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New Mexico State University


You spoke and we responded. Last month when the NMSU Library sent out final lists from our serials review project to the campus community, proposing serial titles to add and to cancel, we received quite a few concerned phone calls and e-mails in response. More than several faculty members were anxious about specific titles slated for cancellation. We listened to your concerns and we were able to respond.

Fortunately, we have electronic access to many of the titles slated for cancellation (e.g., Review of Educational Research; Cognition and Instruction; Philosophical Transactions, Series A; Journal of Womenís History) either via our fulltext databases or through a direct link. Therefore, although we are canceling the print subscription we will retain access to the content of the journal. In a few instances we made the difficult decision to go forward with subscription cancellations for titles of concern (e.g., Journal of Plasma Physics). We based our decision on several important factors: price increase, low usage and relevance of the title to current curricular and research needs. In some cases, we opted to retain specific titles based on faculty membersí unease with plans for cancellation (e.g., Critical Reviews in Toxicology; Journal of Paleontology; Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Science; Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology, etc.). We have removed these titles from the Titles to be Canceled.

One of the goals of the project was to align our serials collection with current research and curricular needs. We have made progress towards this goal by adding 70 much-needed titles to the Libraryís collection and through canceling many titles faculty no longer deemed necessary for our collection. As the result of this project the Library realized that it needed to create a new framework for our serials fund structure. Throughout the SCRAP project, we realized that our current model of allocating serial titles to specific departments interferes with our ability to assess and meet research needs across campus due to the interdisciplinarity of scholarly communications. Much of the controversy over serial titles slated for cancellation surfaced because departments differed in their valuation of a serial title, some wishing to cancel, others wanting to retain. In the coming year we hope to move to a broader disciplinary model that not only acknowledges common interests among academic departments and research clusters but also respects departmental needs. Although not a goal, our project revealed the urgent need for electronic journal backfiles and other digital collections. We are currently working on adding these much-needed collections with one-time funds and will be announcing their acquisition soon.

Finally, we want to thank you for participating in the NMSU Library Serials Collection Review and Assessment Project and appreciate your continued interest in the Library. Please direct any questions or comments about this project to Susan E. Beck, Collection Development Coordinator (646-6171 or or your library subject specialist.