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Digital Suggestion Box Responses

Help Improve Your Libraries

Online Journals

October 4th, 2007

Comment: Why aren’t all the journals available at the libraries available online? It eats up time having to come down to campus and even go from library to library to copy journal articles.

The University Libraries purchase online journals just as they purchase print journals; the Libraries do not digitize journals themselves. If we wish to add an online journal to our collection, it must be available for purchase. Publishing has not yet reached the point where every academic journal currently published is available online. But we are getting progressively closer. When it comes to older issues of such journals, conversion to digital formats is moving much slower. Print collections of older journals will continue to be essential parts of library collections for years to come.

When we decide to purchase an online journal, besides considering its availability we also consider its price. The price paid by an academic library for online journals is not, by the way, the price you might pay as an individual. Publishers know that library subscriptions are used by hundreds or even thousands of people and price accordingly. In fact, the vendors of online journals often demand to know how many students and faculty we have and base their pricing accordingly.