Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Follow that journal

Not my best graphic - have messed up the cropping for the second time - but it gives the right idea of the workflow if you can read it..Either you need glasses or you'll have to cope with it fluffy! I'm only going to note the bits re the selection of journals of which you may be unaware.

This represents journal purchasing
Basically, selection comes in 3 ways - Legal Deposit, offering trials of journals, and from requests. Legal Deposit is the easiest. The Periodicals Dept stacks journals which have a medical flavour up for me and I wander over there every 3 months. I check to see if they are already online through a package, the publishers, the editorial boards, where they are cited, the Journal Citation Index, etc. If they look good and we've received > 3 issues I'll consider them, otherwise I leave it longer. They're no use to us if the supply peters out.

Trials of journals - a lovely proactive approach, but since we can't afford them anyway, I'm not prepared to offer day!

Reader requests - with no money, this is a challenge - but I still have to go through the hoops. Lesley, as Journal Consultation Committee coordinator has given all of us a long list of evaluation points.(See Anna's blog for some of the evaluation methods used.) If, after evaluating, I consider they're worth recommending, I feed them onto the journals recommendations website with the details of costing,(having contacted the publishers,) and any comments justifying my recommendation.

The journal recommendation then has to be scored by the Journal Consultation Committee and then forwarded to the Steering Committee if the score is high enough. The Consultation Committee for us covers the biosciences. Pre the Journals Coordination Committee, Lesley sends out the list of recommended journals from the biosciences and we all have to score them. 10 is the highest - and this score means that the title will automatically be considered by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee controls the purse strings and sets the strategic policies for the process. All the titles are ranked according to the perceived needs of each of the biosciences departments. For more information re scoring do come and see me and I'll show you the crib sheet-it's quite complex, with doubling some scores and multiplying by 1.5 for others. (This system came from the humanities groups - bless them! - It does show up the front runners very clearly though.) Our highest ranking journals will later be weighed against those titles from the social sciences and also the humanities.

Over the last year the whole process has become more formalised, but rather discouraging, due to the work input needed and the lack of funds. :(
Last year we were allowed to order 2 titles, but we were allowed none this year. However, I have a waiting list of 26 titles which I have ranked for when money is available.
For the rest of "Follow that journal.." do come and and ask if you can't fit into a group - I can bore you further!

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