Serials and Journals

Protecting serials and journals titles has been a key priority for EAST from its conception. Starting in 2016, a group of 21 EAST Serials and Journals Retention Partners agreed to participate in a project to analyze titles held across the group and agree on rules for which titles to retain for the EAST retention period of 15-years. To support this work EAST contracted in early 2017 with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) to provide collection comparison reports.

The first phase of this analysis from 2017-2018 focused on developing retention rules for titles held by 4-6 participating libraries. In 2018, a second phase of the project was begun starting with a group of a new cohort of 11 EAST Serials and Journals Retention Partners who agreed a set of retention rules for the titles they owned in the 4-6 holdings category. All 32 Serials and Journals Retention Partners have gone on to agree retention rules for more widely-held titles, those held by 7-28 participating libraries. EAST is currently focused on agreeing retention rules for titles held by 3 or fewer participating libraries.

Phase 1 Project  - “medium rare” titles

In November 2016, the EAST Executive Committee appointed a Serials and Journals Working Group, representing almost half of the Serial/Journal Retention Partners. This Group was tasked with developing retention rules for serials and journals titles. After investigating different approaches taken by other shared print programs and surveying the EAST membership, the Working Group made the decision that in order to make retention decisions they needed to analyze the collective collection. To support this work the EAST Executive Committee in the Spring of 2017 approved a proposal from the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) to provide collection comparison reports.

Of the then 48 Cohort 1 partners, 21 libraries agreed to participate in a pilot project with CRL. CRL provided spreadsheet reports that showed holdings overlap, subjects, languages, electronic availability, OCLC WorldCat holdings, availability in JSTOR, format, and retention commitments from other shared print programs. This data was loaded into the visualization software Tableau to assist the Working Group in analyzing the plethora of data provided.

After reviewing these reports, the Working Group decided to look more closely at journals and serials titles held by 4-6 of the participating libraries. These “medium rare” titles were considered to be most at risk of loss from the collective collection as libraries moved on to withdrawing these titles, having already weeded more widely-held titles. The following retention model was agreed:

  • Retain up to 3 holdings of titles held by 4-6 EAST Serial & Journal Retention Partners.
  • The 3 libraries with the deepest run of a title were allocated retention responsibility.
  • The following materials were excluded from retention consideration:

reference works

non-print format

guides indexes

monographic series

directory

government documents

loose-leaf reference work

newspapers

almanacs

JSTOR titles

fact books

handbooks

yearbooks

CRL applied the retention rules to the collective collection and allocated retention responsibility to individual libraries for titles that met the project parameters. The 21 serials and journals retention partners received their retention allocations in December 2017 and confirmed their final retentions in February-April 2018. Some of these libraries carried out shelf checks to confirm the titles were present and the physical holdings matched those recorded in the ILS.

Phase 2 Project - “medium rare” titles

In early 2018, EAST embarked on a phase 2 of its serials and journals project. The 21 Cohort 1 libraries were joined by a second cohort of 11 libraries who had agreed to be EAST Serial and Journal Retention Partners. EAST again contracted with the Center for Research Libraries to support the collection comparisons of this expanded group. A Cohort 2 Serial & Journals Working Group was appointed to analyze the collection data that was again loaded into Tableau.

In October 2018, the Cohort 2 libraries agreed on a retention model for their own “medium rare” titles that were held by 4-6 of the now 32 participating libraries:

  • Retain up to 3 holdings of titles held by 4-6 EAST Serial & Journal Retention Partners*.
  • Only Cohort 2 libraries with the most complete runs of retained titles were allocated retention responsibility.
  • Titles with an existing EAST commitment from Phase 1 weren’t allocated for retention.
  • Titles with an existing commitment at a Rosemont Alliance for Shared Print member library weren’t allocated for retention**.

*The material exclusions agreed in Phase 1 (see above) were also applied in the Phase 2 work.

**We were able to rely on Rosemont commitments because EAST had joined the Rosemont Alliance and could access material from our fellow members in line with the Rosemont Access Principles.

In early 2019 the Cohort 2 libraries were provided their retention proposals to review and agree which titles they would retain.

Phase 2 Project - “widely-held” titles

In December 2018, the two cohorts of libraries came together and agreed a retention model for widely-held titles, those held by 7-28 EAST Serial and Journal Retention Partners. This group of titles provide ample withdrawal opportunities at those libraries that were not allocated a retention commitment.. The model agreed was consistent with the rules agreed for the Phase 2 “medium rare” titles:

  • Retain 3 holdings of titles held by 7-28 EAST Serial & Journal Retention Partners*.
  • Libraries with the most complete runs of retained titles were allocated retention responsibility.
  • Titles with an existing EAST commitment from Phase 1 weren’t allocated for retention.
  • Titles with an existing commitment at a Rosemont member library weren’t allocated for retention.

*The material exclusions agreed in Phase 1 (see above) were also applied in the Phase 2 work.

Phase 2 Project - “scarcely-held” titles

Starting in late 2018, the Serials & Journals Working Group began analyzing the largest group of titles held by EAST member libraries: those held by fewer than 3 participating EAST libraries.  This group totaled approximately 97,000 titles. As this group of titles is large and diverse, the Working Group is discussing a number of strategies to maximize retention of appropriate titles without placing an undue burden on individual libraries.

Retention Commitment Totals

To date EAST libraries have committed to retain approximately 10,000 titles:

  • Phase 1 “Medium Rare” (Cohort 1 only) - 5,000 titles & 11,000 title-holdings
  • Phase 2 “Medium Rare” (Cohort 2 only) - 4,000 titles
  • Phase 2 “Widely-Held” - (both Cohorts)  - 700 titles

Recording Retention Commitments

EAST members have recorded their commitments for serials and journals in their local ILS using guidance available in EAST Member Resources. Commitments are also recorded in the EAST Retentions Database and in the Center for Research Libraries’ Print Archives and Preservation Registry (PAPR).

EAST is currently unable to register record serials and journals commitments in OCLC WorldCat due to limitations is the registration software which does not accommodate multi-part titles. However, OCLC and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) are currently working on an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported project to enhance the underlying infrastructure of both the WorldCat database and CRL’s Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) to accommodate and make accessible actionable data for shared print serials management. OCLC plan to have this work completed in Spring 2020.

Rosemont Shared Print Alliance

In January 2018, EAST joined the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance, a “collaboration of regional programs interested in coordinating their efforts on a larger scale to ensure the retention of and access to print journal backfiles.” Becoming a Rosemont member allows EAST the opportunity to participate in, and help shape, the national conversation on shared print as it relates to serials and journals. Following Rosemont’s governance conventions, Susan Stearns (Project Director) and Matthew Revitt (Shared Print Consultant) serve on the Rosemont Operations Committee. Peggy Seiden (Swarthmore College), EAST Executive Committee and Serials & Journals Working Group member, and Simon Neame (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), serve on the Rosemont Executive Committee.

In June 2018, EAST members approved the Rosemont Access Principles, and subsequently, the ILL Working Group and Executive Committee updated the ILL Best Practices to reflect our commitment to resource sharing.

 

Page last updated 5/10/2019.