E-Only Review Nets Savings for CUL
Mary Ochs and Bill Kara
During the last several years CUL’s online collections have grown considerably. Not only has the number of titles available online increased dramatically, but there has been a significant shift among many researchers in how those collections are being used. In her March 2006 memorandum to Cornell’s Deans, Directors, and Department Heads, Sarah Thomas explained the rationale for reviewing part of CUL’s journal collection for electronic-only access:
Reviewing Journals for E-Only Access
Decision making and communication regarding the transition to “E-only” has been carefully planned. Collection development staff developed a set of criteria for retaining journals in print. Librarians worked under the assumption that if a journal met any of these criteria, a print subscription would be retained (within budget limits). Lists of titles under consideration were posted on a special project Web site managed by Fred Muratori. The Web site allowed students and faculty to review lists by subject and send feedback via e-mail to selectors.
Criteria for Retaining Print Subscriptions
Electronic Archival Availability
Print Retention Responsibility
Timeliness and Reliability
Using the above criteria and through communications with the Cornell community, there has been substantial progress in the journal reviews across campus. A total of approximately 2,400 titles have been converted to E-only since the science libraries began their review several years ago. The most significant cost savings were achieved through the cancellation of duplicate subscriptions, relying on a single subscription (e-only or electronic with print). The cancellation of over 200 duplicate subscriptions that were necessary in a print environment resulted in saving over $300,000 in annual subscription costs. Access to current issues of those journals continues online. Subject specialists have been particularly aggressive in identifying savings in this area. In addition to those 2,600 subscriptions converted to e-only access, many hundreds of titles clearly matched the criteria for retaining print subscriptions. For these, the Library will continue print and electronic subscriptions.
CUL has also realized significant nonsubscription savings in processing, binding, and shelving for the 2,400 unique subscriptions moved to e-only. Unit libraries that have converted a larger number of their titles are already realizing savings in staff time and resources, which have been redirected to support new initiatives and programs.
The CUL staff is already planning for the review of additional titles for e-only access for the 2008 subscription year. For these reviews the Library will continue to seek input from the Cornell community as we support an ongoing commitment to provide reliable, quality access to the current journal literature.
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