From Herding Cats to All Your Ducks in a Row, or: the Further Adventures of Martha in E-journals Land

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2005

Publication Title

inFIRE Annual Conference


Note: this abstract was for a presentation originally scheduled for the 2004 inFIRE Conference in Perth, Australia, and describes an earlier version of the presentation.

Up a Creek? Here's a paddle, or: How not to drown in the e-journal ocean.

Hopefully an entertaining and enlightening presentation on coping with the flood of electronic journals.

I will look at how we dealt with e-journals the "old" way -- in the online catalog, on web lists, using vendor-supplied solutions and union listing.

Then explain what we are doing now and how we are moving forward, with some possible directions for the future.

Topics will include:

(The Creek)

Interlibrary Loan Considerations

Collaboration between Tech Services and User Services

Catalog records -- single record vs. multiple records

Attempting to keep current with title changes, new titles, changing dates of coverage

Publisher collections vs. Aggregators

Linking to the web list from the catalog

One-stop shopping -- yes and no

Workflows involved with incorporating aggregator bib records in the catalog

Quality of vendor-supplied bib records

Budget problems -- what to do, and how?


(The Paddle)

Vendor-supplied E-journal management solutions: Serials Solutions vs. EBSCO AtoZ; 1CATE, TDnet

The promise vs. the reality -- Every silver lining has a cloud

Educating the users (including library staff)

Other options -- Link Resolvers, Federated Search Engines, Add-on software for the library catalog

This will not be a research article, but a detailed view of real world strategies and methods. I will focus on the products we use or have used in the past: Endeavor's Voyager, ENCompass, and LinkFinderPlus; Serials Solutions and EBSCO AtoZ; MS Access; ABI/INFORM, InfoTrac, JSTOR, ScienceDirect, etc.