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Re: WSJ...was Do you still keep subscription of microfilms of New York Times and Wall Street J. ? Steve Oberg 15 Nov 2006 19:41 UTC


> We are currently considering cancelling our WSJ microfilm subscription
> due to high cost and little or no use.
> ProQuest offers WSJ online with "comprehensive coverage back to 1984".
> It is possible you could set up a trial of the product to determine if
> it would fit your needs.  I would be curious to know the satisfaction
> level for those who subscribe to this product.

When at Taylor University (part of the same consortium -- PALNI -- as
your institution) we signed up for ProQuest's offerings for the NY
Times along with a trial for WSJ.  ProQuest offers the Historical
Newspapers piece for many major U.S. newspapers.  By definition these
databases go back to the beginning (e.g. NY Times goes back to 1851,
when it started).  We made the decision to subscribe to the NY Times
backfile (via ProQuest Historical Newspapers, 1851 to approx. 3-5
years past as a rolling wall) -- including full text and images -- as
well as ProQuest's current NY Times database which goes from 2001 to
the present and is text only.  This is all a bit complicated but at
that time, anyway, this is how it worked.  We were able to pay for
this access to both the current and historical versions by cancelling
our microfilm subscription for the NY Times.  The cost was about
equal.  We were very happy with this decision and faculty and students
were impressed with the increased access and ease of use.  As a
consequence, it became a popular resource.

We wanted to do the same for WSJ but just couldn't afford it at the
time without having additional funds.

If I were in a similar situation again, I'd do the same thing in a
heartbeat (ditch the microfilm to pay for better, fuller online
access).  The split in terms of content and how it is presented is a
challenge for users to understand when it comes to searching the NY
Times.  Users expect to have full text and images and in one database,
not two.  I think ProQuest allows you the capability to do a combined
search but even so, it is not as intuitive as it could be for users,
in my opinion.  So that's one downside.  Another downside was that due
to the Tasini decision, missing articles in the online version for the
NY Times weren't available whereas they were available in the
microfilm copy.

One other thing:  ProQuest at the time also offered the ability to
purchase perpetual access to a subset of the Historical Newspapers
version for each newspaper.  I think the date range covered by that
was 1851 to the early 1920s.  The limitation for more recent content
was simply due to copyright, I think.  Here again, we would have
preferred to be able to purchase this because the NY Times is such a
high demand resource especially for undergraduates.  But it was pretty
expensive.  Here is where a consortial approach might be useful.

Steve Oberg
Family Man Librarian