For better or for worse: The joys and woes of e-journals

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6 Scopus citations


As electronic journals, or e-journals, have become more prevalent, publishers, libraries, and users have all had to adapt to a new paradigm, to new methods for publishing, acquiring, providing access to, preserving, and searching for research articles. Publishers offer new and constantly changing subscription and pricing models, and the prices of many commercial journals have been increasing at rates far exceeding the rate of inflation. The resulting budget crunch has driven significant changes in the way libraries develop their collections as they strive to reformulate their traditional role as provider and preserver of information. Some libraries are working more in consortium with other libraries to purchase large bundled journal packages now offered as one of the new subscription models developed by publishers. While this appears to be a win-win situation for libraries and users in the consortium, potential drawbacks to e-journals and the big bundled packages may impact libraries and researchers alike: This study investigates some of the potential effects of a move toward e-journal only collections, large bundled journal packages, and consortial purchasing including archival, economic, content, and research impact issues. Future predictions are difficult in the current, rapidly changing scholarly publishing environment, but a number of initiatives provide hope for the future of academic libraries and their users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-53
Number of pages21
JournalScience and Technology Libraries
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Big deal
  • Collection development
  • Consortia
  • E-journal
  • Electronic journal
  • Scholarly communication


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