SIO Library Electronic Journal Study
... One Year Later

Susan Berteaux, Peter Brueggeman, Shelley Shaffer, Brandon Oswald

SIO Library conducted the electronic journal study to find answers to these questions: Results of the SIO Library electronic journal study, 1999 and 2000:
Data (6-week study)
No. of publishers represented
No. of unique Journal Titles
No. of print issues received
When print issue was checked-in, 
the electronic journal issue available was
35 % 
48 %
When print issue was checked-in, 
the electronic journal issue available was
49 %
46 %
When print issue was checked-in, 
the electronic journal issue available was
6 %

A year ago, SIO Library felt that the timeliness of electronic journal issues was sufficient to address cancellation of selected print subscriptions with its academic community. A year later, this study reports even more timely appearance of ejournal issues. During that time, SIO Library developed a cancellation strategy with input from its academic advisory committee; that strategy identified print subscriptions to cancel in the years ahead and is buttressed by this study. This fiscal year, print titles were cancelled in lieu of ejournals in order to better position resources for continuing subscriptions.

As this study indicates, an ejournal issue number is available to our users ahead of our receipt of the corresponding print issue number either by days or weeks or by one or more issue numbers --- 94% of the 174 titles in this study. A year ago, it was 84% of the 139 titles studied so the timeliness of ejournal publishing has improved sufficiently that SIO Library is comfortable with dropping print subscriptions in lieu of ejournal access.

SIO Library is a branch library of a public university library (University of California San Diego) that is itself part of a statewide multicampus university (University of California). These two over-arching consortia have licensed ejournals accessible by SIO without new commitments from SIO Library funds. For SIO Library, print titles to cancel in the years ahead would meet two conditions: available electronically and also in print in other UCSD library collections; and, subject area not a collection strength for SIO Library compared to sister campus libraries, e.g. molecular biology, cellular/developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry, general chemistry.

SIO Library's position as a University of California systemwide resource library for marine science puts marine-oriented titles off the list since they are an archival resource. In addition, non-marine earth science and other journals at SIO Library that are not within collection strengths for sister campus libraries are also off the list for now.

For this grouping of prospective title cancellations, first cancellations would be the more expensive titles and/or the lower interest titles (by user survey). Later cancellations would be inexpensive annual reviews, titles with high definition photographs/illustrations, and titles for which SIO Library has a collection strength (even though duplicating with sister campus libraries), e.g. microbiology and comparative physiology.

Many other marine science libraries are also branch libraries of a university library and part of a multicampus university system. They can use this study and SIO Library's strategy for review and comparison with their own strategy.

More information about SIO Library's electronic journal study is available:

  1. Going electronic? Receipt of print journal issues and their electronic availability.

  2. Paper presented at the 1999 IAMSLIC conference is online at:
  3. Comparing Print Receipt and Electronic Availability of Journal Issues"

  4. Paper presented at the 1999 Internet Librarian conference; discusses public services aspects of e-journals.
  5. Forthcoming article in Serials Librarian compares 1999 and 2000 data.
  6. Contact the authors:

  7. Susan Berteaux,
    Peter Brueggeman,

Poster presented at the 2000 IAMSLIC Conference, Victoria, BC, Canada

© Copyright 2000, Susan Berteaux. Established 25 Sep 2000; last revision 16 Oct 2000