Re: Difference between database and electronic serial T Thompson 01 Oct 2008 17:00 UTC

Chad and Charles have very good points.  It really depends on how you look
at the resource.  We tend to take the same view as Charles, and if it is an
individual title, we treat as a electronic serial, and it is charged to our
serials budget which has the largest amount out of any area in our budget.
If it is a conglomeration of sources, we treat it as a database, and the
funding is charged as such.  Our ongoing cost for content such as archives
is charged to a line item called access fees which for lack of a better
place lives in the databases section of the budget.

Tracey Thompson
Acquisitions Librarian, Assistant Professor
New Mexico State University Library
MSC 3475 P.O. Box 30006
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8006
(p) 575-646-8093
(f) 575-646-7477

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[] On Behalf Of Chad Hutchens
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Difference between database and electronic serial

Charles hit the nail right on the head...there is a very fine (and often
blurry) line between all these resources.  If one really wanted to look at
these things from a purely technical point of view, the argument could be
that almost all of our e-journals are databases, since the vast majority of
them are run by databases on the back-end.  It's all a matter of

And now we can add even more confusion to this mess by lumping in e-book
collections that are annual subscriptions, can be searched just like an A&I
databases, have a lot in common with both aggregators and packages, and that
also have titles being added to the collections on a regular basis :)

I think we're seeing that there's no silver bullet and that we need to be
flexible in how we deal with these things.  I know here, our budget is tied
to historical decisions made long ago that are almost impossible to change.
Makes for interesting budget meetings.

Chad Hutchens
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries
Dept 3334, 1000 E University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-20000
Ph: (307) 766-5560

> From: Charles McElroy <cnmcelroy@FSU.EDU>
> Reply-To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 10:53:14 -0400
> To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Difference between database and electronic serial
> Obviously, sometimes it seems to be a fine line with this definition but
> I generally view a database as a compilation of information from
> different sources whereas an electronic journal title is just that, a
> specific journal title in electronic format that can be classified by a
> subject area.
> We separate these formats in our payment model by using a database
> budget code, a general electronic journal budget code (used mostly with
> packages, which are multi-disciplinary), and subject specific electronic
> journal budget codes in addition to subject specific print journal
> budget codes. This helps with generating reports to see what is being
> spent in different subject areas even though it does take a little more
> budgetary management.
> Charles
> Charles McElroy
> Serials Acquisitions Librarian
> Florida State University Libraries
> 711 West Madison Street
> P.O. Box 3061005
> Tallahassee, FL  32306-1005
> Phone: 850-645-7911
> Fax: 850-644-5671
> E-mail:
> Angelica Freitas wrote:
>> Hello Serials people!!!
>> I have a question!
>> We all know that eventually most of our print collection will convert
>> electronic format.
>> Here at our library we have a budget line for "database" and another for
>> "serials" (any format, including electronic).
>> Due to budget constraints, some of my colleagues have decided to "pay"
>> some of their databases from the serials budget. I am a bit confused by
>> of this and I would like to know if anyone out there knows the difference
>> between a database and electronic journal???
>> Sorry if I sound confusing
>> Angelica Freitas
>> Serials Administrator
>> Sarah Lawrence College Library
>> One Meadway
>> Bronxville, NY
>> 10708
>> TEL: 914-395-2477
>> FAX: 914-395-2473