Collection Development Electronic-Only Migration Policy
Introduction | CriteriaE-Only FAQ​

Last Updated: 5/9/07

Introduction

Print journals have traditionally been the only format available to libraries, and their longevity and utility have justified the very substantial investments made by the CMU Libraries in acquiring and preserving them. Now however, electronic journals are increasingly available. As of 2005/2006 the Libraries subscribed to 911 electronic-only periodicals, 1,412 periodicals in both print and electronic formats, and 1,973 in print-only.

The goal of the CMU Libraries is to selectively migrate its print and electronic subscriptions as well as its print-only subscriptions to electronic-only, so that by September 2008 70% of its periodical subscriptions are electronic-only.

In so doing, the Libraries’ want to ensure that it is collecting the full equivalent of the journal and can access the purchased electronic content in perpetuity. It is therefore important for the CMU Libraries to clarify the circumstances under which a subscription to only the electronic form of a journal is acceptable. Subject Librarians will work closely with affected departments in evaluating the appropriateness of such conversions for individual titles.

This policy is intended solely to evaluate when it is appropriate to collect only the electronic form of a journal or periodical, i.e., whether the print format of a title can be cancelled in favor of the online. This policy is not intended to evaluate whether a particular online source should be acquired or not.

Criteria

A print journal (or collection of journals) could be discontinued if the electronic equivalent meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Content: The online journal must contain at least the full scholarly content of the print equivalent. For instance, not only should it include all research articles, but it should also include content such as supplements (if included with the print journal subscription), letters, calls for papers and other professional announcements, editorials, job openings, and book reviews.
  2. Timeliness: The full content of each issue should be available online no later than publication of the print.
  3. Format: The electronic journal should be provided as PDF files or an equivalent full-image format identical to the print edition.
  4. Image and Graphics Quality: The quality of illustrative materials (photographs, tables, figures, artistic renderings, etc.) should be of a standard sufficient to meet intended use and should be at least the quality of such images in the print edition. Subject Librarianss will consult with appropriate departments and will not cancel print if departmental faculty have concerns about images.
  5. Vendor Reliability: The speed of loading/accessing content must meet CMU Libraries’ users’ expectations. Server downtime should be minimal. Vendors should provide ongoing access if there is a failure and technical assistance when needed.
  6. IP Access: Access to the electronic version should be provided via campus-wide IP address. Access provided should be compatible with Central Michigan university authentication systems.
  7. Printing and Downloading Capability: All content must be printable and downloadable.
  8. Stability: There must be a reasonable guarantee of the stability of the electronic journal. Since stability in aggregated databases cannot be guaranteed, such databases will not be considered a substitute for print journals as part of this process. Electronic journals must be subscribed to from the publisher or equivalent.
  9. Pricing: Migration to electronic-only should be cost effective.
  10. Perpetual access: The CMU Libraries must have perpetual access to all content paid for. The CMU Libraries’ are committed to providing our users long term and uninterrupted access to such materials. The CMU Libraries should have the same perpetual access to electronic materials we purchase as we have for our print materials without paying additional fees. However, the concept of “perpetual access” is difficult to pin down in the digital world. Terminology used in the literature also includes “ownership”, “sustainability”, and “archiving”. We will interchangeably use all terms except the last, which can be confused with the more general use of the term.

    In particular the CMU Libraries must have a guarantee of perpetual access to paid-for content if we subsequently cancel the electronic journal. Such access must be in the same manner (or equivalent) as provided when we subscribed. It is very important that access continue to be provided in this manner. Leasing of an electronic journal is not sufficient to allow for the cancellation of the print equivalent.

    Such “perpetual access” must be addressed in the license. Suggested language from various Model Licenses follows:

    X. PERPETUAL LICENSE: Licensor hereby grants to Licensee a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to use any Licensed Materials that were accessible during the term of this Agreement. Such use shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, which provisions shall survive any termination of this Agreement. Except in the case of termination for cause, Licensor shall provide the Licensee with access to the Licensed Materials in a usable format substantially equivalent to the means by which access is provided under this Agreement.

    From: MIT License Agreement for Electronic Resources. http://libstaff.mit.edu/colserv/digital/licensing/MITSLA.doc

    8.4 After termination of this Agreement (save for a material breach by the Licensee of its obligations under this Agreement) the Publisher will provide (at the option of the Licensee) the Licensee and its Authorised and Walk-in Users with access to and use of the full text of the Licensed Material which was published and paid for within the Subscription Period, either by i) continuing online access to archival copies of the same Licensed Material on the Publisher's server which shall be without charge …

    From: Model NESLi2 License for Journals. http://www.nesli2.ac.uk/NESLi2_Licence_NEW_final_vers_041005.htm.
    See also: National e-Journals Initiative. http://www.nesli2.ac.uk/model.htm

    XII. Perpetual License: Notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement, Licensor hereby grants to Licensee a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to use any Licensed Materials that were accessible during the term of this Agreement. Such use shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, which provisions shall survive any termination of this Agreement. The means by which Licensee shall have access to such Licensed Materials shall be in a manner and form substantially equivalent to the means by which access is provided under this Agreement.

    From: Standard License Agreement: Publisher and Regents of the University of California. http://www.cdlib.org/vendors/CDLModelLicense.rtf
    See also: Checklist of Points to be Addressed in a CDL License Agreement. http://www.cdlib.org/vendors/checklist.html

    Allowing the CMU Libraries to permanently store our purchased content in a system such as PORTICO (http://www.portico.org) with post-cancellation access will be considered a viable alternative to the above.

  11. License: The license must not be overly restrictive regarding local use; must allow off-campus use by authorized users and walk-in use by visitors; must not be overly restrictive regarding simultaneous users; must allow Interlibrary Loan of content and usage of content in both traditional print and electronic reserves; and allow cancellation of the print. All of the above as well as other licensing terms must be provided in a license for the CMU Libraries to review before a decision will be made.

For more information, please send an email message to the Director of Collection Development.​ 

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