Prepared by David Garnes, January, 2001; Revised by Jill Livingston, December 2002
(aprox. $40,000 serials; $12,500 monographs)
A. Characteristics of the Literature
While much of the scholarly investigation in the related fields of allied health necessitate a review of literature over a significant number of years, focus is on current trends and research. Inflation patterns for most monograph and serials titles in the areas of allied health and related fields have not been as extreme as in other science disciplines (chemistry, engineering, physics). However, there is no guarantee that this moderately-paced trend will continue.
B. Collection Development
The library supports collection development in the areas listed as program foci as described in section I, Characteristics of the Community. In addition to those subject areas, other areas covered, though more selectively, include medical material of a primarily clinical nature; history of medicine; and conferences. Areas generally not collected include textbooks (except for those subjects where textbook information provides the most comprehensive information); examinations and study guides; and laboratory manuals.
The broad spectrum of users and research needs in the School of Allied Health requires wide support in terms of availability of and access to library resources. Increasingly, this demand also necessitates making careful and sometimes difficult choices regarding allocation of available resources. Ownership of basic research/scholarly monographs and journals (paper- and micro-formats) has traditionally been a priority in library collection development to support academic instruction and research. Collection development of this nature is predicated on the assumption that such material will be actively used over a number of years. Electronic availability and/or document delivery of such material may be an acceptable alternative to permanently held scholarly archives. The need for basic instructional monographs for the undergraduate program argues for the ongoing purchase of such material, available onsite for students in residence on campus. Interlibrary loan options may be an increasingly viable alternative for faculty and graduate students, who are now able to initiate interlibrary loan requests electronically.
Monographic purchases focus on major trade and university presses, as well as major associations. The subject focus of these arrangements and purchases, outlined in approval plan profiles, attempts to correspond to the instructional and research areas highlighted in the School of Allied Health profile.
A major approval plan, initiated in 1990, continues to assure the receipt of currently published material and notification of titles from publishers not received automatically. The vendor for this plan is a major U.S. supplier to academic libraries, Yankee Book Peddler. The plan covers U.S. scholarly and trade publishers and Canadian and British equivalents who distribute directly in the United States. Other orders are also initiated from publishers whose titles are not supplied via the plan.
Publisher catalogs regularly reviewed for additional ordering include: American Public Health Association, W.B. Saunders, World Health Organization, American Hospital Association, Slack Inc., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, American College of Physician Executives, American Medical Association, and others.
Ongoing journal subscriptions maintain a base of serials holdings. Increasingly, selection of new journal titles will be based on a number of proven-use factors, such as interlibrary loan requests. Significant price increases will initiate further reviews of current subscription lists and ordering arrangements, and a subsequent re-distribution of allocated fiscal resources.
C. Access Development
As we move towards a Development Plan that will highlight access as well as ownership, our efforts currently and in the future will be geared in this direction. Access to--in addition to ownership of--research material is increasingly being provided online. For the most part, this material consists of indexes, although much full-text information is now available through library acquisition and links from the Library's web page. It is further expected that more standard monographs and serials will be published digitally in the future, allowing remote networked access for members of the University of Connecticut academic community. This is particularly relevant for non-resident students. "Proxy" server accounts for clients using non-University ISPs provide remote access to resources normally restricted to users within the University of Connecticut domain, thus greatly enhancing product availability.
In order to assist the School of Allied Health faculty and students to locate the research materials they need, the Library will continue to use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current-awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan. The major health sciences journal indexes-Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and others-are available electronically, several for the full retrospective run of the indexing service. Hypertext links from the Library's health sciences web page (http://lib.uconn.edu/research/bysubject/heal.htm) provide easy access, from within the library and remotely, to these sources. The library's web homepage also provides a wide variety of links-alphabetically and by various subject breakdowns-to many related index databases. The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services, as well as those specific to Allied Health, provided by the Library seems adequate to meet this objective.
User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.
We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.
We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.
One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.
Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, ".uconn.edu".)
Through a series of links, the Library's health sciences subject web page (www.lib.uconn.edu/research/bysubject/heal.htm) gives access to both general library sources as well as to a variety of licensed products and World Wide Web sites in allied health and other health sciences subject areas. The page is intended to provide faculty and students in the School of Allied Health with a single convenient web-based source for access to library resources and services.
Significant amounts of material are obtained from the Health Center Library and other library sources. From June 1999 through February 2000, for example, there were circa 700 transactions for health/medical material, mostly journal articles. The ability to initiate electronic requests for material has greatly enhanced this access option. Web-based forms, available from a variety of library web pages, should result in increasing use of this service by faculty and students, particularly with the ability to copy or link electronically obtained journal and book citations to the request.
Related academic programs for which significant relevant material is available via ownership and access include Nursing; Anthropology; Kinesiology (School of Education); Adult Development and Aging (School of Family Studies); Pathobiology; Biomedical Science; Pharmacology; Communication Sciences; and other programs such as those in Psychology and Sociology as they relate to specific concentrations in allied health research and scholarship.
Lyman Maynard Stowe Library at the University of Connecticut Health Center: Increasing electronic networking between the Storrs campus and the Stowe Library allows access to many health sources originating at each location. It is expected that this mutually beneficial relationship will continue to expand in the future, especially given the fact that replication of expensive research titles at both campus locations will occur less and less in the future. Ongoing enhancement of longstanding interlibrary loan arrangements between the two campuses will also assure the most efficient and timely sharing of resources.
The proliferation of new information resources and the concomitant escalating costs of existing hard-copy and electronic titles and products (often supplied by high-profit publishers and vendors) require careful collection development and access choices, now and in the future. The Library's inability to provide comprehensive access via ownership of material, however, is mitigated by an increasing ability to ensure electronic availability to networked sources as well as an ongoing commitment to reliable and efficient document delivery.
This significant evolution in collection development and access patterns also requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use. The Library Liaison Program, operational in the School of Allied Health for nearly a decade, will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact. Familiarity with the library's web page, especially the linked health sciences subject page, increased classroom instruction, and formal and informal informational sessions--in the library and off-site--will ensure the best access to and use of archived and networked resources.