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Serial Publications Section


The IFLA Serial Publications Section and Reference Work Section will co-sponsor a workshop titled:

«Electronic Journals: How They are Changing Our Lives»

on Thursday, 7 August from 13:30-17:30
The workshop is #176 in the IFLA Programme

This workshop will examine the impact of electronic journals on a number of library activities:

  • Selection of titles for a library
  • How e-journals are packaged and distributed
  • Licensing and rights management
  • Workflow in Acquisitions and Cataloging
  • Reference and Public Services work

A panel representing six libraries will present their perspectives on these topics. Instead of formal presentations, however, we have prepared the following questions for the panelists to answer. These same questions will then be asked of the audience, encouraging them to share their experiences.

The following is a list of the questions. We ask you to look them over and join us in what should be an exciting way to share information on how e-journals have changed life in your institution.

  1. Where did you first notice that "life as you knew it" was changing because of e-journals and you would need to make some changes in your library’s workflow?
  2. How did you go about deciding what changes you were going to make? Was it the decision of one department? Was it only one department affected? Who was brought into the discussions/decisions or did only one or two people make the decisions?
  3. Who handles licensing negotiations for your library’s e-resources? Bibliographers? Acquisitions Dept? The accounting office within the university? Other?
  4. Are e-resources handled in a separate department of the library or are they included with other journals in other formats?
  5. How have you gone about managing the processing of e-journals in your library?
    • Have you created an in-house system?
    • Can you use your library information system or some other commercially available system to do this?
    • Were there financial considerations that influenced your decision? If financing was not an issue, do you think you might have made a different choice?
    • What would be your recommendation to a library just starting out to work with e-journals?
  6. Have you found that commercial subscription agents are useful and/or helpful in sorting out e-journal management problems?
    • How does your library deal with e-journals contained in aggregator databases?
  7. If you maintain an e-journal database in your library in addition to an online public catalog, do you provide full cataloging for e-journals in addition to an e-journal database?
    • How was the decision to do so or not reached?
    • Are all staff members authorized to process e-journals? How did you train them?
    • Would you change your decision if you were making this decision today rather than several years ago?
  8. If you retain e-journals both in paper and electronic formats, how do you represent them in your online public catalog?
  9. What impact, if any, has having e-journal subscriptions had on your policies and practices regarding the binding of paper journal issues of these titles?
    • Are there any efforts towards shared cataloging of electronic journals within your country? If so, what are the benefits for your library and/or the library user?
  10. How are electronic journals/serials included in national bibliographies – together with printed resources or separately?
  11. How are remote access continuing resources included in the national bibliographic system? In the library’s online public catalog (OPAC)?
  12. What has been the effect of e-journals on public services staff (reference, circulation, interlibrary loan, etc.)? What changes have they needed to make in how they present information, conduct bibliographic instruction, aid library patrons in their searches?
  13. What feedback have you had from library users with regard to access to e-journals? Have you changed any previous decisions based on their feedback?

Marjorie E. Bloss
Chair, Serial Publications Section


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