Serials Review 2006
Letter to Deans and Faculty Chairs
April 5, 2006
TO: Georgia Tech Academic Deans & Chairs
FROM: Richard Meyer - Dean & Director of Libraries
SUBJECT: Journal Subscriptions
The need to address library budget issues, as well as continuing research and programmatic changes within the Institute, requires a new review cycle of our journal subscriptions. This review will benefit from faculty input in assigning priorities to determine the best titles to retain in order to ensure that we have a collection that benefits students, researchers and faculty needs. Furthermore, the cancellation of less needed titles may provide opportunities to purchase more essential resources for the Georgia Tech community.
Price projections for 2007 lead us to believe that we will continue to experience a serials 'inflation' rate of 8 - 10 %. With the cost of scholarly journals rising much faster than the overall rate of inflation and the number of journals proliferating, university libraries around the nation are facing a "serials crisis" - often they simply cannot afford to maintain past levels of journal subscriptions. Cost increases for academic journals have been well documented, thanks especially to the annual statistics compiled over many years by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Among ARL member libraries in the period 1986-2003, the price per subscription of serials rose by 215%. Notably, the Consumer Price Index rose by only 68% during the same period. In this situation, cancellations are often necessary. Implicit in this process is the concept that serial cancellations will release sufficient funds to cover the anticipated inflation on the remaining core journals, to support the continued purchase of essential electronic databases and to preserve some dollars for monograph purchases.
Each school/department is being asked to evaluate the journal subscriptions in their core area, and also in areas where there is strong interdisciplinary crossover. Faculty will then have ample opportunity to review the titles identified for possible cancellation and to provide feedback to the library. An explanatory letter to all faculty will be sent out soon. The letter will outline the process and timeline for the review. Title lists for review will be sent the week of April 10 th . (A title list of all Georgia Tech journals will also be posted on the web, for reference.) Schools will need to review the lists by May 8, 2006 . The title lists will contain information on cost, ranking/impact, and local article counts/citation data. Faculty input is critical to our making well-informed decisions and your collaboration is greatly appreciated. An essential part of the process is to ask you, and your school/department, to identify the journal titles essential for your school's teaching and research activities, before any decisions on cancellations are made. The lists of titles that are overpriced or diminished in value, and are identified as possible candidates for cancellation, will then be posted on the web and sent to each school/department chair in July.
We hope the collaborative process will preserve those journals that are most important to the Institute. We continue to make progress on alternative methods of accessing scholarly information. Improved resource sharing, cooperative subscriptions, electronic subscriptions, and collaborative projects among universities and learned societies help us provide more acceptable solutions to coping with the rising costs of academic journals. The support of the faculty helps assure that we meet your needs effectively.
Along with the title lists, the Serials Review webpage (http://www.library.gatech.edu/serialsreview.htm) provides extensive information on the review process and timeline, on the crisis in scholarly communication, and on available alternatives such as open access initiatives.
If you have concerns or questions about the project, please contact:
Richard Meyer - Dean and Director of Libraries - (404)-894-8914 - email@example.com
Or the Georgia Tech Library & Information Center Serials Review Committee :
Nancy Simons - Head, Collection Development & Chemistry Librarian - (404)-894-1387 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Critz -Asst. Dept. Head, Information Services Department & Life Sciences/Engineering Librarian - (404)-385-4392 - email@example.com
The schedule for this process is as follows :
January/February/March, 2006 : The library gathered and collated data and developed preliminary lists of titles.
Week of April 10, 2006 : Title lists will be sent to school/department chairs and will be posted on the web. Each school/department will review the title lists and rate the titles, as specified in the instructions which will accompany the lists. Certain titles will be exempt from review, and will be marked as such on the lists.
May 8, 2006 : Schools/departments return reviewed title lists to the library. The 'ranking' list needs to be returned as one, unified list. Comments from individuals - on any or all journals - are welcome and appreciated; however the ranking list needs to reflect the overall 'School/Department Voice'. Each school/department can determine the best mechanism to provide us with this information, based on their particular circumstances.
July, 2006 : A complete list of all proposed cancellations will be available for faculty review.
August 15, 2006 : Faculty return any additional comments/requests to the library.
August 31, 2006 : GA Tech Library processes titles slated for cancellation.
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