Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (2 messages) Marcia Tuttle 14 Aug 2002 21:49 UTC

Re-sent with subject line. -MT

From: "Rick Anderson" <rickand@unr.edu>
Subject: RE: Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (6 messages)
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 13:17:16 -0700

Diane Lewis and David Goodman both pointed out, quite correctly, that online
versions of print journals are not always available, and that even when they
are available they are not always as complete as their print counterparts.
David also pointed out that close management of the print versions of some
journals may be of great value to particular researchers (or even to all
researchers at a particular institution).

As to the first point (regarding the unavailability or inferiority of some
online versions), let me point out that doing away with check-in is not the
same thing as cancelling.  We're still getting these print journals; we're
just not investing a large number of staff hours in the painfully close
management of them.

As to the second point (that close management of print journals can be very
valuable in some contexts), I absolutely agree.  If check-in makes sense,
you should do it.  There are still a few journals that we check in the
old-fashioned way, for just this reason.  But the vast majority of our print
journals (here at U. Nevada) do not need that level of attention.

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno      "I'm not against the modern
1664 No. Virginia St.            world.  I just don't think
Reno, NV  89557                  everything's for sale."
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273             -- Elvis Costello
FX  (775) 784-1328

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 14:34:47 -0600
From: Dan Lester <dan@riverofdata.com>
Subject: Re: Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (6 messages)

[Moderator's Disclaimer: Yes, I am the "MT" noted below, but my initials
are there only because I am moderating SERIALST at the moment and have to
send the group messages from my address. -Marcia]

Warning:  Possible heresies follow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002, 1:23:53 PM, you wrote:

MT> ----------1
MT> From: "Rick Anderson" <rickand@unr.edu>

MT> Answer #2: Actually, we haven't stopped all claiming, only routine claiming
MT> of low-use titles (which is to say the vast majority of our print journal
MT> collection).

Absolutely.  There is nothing that would prevent you from still
selectively checking in and/or claiming titles that were important due
to their local content, uniqueness, great monetary value, etc.

MT> journals perfectly.  So we're shifting our focus from the materials that get
MT> used least to those that get used most.

And, as noted above, the ones that are used least, but that are
important to be sure you get them all for some reason can still be
routinely checked in or claimed.

>> and if you were ever audited, they would
>> probably be shocked at such management since you would not be
>> able to prove that you were getting what you paid for!!

MT> If the auditors don't like it, they can tell the university to give me
MT> another 20 or 30 staffers.

One other point on auditors.  At most institutions there is a floor on
what constitutes a "capital expenditure".  We used to have to put
inventory tags on computer, report them, have auditors look for them,
and so forth.  Now non-server computers come in under that limit, so
we, and they, are saved a great deal of hassle.  (Yes, we still track
them and still make sure they arrive when we order them and don't
disappear later, but not in the same way as before.) The floor at
Boise State for something to be a taggable and invenroried is $2000.
Quite possibly the auditors wouldn't care if you didn't check in a
journal worth less than $2000.  In the grand picture of an
institutional budget, the single missing issue is a flyspeck. Just
think of the coins that many of us leave in a "take a penny, leave a
penny" container in a store.

>> did a search. And if it was missing, you wouldn't know if it was
>> from non-receipt,
>> or if it was lost, stolen, or just misplaced within the library itself.)

MT> You've just articulated one of the best arguments for doing away with
MT> journal check-in.

Exactly.  I can't prove it statistically, but my experience shows that
the vast majority of problems that come up with a patron wanting to
find a specific issue that isn't on the shelf are not because of
non-receipt, but because of all of the other things that can happen to
an issue in, or out of, the library.

MT> From: "Diane M Lewis" <dilewis@usgs.gov>
MT> Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 13:23:00 -0400

MT> An interesting discussion, but we cannot all abandon checkin without
MT> shirking some responsibilities.  Libraries which participate in cooperative
MT> collection agreements might need to keep track of serials within their area
MT> of responsibility.

These can be covered by selective checking in and/or claiming, as
noted above.  And, even if they all arrive, there is still no
guarantee that the item will be available when requested for ILL.

MT>  If the online journal version differs significantly from the paper, if no
MT> one is preserving a viable, permanent digital copy of the entire run of the
MT> title, if researchers must cite the paper edition for verification
MT> purposes, some libraries are obligated to continue checkin.  Many of us
MT> still checkout journals and must determine who has what. Perhaps there is a
MT> way to do all of this without checking issues in....

Many libraries would have no problem with checking things out that
haven't been checked in.  If you barcode every issue upon checkin,
you're probably in the minority of libraries.  We check out current
issues, but don't waste the time or money in putting a barcode on each
one.  Circulation staff and the patron fill out a manual slip when a
patron checks out a loose issue that isn't barcoded, just as they do
for other unbarcoded items.

MT> From: Susan Andrews <Susan_Andrews@tamu-commerce.edu>
MT> Subject: Re: Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (7 messages)

MT> Okay, I have one really big question about this (I can see your point
MT> however).  How do you know when you stop receiving a title that you are
MT> subscribing to?

As Rick noted above, that should be caught by the shelvers in the
current periodicals area.  Of course if they don't notice it because
the current issues have never been touched and no one has complained,
you may have just found a likely candidate for cancellation.  In
addition, you'd notice it when you did a pickup for binding, assuming
you're still binding.

MT> From: David Goodman <dgoodman@Princeton.EDU>
MT> Subject: Re: Quit Checking in Journal Issues?

MT> This is one of the few times I disagree with Rick-- but only partly. At
MT> our Biology Library many of those few titles which we continue to get in
MT> print only are titles of third world organizations or  of specialists in
MT> obscure groups of organisms. (I suspect that there are analogous cases
MT> in other fields.)  Sometimes we have found we are the only library with
MT> nearly complete files. I therefore think we have a special obligation to
MT> take particular care for the completeness of these and for maintaining
MT> accurate records about them. As has been mentioned, they are if missing
MT> sometimes very difficult to claim. But if they are sufficiently valuable
MT> from a scholarly perspective, we'll try to fill in with  photocopy--if
MT> we can even get it.

But, you might be able to still quit checking in the majority of items
that come from major publishers, are requested daily, etc.

MT> As for keeping track of electronic, yes most definitely we need a good
MT> way to do this, especially a good way to do this efficiently.  Perhaps a
MT> cooperative effort to verify the completeness of publishers' files might
MT> be an appropriate step ?

That might be nice, but I doubt it is very necessary.  And how would
you know if it was complete if you didn't have a print copy to compare
it to?  And what about those that are purely electronic?

More important, in my view, is having an assurance that the
publisher's complete run will still be available in five or fifty
years. This doesn't exist either, of course.



Dan Lester, Data Wrangler  dan@RiverOfData.com 208-283-7711
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA
www.riverofdata.com  www.gailndan.com  Stop Global Whining!