an institution our
size) shows that our other depts. are using these e-text resources with
abandon (and no, we are not getting rid of JSTOR title paper format
equivalents yet since we are not yet faced with storage problems...I am
sure it will come some day!). I cannot say the same for MUSE or ECO titles
as I look over our usage stats, so it is a mixed bag.
Undergrads, hmmmmmm. Good question.  They seem to be accepting of whatever
we have and certainly enjoy the ''article'  databases such as our
Lexis-Nexis, Wilson, Dow-Jones, etc, etc. (It's a personal hang-up: I
object to the term full text since at present it implies something that may
not be there).  We have electronic reserves so that is another thing that
entices them to use their pc's as the only 'portal' they see for the
library. (The fact that our campus - and the library - are well wired, is
certainly a contributing factor in their use of our online resources.)
In fact, I would make the quantum assumption that the reason we see so much
usage from JSTOR is that students have a tendency to use that as an end/all
be/all database since it is so easy to use.....versus getting a citation
from a database and finding the journal, even in its online incarnation.

As an aside, the access we are starting to see from the 'biggie' databases
such as Web of Science, INSPEC and Medline as they provide access to the
article directly from the citation,  if we have a sub., will be the real
test of usage. At least IMHO.

The above is hardly scraping the tip of this iceberg, but I hope it helps
to throw some light on your topic.....I have to run and add a few more
e-text titles to our database....will be glad to talk more about our
experiences at length if you go to NASIG....

At 07:18 PM 4/12/00 -0400, you wrote:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 15:20:24 -0400
>From: JoAnne Griffin <jgriffin@TUFTS.EDU>
>Subject: Cancellation of print journals
>Hello, all
>As we acquire more journals in electronic format, our library is
>beginning to look at cancelling some (many?) of their paper
>counterparts. Up to this point, we have been reluctant to do so because
>we did have some faculty who still wanted paper subscriptions (though
>they have been quiet lately!) and because we have been concerned with
>the whole archiving issue. How many of you have eliminated paper
>subscriptions, either in part or wholly? How did you decide what to
>cancel? Are you concerned about archiving? Did it count in your decision
>to cancel the paper? What has been the reaction from your patrons?
>I'd appreciate any feedback you can give me.
>Thanks a lot!
>JoAnne Griffin
>Serials Librarian
>Tufts University
>Health Sciences Library
>Boston, MA 02111

Helen M. Aiello, Serials Librarian
Wesleyan University Library
Periodical Dept., P.O. Box 2799
Middletown, CT 06459-9299.

Voice: (860) 685-3828
Fax: (860) 685-2661