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Re: Handling of Sample Issues Stokes, Judith 16 Nov 2007 00:38 UTC

THANK YOU! for not sending unsolicited samples. I really appreciate that.

Every time our check-in clerk gets one, she has to pass it along to me, because it might be a title change, or a new title included in an old subscription, or some faculty member's subscription that is being misdelivered to the library, or a sample some misguided soul requested but it never got addressed to him by name. It is not so time-consuming when there is a letter enclosed stating that it is a sample. In that case, I just drop it in the recycling bin. Our library is not over-staffed, but the administration would gladly reallocate one of our positions elsewhere if they thought I spent time giving any journal that arrives due consideration simply because a publisher chose to send us a sample issue.

An electronic sample issue is entirely different -- there's no need to store it or look at it unless we have a good reason to consider that title just then. Some science publishers open one free issue every few years, or allow free access to older issues as a regular policy. Just having free access to tables of contents and abstracts online is sometimes all I need to approve a faculty request to order a particular journal. One publisher allows open access to any faculty who register with them, then they send me an e-mail with the prof's name and the journal information every time one of our faculty downloads an article. Of course, if I get a few requests for the same title, I contact the faculty member and ask whether there will be on-going demand for that e-journal. I have purchased two titles that way.

Thanks again!

Judith E. Stokes, Serials Librarian
Rhode Island College
600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum on behalf of Zac Rolnik
Sent: Thu 11/15/2007 3:59 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Handling of Sample Issues

This may seem like sacrilege to the publishers on this list, but I am
actually surprised that publishers send out unsolicited sample copies.  In
my more than 20 years of publishing, I have never sent an unsolicited sample
copy to a library. I have always been under the impression that if a library
were interested, or if a faculty member or student recommended a journal,
they would request a sample copy from the publisher or subscribe if there
were sufficient demand and budget.

Further to Bill's question, I do provide librarians with links to a free
"electronic" sample copy if requested or if I think there may be some
interest but not in any wholesale manner.  As a matter of fact, we no longer
send out print sample copies unless the print is explicitly requested.  If I
have been too modest in my distribution of unsolicited sample copies, please
let me know.



Zac Rolnik
now -- the essence of knowledge
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Hanover, MA 02339 USA
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