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Collection Management Policy: Serial Resources

Adopted 1 July 1998

Scope & Definitions:

  1. Within the general collection criteria, this section addresses the selection for acquisition or access for:
    1. Print subscriptions to serials (magazines, journals, newspapers, and indexes) NOT located in the reference or main circulating collection.
    2. Electronic serial subscriptions (citation indexes, indexes with abstract or full-text, available in CD-ROM, Web, or other format)
  2. Collection Levels

    [Note: The Serial subcommittee needs to develop more fully the criteria for primary and secondary collections and categorize current subscriptions accordingly as part of a serials-wide assessment.]

    1. Level 1 (core) collection are those publications that are considered "essential" to an undergraduate curriculum and the LR&TS determines should be purchased in "perpetuity". The emphasis will be on those serial resources that provide the "best" support for undergraduate/graduate research based on the UniversityÍs curriculum.

      Many level 1 serials most likely will be duplicated by other collections within the region. Core journals for the undergraduate curriculum will be established by linking journal titles to general comprehensive indexes (including IAC Expanded Academic ASAP, IAC General Reference Center, and the H.W. Wilson ReaderÍs Guide). LR&TS should make every effort to provide access to no less than 75% of journal titles in these indexes (including fulltext).

    2. Level 2 (discipline) collection are those publications that after consultation with the interested department/s the LR&TS will commit to acquire for at least a specified period of time (initially not more than 5 years). Identification of titles to be considered at this level shall be drawn from titles of journals indexed in discipline/topic specific indexes, faculty/departmental recommendations, and the Interlibrary Loan copyright compliance reports.

      Many level 2 serials most likely will fulfill department or discipline

      expectations for curriculum and research support and not be duplicated by other collections within the region.

Acquisition and Management

  1. Acquisition:
    1. Requests to acquire a new or replacement serial title may come from:
      1. faculty/staff
      2. graduate and undergraduate SCSU students
    2. Review of new serial acquisitions (including indexes) will be based on: (in no priority order)
      1. verification of need through comparison with the Interlibrary Loan copyright compliance report;
      2. relevance to curriculum and/or discipline (multi-disciplinary works will be emphasized) based upon input from faculty in affected departments;
      3. cost/benefit to the institution/department
      4. ease of access (i.e., ability to provide access to fulltext content regardless of user place or time) at minimal or no cost to user
      5. access through available index/es for periodical/journal titles
    3. Each new serial title will be assessed to assure its index access or searchability through standard LR&TS resources (print or electronic). Any new serial titles, other than those of local/regional interest, that are not indexed or searchable but have curricular import (temporal) will be acquired for a shorter subscription commitment (not less than 2 years).
    4. All new serial acquisitions will be reviewed at the end of the first five (5) years to assure continuing relevance to the curriculum.
    5. Faculty, through their departments, may suggest a new serial title to replace a current subscription. Cost of the new serial may not exceed the cost of the current subscription (by more than 10%)
    6. Any recommendation or request for a new or replacement serial resource will be referred to the Serials Collection subcommittee of the Collection Management Committee. A review may be referred to the appropriate group within LR&TS (e.g., Reference or Government Documents, etc.) for further information.
      1. The review will follow the criteria outlined in the General Collection Policy.
      2. A cost/benefit analysis or review of budgetary impact may be necessary prior to a recommendation to acquire. For instances of digital-for-print replacement, any additional costs must be justified by value-added enhancements or content expansions (refer to the Policy for Digital Resources).
      3. A regional assessment (including SCTC, CSB, and SJU at a minimum) for subscription availability/access and/or holdings will be made to enhance regional access to a wider range of serial resources. For some titles a broader assessment within MnLINK participating libraries may be useful. This criteria should not be interpreted to mean that some duplication of serial titles is not important to SCSU.
      4. Technical requirements for electronic serials will be reviewed by the digital resources subcommittee and/or technical support staff. For further information on electronic resources, refer to the Collection Policy for Digital Resources.
      5. LR&TS may negotiate acquisition "partnerships" (cost splitting) that fulfill the information needs of a particular department or college. Such resources must be integrated into a department or collegeÍs curriculum. This cost sharing must be ongoing for the life of the subscription (minimum initial review every 3 years or whenever subscription cost increases significantly).
    7. There are several criteria that should be considered in evaluating the merits of print versus electronic format, including:
      1. cost (lower subscription cost for a print title that is not indexed diminishes value in comparison to the same title available electronically as part of a searchable file)
      2. access (requirements of distance education and the timely access to relevant content tends to emphasize electronic format; however, the requirements of the content (images, charts, tables, etc.) will determine the appropriate format)
      3. archiving (many electronic subscriptions will require microformat to assure long term archiving)
      4. selection (many electronic serial subscriptions are based on publisher service (e.g., Academic Press journals) which thus includes titles unrelated to SCSU curricular interests; subscription to individual print titles assures a close relationship of all titles to the curriculum)
      5. ease of use (fulltext journals included in an electronic index, or publisher electronic journal services that include a search engine enhance article accessibility for users ("one-stop research") versus a more traditional two-step index lookup and article retrieval)
    8. "Special" issues, other than annual indexes, of individual serial titles not included in LR&TS subscriptions will be treated as monographs. Acquisition of such "special" issues will not constitute an intent to establish a continuing subscription. Some serial titles also are issued as monographic titles (particularly those from Haworth Press); LR&TS will attempt to avoid acquiring monographic titles also issued as a volume within an LR&TS subscription title.
  2. Management:
    1. Continuing primary serial commitments will be reviewed periodically on a rotating basis (e.g., ranges of titles alphabetically). The review follows the same procedures as outlined above.
    2. Continuing secondary serial commitments will be reviewed no less than every five (5) years on a rotating basis, for continuing relevance to the curriculum.
    3. Individual serial titles whose annual subscription rate increases more than 20% for titles with subscription rates less than $200.00, or 15% for titles with subscription rates greater than $200.00 within a single year will be reviewed by the Serials subcommittee for continuation. The primary criteria for continuation will be curricular relevance (based upon departmental response and usage statistics).
      1. Identified titles will be sent to affected department/s who will have the opportunity (2 weeks) to recommend retention or an appropriate replacement.
    4. Preference for archival storage will be determined by the Serials subcommittee as determined by continuing "value" to the collection and/or discipline. The archival quality of microformats has been well established; for electronic resources there is considerable debate. Most "core" serials will be archived in microformat until further assurance of electronic formats, including format transferability, is available. This will mean that some titles will have archival duplicates (in both microform and electronic media).
  3. Donations:
    1. LR&TS welcomes donation subscriptions to serial titles (in particular, journals) from faculty, departments, alumni, and other interested parties. Such donations will be retained as "2 year current" (most recent 24 months) until value to collection and consistency of donation can be determined by the Serials subcommittee.
    2. Donations where the subscription is sent directly to LR&TS are preferred over donations that are forwarded to LR&TS from an individual on an intermittent basis. In the latter case, it is incumbent upon the donator to assure timely delivery to LR&TS. Issues not received within six (6) months of publication may diminish their value to users.
    3. Donations of volumes of serial titles (runs of several years or complete series) will be evaluated for completeness and value to the collection/curriculum.
    4. Serial titles not accepted by LR&TS will be sent to the Serials Exchange at Minitex.

Public Service for Serial Collections:

  1. Holdings List/Subject listing for periodicals

    [Note: The issue of a holdings list, identifying journals owned (issues and formats) by LR&TS, needs to be addressed both for the local campus and within MnLINK. The historic printed holdings list is valuable to individuals who are in the Learning Resources Center, but for remote patrons or for fulltext resources acquired in recent years is less so.

    An electronic, Web accessible serial holdings database could be designed and developed (which could generate a printed copy), but at some cost for design and development. This would be separate from the integrated library system and would not be well integrated into statewide access. At best this would be an interim solution until finalizing MnLINK "System X" with DRA. The latter would provide a more stable and broadly accessible solution, but vendor intentions need to be understood.

    Certainly, integrating the holdings list (for both print and electronic serials, and with tracings for title changes and indexing access) directly into the library catalog would increase regional and statewide access. The impact upon cataloging staffing requirements needs to be considered.]

This document was created by the Serials Collection Subcommittee. Parts of the document were drawn from the Policy for Selection and Management of Digital Resources created by the Digital Resources Subcommittee.

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