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Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library -- New Orleans
Expanded Access to Electronic Journals
Today most libraries are debating whether or not to receive all journals electronically, how many to keep in print format, and where their patrons' needs fit in this situation. However, many libraries would not have dreamed of the problems the LSUHSC Library faced over the past year: inability to access the collection for many months, patrons scattered throughout the state, and the ongoing trials of erratic mail delivery. To help alleviate many of these problems, the Library has radically expanded its offering of online journals.
The benefits of providing increased electronic access to journals are numerous. Those patrons throughout the state who may be unable to visit the library can quickly and easily find many of the articles they need. Also, this has alleviated the problem of slow and erratic delivery of print issues. The Library's increased online journal coverage also greatly complements the myriad full-text databases (link removed) available to our patrons.
The Library chose to subscribe to the electronic version in lieu of the print edition for most titles. We also purchased the archives to numerous journals, in some cases now providing coverage for the entire run of a title (like Lancet from 1823 to the present). The following are but a few highlights of our increased online offerings over the past year:
ScienceDirect (link removed): patrons now have access to 2,077 journals, many with complete coverage to the title's start
Science (link removed): full-text available from 1997
Blackwell's Synergy (link removed): increased access to back issues of all subscribed journals
Titles from Nature, Thieme, the American Diabetes Association, Sage, and other publishers join those available from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Wiley, and Springer
Added online access to 38 titles in the Annual Reviews series covering topics in biomedical, physical, and social sciences which were provided by the company for 2006-2007 as a gift.
There are a number of ways to access the Library's online journals. One method is to look up the title you need in the Library's catalog, Innopac (link removed). If an online version is available, you will see a link with the statement "Access this title fromů" that includes the source of the electronic coverage as well as the years you can access. You can also browse and search online journals directly through JSTOR (link removed), ScienceDirect (link removed), MDConsult (link removed), Synergy (link removed), and Mosby's Nursing Consult (link removed).
The approaching new year brings with it the need for the Library to renew its subscriptions. As more publishers offer their titles online, our journal collection continues to transform. We plan to supplement our electronic-only subscriptions with more titles available online only in 2007. However, this does not mean our print titles will disappear completely. Some publishers offer online access only when bundled with a print subscription, and others do not offer their journals online. Further, we are committed to changing to electronic subscriptions only when the online version is at minimum comparable to the print editions and the publishers safeguard continued access to back issues.
We hope that we do not face a situation that initiated many of the changes in our journal collection this past year, but we do strive to provide the greatest amount of resources to all of our patrons. Increasing the ability of our users to access titles wherever they are through subscriptions to online journals is but one part of our continued service to the LSUHSC community.
-- Rebecca Bealer (link removed)