Policy for the Withdrawal of Print Journal Volumes and Replacement with an Electronic Version
The University of Maryland Libraries recognizes the importance of electronic
information resources to students, faculty and staff in order to support
teaching and research. Many scholarly journals are now exclusively available
electronically, and UM users have responded enthusiastically to the increasing
number of electronic titles that have been made available through ResearchPort.
In acquiring electronic journal access, the Libraries have taken advantage of
publishers bundling journals into larger collections. As a result, the Libraries
are able to offer more full-text journals, the content of which would otherwise
only be obtainable to users through interlibrary loan. In addition to providing
access to more scholarly content, electronic journals are available to students
and faculty at their desktops, whether they are on campus or off. This access to
scholarly literature without the restrictions of time or place is very
The Libraries has built its journal collection, in support of the
University's teaching and research 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 in the campus Libraries has compelled the Libraries to
examine the feasibility of withdrawing print journal volumes and replacing them
with an electronic version.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate journal titles to determine
the suitability of replacing the print with an electronic version:
- 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.
- 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 UM 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 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.
- Perpetual access: The publisher/vendor must ensure stable, electronic access
through an acceptable interface for the entire run of content the Libraries 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 LOCKSS and Portico. It will not be acceptable for
the publisher/vendor to provide the Libraries a local file of journal content in
lieu of access to a hosting site. Journals collected in aggregated databases
will not be considered an acceptable substitute for a hosting site.
- Access: Access to journal content must be offered through IP authentication.
Remote access must be allowed with standard UM user name and password
- Licensing Terms: The license for electronic journal backfiles must allow for
simultaneous users, printing of content, interlibrary loan, and other reasonable
uses. The need for proprietary software hosted on the Libraries' local server to
access journal content is not acceptable.
- Usage Data: Vendors should provide regular usage data for the titles that
the Libraries purchase. The data should conform to industry standards in order
to be useful in assessing the utility of the Libraries' collections.
- Reliability and Technical Support: The speed of loading/accessing the
content must meet UM user's expectations. The publisher/vendor must provide
adequate technical support and clear lines of communication to resolve access
problems in a timely manner.