The University Libraries of the University of Northern Colorado is transitioning from print to online for journals to respond to the growing use of online journals and to increase access to journal content. The decision to move to the online version when a choice exists between print and online requires that a stable online version be available, and that the existence of an archival electronic copy be taken into account. It is also recognized that faculty have specific research needs that may be better served by retaining a print subscription. Consequently, subject librarians will consult appropriately with faculty as part of the decision process.
The following guidelines are intended to provide a framework for the university community and subject librarians when making decisions about the University Libraries journal collection.
1. The University Libraries will generally retain the online format only for electronic journal titles and collections that are available in both print and electronic formats. However, back issues of print volumes will be retained; and there will be consultation with program faculty as appropriate to decide whether the print subscription should be continued. As part of this consultation, program faculty will have the opportunity to present justification for continuing print subscriptions as a preferred format based on their teaching and research needs.
2. Any request to maintain or re-instate the print subscription or to maintain a print subscription that is included in a publisher's online package will be assessed against program faculty needs and the Libraries’ budgetary constraints, and will require the approval of the Head of Library Administrative Services. The print subscription will be paid from the funds allocated for the particular program.
3. Online journals that are 'Free with print' are to be considered as a valid exception to the policy and don't require approval from the Head of Library Administrative Services. However, when the online is no longer free and both formats are available, the online will be selected unless there is program faculty support for maintaining the print subscription.
4. For online journals that provide a moving wall of online coverage and where retrospective years get dropped off, the 'Print plus online' will be maintained as an exception, in order not to lose access to previous years.
5. When publishers change their pricing model and require format decisions on a title-by-title basis (i.e. not as part of an agreement), there will be consultations with program faculty as appropriate to determine which format should be retained.
6. A record of each decision made in accordance with the above guidelines will be maintained. N.B. This policy doesn't apply to full-text e-journals available via aggregator's databases (an aggregator's database is a collection of online journals from various publishers made available by a vendor). These are based on third-party agreements between the vendor and publishers whose content is included. The content can often be unstable and there are no guarantees of the continuity of access to titles.
Approved by the University Libraries subject librarians February 17, 2010.