E-Journals: Presentation & Access Issues
Access Issues ...
The Palatable Electronic Journal:
(or: Now That You Have Them, What Do You Do With Them ?)
Serving Out Access to End-Users
MacLennan, Coordinator, Serials & Cataloging
University of Vermont
ACRL-New England Chapter, Serials Interest Group -
May 14, 1998
Gutman Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Introduction: A Cultural Perspective on Information Technology
and the "Electronic Age" / A Stroll Through the Literature
E-Journals in the broader context of information technology and the
electronic age ; comparative cultural perspectives from the past twenty
years. Social and psychological views of computers, information
technology and civilization. A stroll through the literature (late 1970's
to the present)
|Late 70's/Early 80's
||Late 80's/Early 90's
|World of the Computer||Cohabiting with
|Computer Power and Human Reason||Connection, Community,
Content||Silicon Snake Oil|
|Human Interaction with Computers||Race to the Intelligent
State||Lost in Cyberspace|
|Living with the Computer||Toward an Information
Society||High Noon on the Electronic Frontier|
|Man and the Computer||Between Communication and
Information||Slaves of the Machine|
|Is the Computer a Tool?||Technology
2001||Data Smog: Surviving the Info. Glut|
|World that Could Be||Metaphysics of Virtual
Reality||Future Does Not Compute|
|Social Issues in Computing||Digital
Mantras||Moths to the Flame|
|Trapped in the Net|
|etc. ...||Falling Through the
Overview of E-Journal Offerings
So ... What is an E-Journal ??
Several categories of electronic serial literature can be identified
(adapted from the Introduction to
the Vanderbilt report on Access to Electronic Serials and Databases):
Characterized by an abundance of experimentation and few standards, the
current market includes commercial and non-commercial offerings from a
wide-range of publishers, aggregators, individuals.
- Individual e-journal titles -- either free or fee-based.
- Internet-accessible sites (aggregates of individual journal
titles), either made available on a subscription basis
by individual publishers (such as Project Muse and SpringerLink)
or made freely available by other entities (often by other libraries, such
as the CIC E-Journals Collection).
- CD-ROMs that aggregate titles, often with common subject
matter, such as some of the UMI/ProQuest
CD-ROM databases (citation indexes, with links to full-text).
- Web-based databases of journal literature, such as Ovid
Technologies' full text aggregation of STM journals or UMI's ProQuest Direct,
which link references to full-text article databases.
Individual journal titles are not easily identifiable as
discrete entities with separate URLs. Some matter from the print edition,
such as book reviews and letters to the editor, may be omitted. Title
content fluctuates, as titles are added and dropped.
- Online databases -- Web-based or not (such as LEXIS/NEXIS). Title
(these sources are adapted from an article by George Machovec, "Electronic
Journal Market Overview--1997", Serials Review 23, no. 2 (Summer
1997):31-44, or click on the sources that are listed below for additional
At the national and local levels (licensing issues as they pertain to
access and restrictions to access; presentation and training/orientation
issues for users)
Web sites and online catalogs -- maintaining two sources or one?
(connection between cataloging & systems; both areas may be responsible
for providing various access points to e-journals). Some examples:
Other Access Issues:
- Infrastructure for support: Hardware and Software (Z39.50
compatability for seamless navigation; CD-ROM drives; Web browser;
Adobe Acrobat software for (.pdf - Portable Data Format - files); quality
printers (color resolution) and/or mechanisms for downloading data.
- Perpetuity of Archives for electronic journals
Thoughts on the Future
More questions than answers:
Serials literature will evolve with an increasing
trend toward seamless navigation of citation sources to full-text materials.
The definition of "serials" will evolve and change. Are there metadata
solutions, such as the
Dublin Core evolving standard, for bringing electronic
resources under some kind of bibliographic control?
Librarians will have a stronger role to play as educators and
information mediators in instructing users to discern quality information
sources from less than quality information sources. Are there standards
that can be applied to teach users such skills?
(or: How should one know if Bobbi-Sue's web page, retrieved from the
Excite search engine, is just as viable a source as an article retrieved
from a citation database (such as Expanded Academic Index) with a
reference that points to the full-text source?)
As "effective users of electronic resources, we must learn to surf
the networks with ease and, on occasion, to swim in information, without
drowning in data" -- and all the while, protecting the rights of our
constituents in their access to information as the basis to knowledge,
research and learning.
CONSER Cataloging Manual, Module 31: Remote Access
Computer File Serials.
Cataloging Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines.
- Crawford, Walt and Michael Gorman. Future Libraries: Dreams,
Madness, & Reality. Chicago: American Library Association, 1995.
Cataloging Networked Resources in HOLLIS: Policies and Guidelines.
Harvard's Report of the HAAC Working Group on Cataloging Network-Based
- Hirons, Jean and Crystal Graham. "Issues Related to
Seriality," presented at the International Conference on the
Principles and Future Development of AACR, Toronto, October 1997.
- Kajosalo, Erja.
"Issues Related to Cataloging of Internet Resources," A paper
for LIS598 - Applications of Technology in Libraries - at the University
of Alberta, March 20, 1997.
- Knudson, Frances L., et al.
"Creating Electronic Journal Web Pages from OPAC records," in
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (Summer 1997).
Overview of processes and procedures at the Research Library of
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
- Library of
Congress Draft Interim Guidelines for Cataloging Electronic Resources.
- Machovec, George S. "Electronic
Journal Market Overview--1997," -- a fuller version of this article
appears in Serials Review 23, no. 2 (Summer 1997):31-44.
- Olson, Nancy, editor. Cataloging
Internet Resources: A Manual and Practical Guide. 2nd ed.
University at Buffalo. University Libraries Electronic Journals in the
UB Catalog and on the Libraries' Web Site, September 1996, General
Statement of Policy.
- Vanderbilt University Jean and
Alexander Heard Library. Report of the Joint Subcommittee on Access to
Electronic Serials and Databases.
Useful Discussion Lists