Expanding Online Only Journals - FAQ

 

What is the online only initiative?

The ever increasing percentage of journals available electronically, the growing number of publishers offering price breaks for electronic only subscriptions, the predominance of electronic journal usage, and the extent of budget challenges for FY 2014/2015 necessitate the move of a number of journal subscriptions to electronic only. The Libraries will post updates on the process of moving titles to electronic only to this site.

What is e-only access?

The Libraries maintains a subscription to the online format of the journal but does not purchase additional print copy subscriptions.

Why are the Libraries moving journals to e-only?

The percentage of journals available electronically is large and continually increasing (98% of NCSU LibrariesÂ’ journals are available electronically) and the electronic version is rapidly becoming the acceptable format for journal publication. For the majority of publishers the electronic version is the version of record. This environment combined with the growing number of publishers offering price breaks for electronic only subscriptions, the predominance of electronic journal usage, and the extent of budget challenges for FY 2014/2015 necessitate the move of a number of journal subscriptions to electronic only.

How much will the Libraries save by moving to e-only?

The Libraries estimates a one time savings on average of 5-10% of the current print and electronic subscription costs, but it will vary from publisher to publisher. While the savings by moving to online-only subscriptions and cancelling the print counterpart can only be realized once, there are downstream savings associated with processing the print materials (e.g., receipt and processing, shelving, binding, circulation, stacks maintenance).

What criteria will the Libraries use to decide to move to e-only access?

Most importantly, the Libraries is working under the guidance of the University Library Committee and in consultation with the NC State community. In addition, the Libraries takes into account the following:

  • Quality of electronic edition: The Libraries’ criteria for converting subscriptions to electronic-only are designed to assure that the electronic version is the full scholarly equivalent of the print edition. In most cases both PDFs and HTML versions of articles are published online
  • Archival Rights: the license terms grant perpetual access to the volumes/years or titles subscribed
  • Digital Preservation: the publisher participates in the Portico, LOCKSS, or CLOCKSS digital preservation programs
  • ILL Provisions: the license terms grant the right to supply interlibrary loan (ILL) requests from the online version of the journal
  • Feedback from faculty about the importance of electronic and print journals in their disciplines, the nature of journal use in their departments, and individual titles where there is interest in retaining print formats.

Which journals are under consideration?

To meet the criteria described above the Libraries will pursue electronic only subscriptions to journals from a subset of publishers that we feel confident meet those requirements. Those publishers are:

  • American Accounting Association (AAA)
  • American Phytopathological Society (APS)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
  • Cambridge University Press

How is the Libraries ensuring long term archiving of these journals?

The NCSU Libraries only considers relying on electronic access after first confirming that a publisher has a strong archiving program in place. Each of the publishers referenced above meet the following criteria:

  • License describes archiving arrangements governing campus access to the journal titles
  • Arrangements have been made that guarantee ongoing access to back issues if the Libraries cancels a subscription in the future
  • Backup servers are in place to provide ongoing access if there is a failure of their main server and archives are deposited with third parties to ensure that content will remain available in the event of the demise of the publisher

How can I tell which journals are affected by this change?

All journals and holdings are included in the Libraries’ Journal List. Due to varying subscription dates for publishers, the print issues will cease at different times throughout the year. The majority of the print issues for journals included in this changeover will cease by the end of 2014.

How do the online formats compare to the print formats of these journals?

The Libraries’ criteria for migration to electronic-only are designed to assure that the electronic version is the full scholarly equivalent of the print edition. In most cases both PDFs and HTML versions of articles are published online. At a minimum PDFs are provided. Many publishers of e-journals also utilize the capabilities of the electronic environment to go beyond images of print pages and provide added features such as sounds, video clips, or links to other electronic information sources.

With the occasional exception of advertising, editorial information, and/or cover art, all of the content of the paper format also is available online. In many cases online formats of electronic journals are available before the receipt of print publications, and many publishers offer free table of contents notification services which alert you via e-mail when a new journal issue becomes available.

What happens if e-only access ends?

The publishers under consideration for e-only guarantee ongoing online access to their journals as part of our subscription license agreements. If the NCSU Libraries cancels its e-only subscription for a journal by one of these publishers, the NCSU faculty, students, and staff will continue to have access to all the journal issues published during the period covered by our subscription.

In addition to licensed subscriptions with publishers, the NCSU Libraries participates in multiple independent, non-profit electronic archiving initiatives: Portico, LOCKSS, or CLOCKSS.