Electronic journals must be appropriate to our collections. The same selection criteria apply to electronic journals as to paper journals. Journals are selected based on their ability to support the research, teaching, and outreach activities of The University of Alabama; they must be of a scholarly nature or likely to advance scholarly research or university programs. Electronic versions of journals we subscribe to in paper are obvious candidates.
Generally, electronic journals are funded through normal serials lines. This means that new e-journal subscriptions or titles requiring additional funding must be balanced by cancellation of other serials or by identification of new funding.
Preference should be given to journals which have a significant run of issues or commit to making a significant run of issues available full-text. Sample issues of e-journals are not appropriate additions to the collection. If a collection manager is unsure whether a publisher will be making future issues available, it is wise to query the publisher or check back after a few more issues have been published. Implications of access to archives should be fully explored.
Preference should be given to journals which are openly available to the campus community (either with or without campus registration). The requirement of individual registration or password access is generally not acceptable.
Licenses must be submitted for approval through the Libraries’ license review process.
Access to trial versions of journals will only be supported if ultimate selection of the title is deemed likely by the collection manager or Associate Dean for Collections. Titles which are available temporarily but which are expected to become inaccessible should not be added to the collection.
The Libraries’ cooperative/consortial arrangements may influence the outcome of this criteria.