Scott Memorial Library

Information For

Library Collection Development Policy

Policy for the Withdrawal of Print Journal Volumes and Replacement with an Electronic Version

The Scott Memorial Library recognizes the importance of electronic information resources to Jefferson faculty, health care practitioners, staff and students in order to support teaching, research, and patient care. Many scholarly journals are now exclusively available electronically, and Jefferson users have responded enthusiastically to the increasing number of electronic titles that have been made available through Jeffline.

In acquiring electronic journal access, the Library has taken advantage of publishers bundling journals into larger collections. As a result, the Library is able to offer more full-text journals whose content would otherwise only be obtainable to Jefferson users through interlibrary loan. For example, as of January 2005 Scott Library subscribed to approximately 1,700 journals in print and 1,300 in electronic format. Currently, it reduced the number of print titles to 27 but now subscribes to more than 4,500 electronic journals. In addition to providing access to more scholarly content, electronic journals are also available to faculty and students at their desktops, whether they are on campus, in the hospital or at home. This access to scholarly literature without the restrictions of time or place is very beneficial.

The Library has built its journal collection, in support of the University and hospital’s needs, over the course of more than one hundred years. The overall integrity of the collection has always been and remains a high priority and until now print volumes were the only available archival resource and rarely discarded.

The increasing availability of electronic journal holdings for the entire run of a journal title and the current lack of additional physical space for print journal volumes housed on the second and third floors of the Library have compelled the Library to examine the feasibility of withdrawing older print journal volumes and replacing them with an electronic version.

With the guidance and support of the University Library Committee the following recommendations will be used to evaluate each journal title to determine the suitability of replacing the print with an electronic version:

  1. Completeness of content: The electronic version must include all articles, letters to the editor, announcements, supplements and conference proceedings that are found in the print copy. Advertisements are preferable to be included but not necessary.
  2. Quality of images, figures and pictures: The pictorial quality in the electronic version must be represented in a legible and desktop accessible format. The images and other graphics should compare favorably to the print version. Three quality designations will be utilized to ensure the image quality is of a reasonable standard to meet the needs of Jefferson users:
    • Acceptable: The quality in the electronic version meets or exceeds that of the print copy;
    • Questionable: The quality may or may not be acceptable. Library staff will consult with faculty or clinical experts to make a reasoned judgment.
    • Poor: The quality is unacceptable. The print copy will be retained until the publisher makes improvements to achieve an adequate standard.
  3. Perpetual access: The publisher/vendor must ensure stable, electronic access through an acceptable interface for the entire run of content the library has purchased. If the publisher goes out of business in the future or ceases to support the purchased content, there must be provisions in place for another publisher/vendor or a reputable third party to provide the journal content. Examples of third parties include national libraries, like the National Library of Medicine’s PubMedCentral, scholarly presses like Highwire Press or emerging preservation coalitions like Portico. It will not be acceptable for the publisher/vendor to provide the library a local file of journal content in lieu of access to a stable data source. Journals collected in aggregated databases will not be considered an acceptable substitute for a stable data source.
  4. Access: Access to journal content on Jefferson’s campus must be offered through (Internet Protocol) IP authentication. Remote access must be allowed with standard Jefferson user name and password authentication.
  5. Licensing Terms: The license for electronic journal backfiles must allow for simultaneous users, printing of content, interlibrary loan (see #6), and other reasonable uses. The need for proprietary software to access journal content is not acceptable.
  6. Resource Sharing: The license must allow interlibrary loan and document delivery of electronic journal content in compliance with the Fair Use Guidelines of the U.S. Copyright Law:
    • In all formats: paper and electronic copies
    • Using all delivery methods: mail, fax, and electronic delivery of electronic copies, and
    • In any possible combination of formats and delivery methods
  7. E-Reserve: The license must allow linking of electronic content with the Library’s electronic reserve and course management systems.
  8. Usage Data: Vendors should provide regular usage data for the titles that Jefferson purchases. The data should conform to industry standards in order to be useful in assessing the utility of Jefferson’s collections.
  9. Reliability and Technical Support: The speed of loading/accessing the content must meet Jefferson user’s expectations. The publisher/vendor must provide adequate technical support and clear lines of communication to resolve access problems in a timely manner.

Once the decision is made to replace bound volumes of a print journal with an electronic version, the Library will make a good faith effort to donate the volumes to another library, publisher or book wholesaler. If no home can be found for the volumes through a reasonable effort, the Library will recycle the volumes. The Library will not maintain withdrawn print volumes in a remote storage facility.

Approved by the University Library Committee November 24, 2008. Amendment about advertisements approved April 23, 2009.