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Quit Check in Journal Issues? (2 messages) Marcia Tuttle 15 Aug 2002 18:25 UTC

Subject: RE:      Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (6 messages)
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 08:30:30 -0500
From: "Hijleh, Renee" <>

I couldn't help but reply to the reply.......

First of all, as to your statement:

>"Luckily, the publishers have no incentive to withold the journal issues we've paid
>for. It wouldn't save them money, time or energy; the last thing they want is to
>warehouse extra copies of their journal.  Same for jobbers -- I have a hard time
>picturing someone at EBSCO saying "OK, everyone, don't forget that the U of Nevada
>has stopped checking in, so we're going to stop sending journal issues to them."
>One thing you can be sure of about companies: if there's no profit in it, they're
>not going to do it.  There's no profit in withholding journal issues.  When it
>happens, it's almost invariably an accident."

No one ever made the statement that publishers "purposely" withhold issues, as your
scenario above suggests. In our experience however, they do start renewals as
"new" accounts, creating overlapping duplicate accounts; they do mistakenly put in 2
year orders as orders for two copies; they do misaddress labels, with the result of
sending your issues to places unknown; they do start renewals late; they don't
always notify of title changes; they do attach your payment to the wrong title,
etc.etc. All of these problems come to light by keeping track of the journal through
check-in, and the resulting claims lists that arise when journals are missing. We
also use the check-in history as a synopsis of estimating when the next issue will
be out when there is a delay in the publication schedule of a title. So to say that
the only use for check-in is to tell you that you received an issue is overly

All of these problems represent a budgetary loss in one way or the other, and as you
say, it's true that each institution decides on the value of the loss as to whether
or not it's worth pursuing.  In our case, our budget is very tight, we cannot afford
nor can we justify not getting what we paid for.  We have 1600 print titles, with a
budget of just under a half million dollars, and I figure that our claiming affects
the welfare of literally thousands of dollars worth of our collection. I can't
imagine the size of a budget that would support 15,000 titles, but I do know that
even a small percentage lost of this amount due to non correction of errors would
probably represent a large amount of money! It's a paradox that your institution can
afford to be so cavalier in their journal budget, but then be so conservative in
their personnel budget!

As to your statement that the publisher doesn't profit from the non correction of
errors, I beg to differ. Take the example of duplicate accounts. The publisher has
the potential of squeezing the payment of an extra year out of you through non
correction of duplicate accounts. For instance, if the title is a quarterly, and
each renewal year, the publisher overlaps your sub one issue by starting your
renewal early, then by the end of four years you will have paid for an extra year's
worth of issues due to the cumulative overlap. If the sub cost you $400, then that
is the extra amount eaten out of your budget that you should not have had to pay
for, and that also represents an extra $400 gain in subscription money that the
publisher would not normally have received if the duplicate account was straightened
out right away. We average atleast fifty titles each year that are inadvertently put
in as new accounts instead of renewals. Our titles are mostly expensive academic
journals, with the average cost in the triple digits. You can see how this would
impact our budget over time if we never corrected this problem.

And as to the comments about auditors only caring about expenditures over a certain
amount....we were just audited two years ago. They took our invoices, selected a
broad range of titles, checked the computer to see that the complete volume was
listed there, and then checked the stacks to see that the issues were indeed there.
Any discrepancies between what we paid for, and what they found missing had to be
explained. The auditors here classify "equipment" as "service and supplies" and it
is thus audited with different criteria (in which case they do only audit equipment
over a certain amount), than our library collection materials which is considered
"permanent property", all of which has to be accounted for.

Journal check-in does take time, there's no question about it. But I believe that
all of this work represents valid and responsible management of both the journal
collection, and it's respective budget. Which leads me to one other point that you

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

If a library had so many journal titles that they didn't want to spend the time to
manage them properly (and especially if they can substantiate that use is down), I
would think that a better solution would be to cut their titles down to a manageable
size, and then take care of their collection in a responsible way. This would then
ensure quality service for all of their patrons, as opposed to sacrificing the
service to some because they now represent a smaller segment of the patron base. I
would also see this as a more fiscally responsible solution.

From: "Bob Scheier" <>
Subject: RE: Quit checking in journal issues?
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 13:13:42 -0400

How would you claim if you do not checkin?


Robert H. Scheier
Serials/ILL Librarian
New York Institute of Technology
Wisser Library
Wheatley Rd., P.O. Box 8000
Old Westbury, New York 11568-8000
Phone: (516) 686-7624
Fax: (516) 626-2914
Library Web Site:
College Web Site: