Selection Guidelines for Serials

Policy adopted August 1996


The serials collection provides materials for undergraduate and graduate student use and the specialized research resources for advanced graduate student and faculty use. The serials collection consists of journals accessible at the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center, locally-subscribed periodicals and standing orders, and open access electronic journals.

Because journals have traditionally been the primary vehicle of scholarly communication, they form a very prominent part of the general collection and absorb much of its budget.  Unless the University Libraries materials budget is sufficient to support new serial subscriptions, new subscriptions may be opened only if existing subscriptions of equivalent cost are cancelled.

Selection Criteria for Journals

In addition to the core selection criteria, the following criteria should be considered in reviewing a new journal subscription.

Where possible, electronic access, or electronic access with print, should be preferred to print only.  Subscriptions to print and electronic versions of the same title may be held. The print subscription should be cancelled when its use becomes low if we have determined that the publisher provides adequate archival access terms for the subscription period.  The University Libraries will add electronic access to a print subscription for titles where the added cost for electronic access is less than $100.  If the added cost for e-access exceeds $100 and the materials budget cannot absorb the additional cost, subscriptions will need to be cancelled to cover the added cost. 

Open access or other free electronic journals added to the library catalog should receive the same scrutiny as other journal subscriptions.

At this time, the University Libraries do not attempt to archive electronic journals for future access, but rely upon other sites to provide access to journal archives.  Perpetual access rights to subscribed content should be sought to allow for future archival access.

In addition to the core selection criteria, the following criteria should be considered in reviewing a new journal subscription:

  • Determine whether print or electronic version is the version of record for the journal, or if content in both is equivalent.
  • Inclusion of full text in and comprehensiveness of coverage by a database.  In general, do not duplicate current, comprehensive full text database journal coverage with a local subscription.
  • Indexing accessible at Bowling Green State University.
  • Perpetual electronic access rights to the subscribed content.
  • Search engine available on the publisher web site and/or indexing available at Bowling Green State University.
  • Full text of the journal available directly from the publisher web site.
  • Back issues available to subscribers, preferably from the publisher web site.
  • Software support necessary for journal access.
  • Articles available in HTML and/or PDF.
  • Reasonable cost, especially if print and electronic versions differ considerably in scope or coverage.
  • Do not purchase a subscription to any eJournal that OhioLINK is negotiating for, or that OhioLINK has made available.

Selection Criteria for Newspapers

The University Libraries seek to provide electronic access to online versions of newspapers according to the following criteria:

  • Selected major national newspapers which directly support teaching and research needs.
  • Selective coverage of predominant regional and local newspapers.
  • Selected Ohio and Michigan newspapers.
  • Major alternative press titles (e.g. the Village Voice).
  • International newspapers which support the curricular needs of the foreign language departments.
  • International newspapers which allow students from abroad to keep informed of events in their homelands. In most cases, the University Libraries subscribe to or accept gifts for only one newspaper from a given country.

Subscriptions to print newspapers are highly selective and limited to a few national, regional, and local newspapers.