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Cataloging 'free' web materials

It would be bad news for open access journals and the emerging open access
movement in general, if free (at the point of use) web material that is
'catalogable' were to be ignored, catalogically. Cataloging should not
depend on the nature of publishing business models for the material, or
the medium in which it is presented, but the relevance of the material to
be included.

Jan Velterop
Publisher, BioMed Central

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hamaker, Chuck [mailto:cahamake@email.uncc.edu]
> Sent: 31 July 2002 23:26
> To: Liblicense-L (E-mail)
> Subject: some meandering questions.
> I've just recently had a question from a colleague in another library
> about "cataloging"  "free" web materials.
> I know its probably off topic and maybe belongs on some other listserv,
> but we certainly touch on issues of selection of electronic resources,
> which leads to questions about access to those resources.
> Some libraries do not catalog electronic resources at all. I'd be
> interested if there are written policies forbidding such material being
> cataloged.
> Others catalog electronic resources, but do not include aggregator
> journals. Are there real policies, for such decisons- or are they a
> reflection of the unresolved technical demands that handling them would
> mean.
> Still others catalog purchased or leased from publisher or "direct"
> sources-but ignore secondary sources. Practice or policy? Why
> I'd be interested in philosophies, practices or policies that include
> selecting AND CATALOGING free web related material for the collections.
> Many librarians seemed to be opposed to it. -though I haven't seen a
> formal we don't want it statement, tech services librarians in various
> libraries have mentioned this to me. And in some instances cataloging
> departments dont want to handle them either.
> Then there are I think literally hundreds of Internet journals, often peer
> reviewed, AND for instance indexed in standard indexes.  Over a hundred
> titles-my estimate- are indexed in CINAHL for example, and are available
> free on the web. If you are supporting Nursing, do you consider those too
> for cataloging if they meet institutional needs? Or are they out of bounds
> for either technical (i.e. support for cataloging) or philosophical
> reasons?
> What is the philosophical justification - or is it a technical issues for
> look here on our web pages if they are "free" look here in our opac for
> traditonally cataloged items Or look in the OPAC if they are physical
> entities but elsewhere if they aren't or only go to our opac if we "paid"
> for it???
> Chuck