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Re: When is a Journal a Journal (Was Biomed Aggregators)

These questions are difficult indeed, and the answers perhaps will be
institution-specific.  First, I'll draw attention to the new capabilities
of Ebscohost to deliver charts as well as text for titles in that
aggregation database.  Can other services be far behind?  I think not.

Then, as to the inclusion of columns and letters in aggregation services, 
this surely will have to be evaluated.  These are important parts of
scientific dialogue and cannot be neglected.  At the same time, those of
us with perennially flat budgets serving largely undergraduate
populations may have to make some hard choices on what we can continue to
offer.  If we are not funded to support our institutions' research
activities, can we continue to provide coverage to this extent?  It may be
that what the aggregator provides will become the undergrad version of the
science journal, possibly augmented by document delivery services such as

To answer Ann's question concerning the capability of browsing by journal
titles in Lexis/Nexis, Dow-Jones, Ebscohost and Periodicals Abstracts,
yes, that capability is available on all these services.  But I'd agree
that the net effect of aggregating articles on fulltext services is to
break down the sense of the individual journal, since layout and some of
the particular features such as letters may be lacking.  

Probably the effect for the publisher of participating in these services
will be to ensure the individual subscription base, since the professional
in the field will need to continue to have access to the whole
publication, while teaching needs at the comprehensive university
probably can be satisfied by online text cum graphics for articles.  The
one subscription dropped by the library may well translate into several
individual ones placed by researchers.  This would certainly match the
pattern of increased sales following digital full text access experienced
by a few hardy publishers such as National Academy Press.  

Are these aggregation services offering journals?  I think I'll discuss
this with our new cataloger!  Are they offering highly desireable desktop
access to journal materials via the new web interfaces?  Yes indeed, and
if access is not to be offered through the library catalog, how can we
most effectively alert our users to this wealth of information available
to them?

Mary Kay
Humboldt State University Library

On Fri, 13 Mar 1998, Ann Okerson wrote:

> Below, I reproduce two extracts of messages:
> o from May Kay, who tells us about full text of journals avaiable through
> aggregators, but not accessible in the "usual sense" and
> o from David Goodman who says that this won't do, in part because of
> text-only features (though that could change quickly) but I suspect in
> part because through these aggregators, the journals are not accessible as
> journals, but rather as articles accessible through certain types of
> searches. That is, I'm not sure one could do a systematic search or a
> "browse" through, say, Science, via Lexis-Nexis, whereas one could do that
> through a subscription for the online version of Science. 
> Before this topic was raised, I had already observed that a number of of
> academic library web sites feature e-journal sections in which ejournal
> titles are listed.  Why, I asked myself, does my institution list only
> 1,000 items or so, while others list thousands?  The difference was
> simple: the bigger lists include titles out of aggregators (Lexis, Ebsco,
> UMI, etc.) databases and at my place we have not considered those as
> "real" journals even though they are included in these databases.  Well, I
> shouldn't quite say that; rather I should say that we simply haven't
> thought about it and it is now time to do so. 
> So, some of my questions are:
> 1.  Are the ejournals included in aggregators' databases *real?*
> 2.  How and how not?  For whom?
> 3.  Therefore, do they or do they not deserve to be enumerated in
>     in an ejournal list on our web sites?  
> 4.  Should they be catalogued as an ejournal in our online catalog? We
>     do catalog individual titles that we license or can access as
>     *individual*
>     titles.
> 5.  Do the aggregators supply bib records for these ejournals?  If not,
>     how did you get them into your lists or catalogs?
> 6.  Is the answer "it depends?"  If so, on what does it depend?
> We very much welcome your thoughts on this matter.
> Ann Okerson
> Yale University
> ________________________
> David Goodman wrote:
> >Lexis-Nexis and Dow-Jones do not offer full-text access for any journal
> >in the usual current sense; they offer the actual words of the text only,
> >** without ** the illustrations and tables. This of course completely
> >rules them out of serious consideration in the sciences and, according to
> >my colleagues, in essentially all other areas also.
> Mary Kay wrote:  
> >For those in pursuit of online access to Science:
> >
> >It's available fulltext on Lexis/Nexis 1983- , on Dow-Jones 1995- ,
> >and on Periodicals Abstracts fulltext file (which we subscribe here at
> >Humboldt) 1992- , according to the coverage lists.  I've accessed it on
> >DJ, could test the others if it would be helpful. 
> >
> >Ann Okerson asked me if I would share the biology titles I identified on
> >L/N and D/J, so I'll do that.  I excluded most biotechnology and other
> >forms of applied biology so someone else might come up with a more
> >expanded list.  Humboldt State has an environmental and ecological
> >focus, so I was looking for such titles.  
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