Expanding Online Only Journals At NCSU Libraries

Frequently Asked Questions on Moving to E-only Periodical Access

The online only initiative

  1. What is e-only access?
  2. Why are the Libraries considering moving to e-only?
  3. How much will the Libraries save by moving to e-only?
  4. What criteria will the Libraries use to decide whether or not to cancel the print?
  5. What journals are under consideration?
  6. How is the Libraries ensuring long term archiving of these journals?
  7. How can I tell which titles are affected by this change?
  8. How do the online editions compare to the print editions of these titles?
  9. What happens if e-only access ends?

What is e-only access?


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

Why are the Libraries considering moving to e-only?


The percentage of journals available electronically is large and continually increasing (95% 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. Some publishers such as the American Chemical Society ( http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090617/full/news.2009.576.html) are dropping print production entirely.
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 2009/2010 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 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 is takes into account the following:

  • Quality of electronic edition: 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.
  • Archival Rights: the license terms grant perpetual access to the volumes/years or titles subscribed
  • Digital Preservation: does the publisher participate in the Portico, LOCKSS, or CLOCKSS digital preservation programs
  • ILL Provisions: do 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 they have interests in retaining print titles.

Which journals are under consideration?


To meet the criteria described in the previous question the Libraries has decided to focus on approximately 1100 journals from a subset of publishers that we feel confident meet those requirements. Those publishers are:

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Physical Society
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • BioOne
  • Blackwell
  • Brill
  • Cell Press
  • Duke University Press
  • Elsevier
  • Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • Mary Ann Liebert
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press
  • Nature
  • Oxford University Press
  • Palgrave Publishers
  • Project Muse
  • Sage Publications
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
  • Springer
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Wiley

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 details archiving arrangements governing campus access to the journal titles.
  • have made arrangements to guarantee ongoing access to back issues if the Libraries cancel a subscription in the future.
  • have backup servers to provide ongoing access if there is a failure of their main server
  • and have archives on deposit with third parties to ensure that content will remain available in the event of the demise of the publisher.

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


All journal titles 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 titles included in this changeover will cease by the end of 2009.

How do the online editions compare to the print editions of these titles?


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 eJournals 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 edition also is available online. In many cases online editions 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 title 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 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 subsriptions with publishers, the NCSU Libraries participates in multiple independent, non-profit electronic archiving initiatives: Portico, LOCKSS, and CLOCKSS.