Last updated: September 15, 2021
The library is withdrawing select print bound journals and reference items to make room for the Academic Commons on the main floor of Cook Library, expected to open in September 2022. Please review the information on this page and share any feedback.
Process and timeline
As members of the Cook Library Bound Journal Task Group, we will review reference volumes and print bound journals. We will decide whether to keep or withdraw each title based on criteria listed below and input from students, faculty and staff. Reference books that the library keeps will move to the Floors 4 and 5 of Cook Library by spring 2022. We will shelve these with the general collection. The Baltimore Hebrew Institute Reference collection will move to the Floor 2. Print bound journals will move to temporary storage beginning in fall 2021. Although these print volumes will not be available while in storage, you can request any articles we do not already have electronically from Interlibrary Loan.
Defining bound journals and reference items
Reference items, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, are items that are used quickly. These items stay in the library and cannot be checked out.
Print bound journals
Journals contain articles and are usually released in issues over time. Traditionally, libraries used print versions and would bind them to help them last longer. Increasingly, journals are available electronically (as “e-journals”).
A volume is an item out of a set that looks like a book. For reference items, an example is an encyclopedia volume covering a section of the alphabet. For a print bound journal, a volume in a set would include one or several issues of the journal.
A journal run is a series of issues in order. For example, if we have all journal issues from the first issue to the current issue, that is a complete run of the entire journal. Sometimes we change our subscriptions to meet your needs, so we may not have all issues.
Back runs of print volumes
A back run is part of a journal run from a specific issue backward. For example, a journal may be available electronically from issue 10 forward, but issues 1-9 may only be available in print.
Reasons for withdrawals
Print Reference volumes
We are withdrawing these because we need space on the main floor for the Academic Commons. Additionally, use of print reference is low. Most people access these types of items electronically. When we purchase new Reference material, we purchase mostly electronic copies.
Print bound journals
Journals contain articles and are usually released in issues over time. Traditionally, libraries used print versions and would bind them to help them last longer. Increasingly, journals are available electronically (as “e-journals”). Most of our print bound journals are covered electronically, through either archives or current e-journal subscriptions and databases. Journal articles not covered electronically are available through interlibrary loan.
Since use of print journal volumes is dropping as things become electronic and print journals take up a lot of space, many academic institutions now envision other uses for the space. See examples from academic institutions with similar projects:
- What to Withdraw? Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization (Schonfeld & Housewright, 2009)
- Rules of thumb for deselecting, relocating, and retaining bound journals (Thomas & Shouse, 2012)
- A Serials Withdrawal Project at the University of Rhode Island University Libraries (Gallagher & Rathemacher, 2012)
- Journal Weeding Project at the University of Louisville: A Case Study (Goldberg & Sproles, 2018)
Criteria for Withdrawing Print Bound Journal Volumes
Bound volumes to withdraw
We plan to withdraw print bound volumes we have that:
- are available in archival packages, such as JSTOR or Periodical Archives Online (PAO).
- are available in databases we subscribe to with a reasonable amount covered electronically.
- are short or incomplete journal runs, even if these are not available electronically. For example, if we have issues 1, 3, and 7 of a journal, that is an incomplete run. If we have issues 1, 2, and 3, but the journal issues continue to 30, that is a short run.
- were cancelled or ceased before 1999, even if not available electronically.
Print bound volumes to keep
We plan to keep print bound volumes we have that:
- we still subscribe to in print, unless available in archival packages.
- are back runs of print bound volumes for current e-subscriptions, unless a reasonable amount is available in archival packages or subscription databases.
- were cancelled after 1999 and not available electronically.
Print bound volumes to decide on a case-by-case basis
We will decide on a case by case basis for print bound volumes that:
- are not available electronically and are not cancelled or ceased before 1999.
- contain graphic images, e.g. art journals.
- are not held by any other USMAI library.