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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Chemistry

Collection Development and Access Plan:
CHEMISTRY

Prepared by Frances Libbey, DATE: [Spring, 2001].
DRAFT for review by the Chemistry Department, Fall 2001.

Purpose:

The purpose of this Information and Data Management and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of the faculty and students in the Department of Chemistry. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document deliveries are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of this clientele. Third, it may provide the Chemistry faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999, and the FY 2003 update, Library Collecting for a Digital Age: An FY 2003 Update to Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market.

Contents:

  1. Characteristics of the Community

  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

  3. Current Patterns of Information Service

  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

Chemistry offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate programs may lead to either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree is appropriate for students who are interested in chemistry but do not wish to pursue a career as a laboratory scientist. The American Chemical Society certifies a rigorous professional program, which is an option for B.S. students. The B.S. degree prepares students to pursue graduate study in Chemistry or to find employment in technology-oriented industries.

Regional campuses offer Chemistry to both B.A. and B.S. students who plan to matriculate to the four-year program at the Storrs Campus, with the exception of the Stamford Campus which offers a four-year program for students planning to major in Liberal Arts programs to earn the B.A. degree.
Chemistry courses offered at the Regional Campuses parallel the same course(s) offered on the Storrs Campus, enabling students to transfer credits to the four-year program at the main campus in pursuit of either the B.A. or B.S. degree. Additionally, students majoring in pharmacy, nursing and nutrition are required to take a course(s) in chemistry tailored to meet the requirements of their major.

 

Faculty members (Spring 2000):

Storrs Campus:

FTE  34

Waterbury Campus:

FTE    2

Hartford Campus:

FTE    1

Avery Point Campus:

FTE    1

Torrington Campus:

FTE    1

 

Enrollment:

Students Storrs Campus:

 

Undergraduate Chemistry Majors: 99

 

Graduate Students: 87  (including MS, PhD. with concentrations in Organic, Inorganic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry)

 

Students-Chemistry  Regional Campuses:

 

Avery Point:

63

 

Torrington:

NA

 

Waterbury:

76

 

Faculty/ Graduate/ Undergraduate Use of Library Resources: Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students prefer and have come to expect desktop delivery for most databases and relevant journals. Faculty and students rarely consult the print Beilstein or Chemical Abstracts and rely primarily on the databases, Beilstein CrossFire (for Structure Searching) and SciFinder Scholar for subject, author and chemical substance searches. The Web of Science provides access to Citation Searching and is most heavily used by faculty on a tenure track or faculty needing to review the published literature in a specialized field of chemistry. Current Awareness Services provided by such products as UnCover Reveal and Current Contents make it possible for both faculty and graduate students to keep abreast of recent publishing relevant to their interests.

The Chemistry Faculty is frequently engaged in pursuing grant funding for their research. The heaviest use of Library Resources derives from faculty writing grant proposals, conducting funded research, course preparation for graduate students and seeking patent applications. A significant number of chemistry faculty have conducted research that resulted in a patentable product. Because Patent applications demand in-depth searching of the literature to insure the originality of the work, faculty have come to depend more heavily on the convenience of desktop access to the chemical literature, including online full-text journals as well as electronic versions of the chemistry databases.

This is also true for faculty associated with the Institute of Materials Science, which has as its mission, research in applied chemistry. The range of research conducted by IMS varies from organic, organometallic to inorganic, inorganometallic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry. Research in one or all of these fields of chemistry demands that faculty remain very current with developments in their fields. Faculty and students conducting research in IMS have come to rely heavily on spectra analysis in the course of their research. The Sadtler Indexes (in print) are currently the most important tools that the library provides for spectral information. As more sophisticated equipment has become available for spectral analysis, using previously compiled data for matching spectra has taken on greater importance for both undergraduate and graduate chemistry students. Faculty who initiated trial access to SPECINFO found this new product to be a valuable tool for the analysis and identification of unknown compounds and have requested that the Library provide system-wide access to this database when and if funds allow.

Undergraduate chemistry students rely on both print and electronic delivery of Library Resources. These students primarily seek information on organic synthesis, chemical properties of a compound, toxicity data, or spectra, found in both the electronic and print resources. Print resources such as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the Kirk Othmer Chemical Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, and Organic Syntheses Reaction Guide (volumes 1-7) are resources that are more easily consulted in print than online, because of the volume and/or nature of the material published therein. The continuation of the receipt of the print Chemical Abstracts serves primarily to teach students the organization of the chemical literature, providing them with improved skills for performing online searches.

The Chemistry department continues to maintain a modest sized Reading Room for the benefit of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. Shelved in the Reading Room are journals and monographs, mostly donated by faculty, and a few titles circulated on permanent loan to the Reading Room by the Library. The Library owned titles which continue to be housed in the Chemistry Reading Room are the discontinued Gmelin Handbuch der anorganischen chemie -(Inorganic chemistry), and Methoden der organischen Chemie (Houben-Weyl). The Chemistry department maintains the Reading Room as a teaching resource and study area for their students. The Library does not intend to add additional resources for retention in the Chemistry Reading Room.

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

  • Allocated funds for monographs and journals: $286,000 ; Serial Expenditures: $206,160
     
  • Expenditures for relevant networked services:
    Beilstein CrossFire:  $ 20,000
    CSA (Cambridge Scientific Abstracts)
      Water Resources Abstracts: $ 2,500.00
    ACS Online Journals: $ 6,896
    SciFinder Scholar:   $ 21,000
    Web of Science: Shared by all disciplines

    III. Current Patterns of Information Service

    1. Characteristics of the Literature The premier Chemistry journal literature continues to be published by commercial publishers such as Springer Verlag and Elsevier as well as a few scholarly organizations such as the American Chemical Society (ACS). Faculty continues to publish in commercially published journals that are notably prestigious and widely circulated. However, Chemistry faculty submits a significant number of articles for publication in the ACS journals that also enjoy a prestigious reputation. These journals are heavily cited in the literature as evidenced by the high impact factors recorded in the Citation Reports issued by the Institute of Scientific Information. (ISI).

      The Inflation rate for science journals and monographs generally exceeds that of most other disciplines because most are published by European publishers and are cost-dependent on the strength of the US dollar. The move of European currency to the Eurodollar may lower cost for the fiscal year 2000-2001 because, at least, for now, the Eurodollar has dropped in value thereby strengthening the value of the dollar.

      Most recently, in an attempt to control the spiraling costs of commercially published journals, the ACS has entered into agreements with a number of academic institutions to create competition with the publishers of high priced journals. The organization initiated in 1999 has become known as SPARC (Scholarly Publications & Academic Resources Coalition) URL: http://arl.cni.org/sparc/factsheet.html.

      The most notable chemistry title recently published by SPARC is Organic Letters. This title was created to compete with the Elsevier publication, Tetrahedron Letters which costs $8,602. Organic Letters costs $4,370 for print system-wide-access. This new journal will constitute a considerable saving to Academic Libraries but only if faculty elect to publish in this new journal and if it becomes the repository for significant publications by noted scientists in the field in the near future.

      However, until alternative journal titles become more popular venues for scholarly publications and increase in numbers, we will have little choice but to continue to retain many traditionally expensive subscriptions.

    2. Collection Development

      1. Areas of Focus
        The Library supports collections in all areas of chemistry, such as analytical, physical, organic and inorganic. Most research in chemistry is focused in organic chemistry. Hence, we will consider increased support for this discipline of chemistry as funds allow. Inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry rely heavily on spectral information, and an added effort is being made to identify and acquire publications which provide data either online or in print for IR, NMR, Mass Spectra and UV spectra. One product that has been suggested for acquisitions, is the Sadtler Industrial Index Online. The cost, at this time, is prohibitive and only a significant grant for its purchase would make this acquisition a reality. SpecInfo, a Wiley InterScience product, an alternative product for this area, is also high-priced and beyond the means of the Library's Chemistry budget.

      2. Acquisition Strategies

        1. Monographs
          An approval profile established with our book vendor, Yankee Peddler, captures most relevant publications issued by the major university and scholarly presses. By monitoring the receipt of books and announcements of recent publications, the Library is able to adjust the existing profile periodically to better represent the changing focus of teaching and research of the chemistry department. The Library frequently places orders for individual monographs directly with publishers not available through our current book vendor. Preference is given to placing book requests with our book vendor to take advantage of existing discounts.

          The Library does not generally collect textbooks, exams, study guides, laboratory manuals, or proceedings of meetings, but does receive notice of these publications which the Library may add to the collection when the information contained therein is unique and required to support teaching endeavors and/or faculty or graduate research.

          We do not regularly establish a continuation for a new series title until the series has shown its importance to supporting teaching or research within the department.

          Liaisons remain current with new publications by monitoring publisher's catalogs and Listservers such as ChemInf and STS to identify publications not covered by the Library's Approval Plan.

        2. Journals
          In general, new journal purchases must be funded by the cancellation of other currently received titles. Expensive new title requests generally respond to a broad base of need, a major lack of coverage or an opportunity (as in the SPARC initiatives) to support a not-for profit competitor to an over-priced, commercial title. A track record of repeated DD/ILL use may also indicate possible need for a title.

          We continue to review journal subscriptions annually for changes to reflect departmental needs and for reductions when the cost exceeds budget limitations. When deciding which titles to retain and which to cut, a number of factors are considered, including: the inflation history of the particular title and that of its and publisher; the importance and reproducibility of graphics; the availability of the title among external suppliers; the general importance of the title for teaching and research; and the anticipated cost of supplying requests through DD/ILL. See below for a discussion of the more fluid situation of electronic journals.

          The Library also encourages faculty to take advantage of the Library's Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan (DD/ILL) Service, as we continue to reduce paper subscriptions due to high cost. The Library continues to make improvements to DD/ILL for efficiency and quality in our efforts to make this service a viable alternative for teaching and research needs.

          In conjunction with DD/ILL, the Library has been introduced and continues to promote Current Awareness Services as an alternative means for browsing the table of contents of journals no longer on subscription as well as 1000s of other titles. Products such as Ingenta and Contents Direct (Elsevier) deliver relevant citations to the desktop for patron-designed profiles. In addition, a patron may order a document directly through one or the other Service, for a fee, or obtain the document using the Library's free DD/ILL Service. The turn around time for the DD/ILL has improved so that a patron may realistically expect delivery of the document within a week's time. In addition, the University Community is being encouraged to publish in alternative journals published by SPARC to both support alternative publications and create real competition with their commercial publishers' counterparts.

    3. Access Development
      Access to published literature no longer depends on having the material on site since the advent of many online resources providing desktop access. Networked Services provide faculty and students alike with access to a significant percentage of the published literature. Databases now frequently provide access to full-text articles obviating the need for the Library to maintain an ongoing subscription to many popular journal titles. Desktop-delivery of these articles affords faculty and students more rapid and efficient retrieval of documents with fewer trips to the physical Library. For chemists in the process of working in the laboratory running an experiment, remote access to many Library resources is essential and a most welcome innovation.

      1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities
        In order to assist Chemistry faculty and students to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services and document-delivery and interlibrary loan. As stated in previous sections of this document, Beilstein CrossFire, SciFinder Scholar, Web of Science are the Library's main online sources and Chemical Abstracts as the primary print sources for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to identify world-wide literature in the field of chemistry. INSPEC from IOP provides the electrical chemists easy access to literature references in electrical, electronics and computer science. While the current compliment of electronic indexing, abstracting and full-text services does not completely meet this objective due to the absence of some of the very-high priced online services for chemistry mentioned earlier, the Library continues to make attempts to fill in that gap with a variety of current awareness alerting services and improved DD/ILL services.

      2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

        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".)

      3. Other Internet-based resources
        A number of other online resources are linked on a web page maintained by the Chemistry Librarian on the Library's Liaison Subject Page. This page provides a starting place for students and faculty seeking local Chemistry resources and promotes locally licensed electronic resources. In addition to those listed previously in this document, links are provided for other resources such as ChemFinder produced by Cambridge Software. Also, the full-text Patent Indexes vended through Dialog Carl and the free on the Internet IBM Patent Index (http://www.patents.ibm.com/ibm.html) providing access to all Patents from 1971 with first page printing free. ChemWeb at (http://www.chemweb.com/) provides access to a number of web sites useful to chemists. ChemWeb does require free individual registration to enter this site. ChemPort created by the American Chemical Society links full-text chemistry journals through their software from a number of databases including SciFinder Scholar.

      4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan
        DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

        In future, data from the automated DD/ILL operations will be important in determining which journals we need to own locally or access electronically and which can be delivered from other libraries and document delivery services, in a timely and cost-effective manner.

      5. Significant Campus or external resources
        Consortial agreements have reduced the cost for accessing databases and journal packages. We have taken advantage of Consortial agreements to acquire databases such as the Web of Science and INSPEC as well as online publications from Springer, Karger (with the UConn Health Center), and the Royal Society of Chemistry which includes Analytical Abstracts. Consortial arrangements have allowed the Library to provide desktop access to databases and online journals that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. It has become increasingly necessary for the Library to participate in consortial purchase agreements of this type. Hence, the ability to partner with other libraries in these purchases may strongly influence what resources we provide access to and when.

    IV. Emerging Choices

    1. Database Availability
    2. Improvements in the interface and search capability of SciFinder Scholar have made it possible for the Library, in conjunction with the chemistry faculty, to cancel the print version of Chemical Abstracts and rely exclusively on SciFinder Scholar to search the online version of Chemical Abstracts. As a consequence, the Library, in the next few years will be forced to choose to add additional passwords to access this database as an increasing number of students and faculty requires access to this database.
    3. Funding for improved access will have to be found either from budget increases (not likely to happen) or choosing which additional databases to retain such as the Web of Science, Beilstein CrossFire and Analytical Abstracts.
    4. The Library may not be in a financial position to choose to add new databases such as Gmelin, Landolt Boernstein or SpecInfo in the future as costs continue to escalate and funds become scarcer.

    5. Scholarly Communication
    6. Retention issues
      The Library has made a commitment to provide desktop access to the online full-text version of journals as licensing agreements and cost permit. Once the archiving of electronic journals can be assured either through the publisher or with reliable access through aggregators --and as licensing agreements permit-- is likely that most journal subscriptions in the future will be retained in the electronic version only. Choosing to rely on professional associations and /or commercial publishers to archive and provide continued access to back issues of journal titles, however, takes the Library into the realm of the unknown. For the first time Libraries will no longer be the guardians of scholarly communications and will in effect become facilitators for accessing these publications. The choices that the Library will be forced to make regarding the retention or discontinuation of print versions of the journal literature will largely be dependent on the trust that can be placed with the vendors who promise to archive scholarly communications and provide access in perpetuity.
    7. Alternative Publishing
      Journal subscription costs have driven professional organizations and societies to seek an alternative to the expensive publications marketed by commercial publishers. The Coalition for Networked Information and the Scholarly Publications and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) are two organizations making an effort to improve scholarly communications. SPARC, a world-wide alliance of research institutions, libraries and organizations, has created several competing scientific journal publications that serve as a more reasonably priced venue for scholarly communications than their commercial counterparts. One such publication of considerable interest to chemists is the journal, Organic Letters, created to compete directly with the more expensive Elsevier publication, Tetrahedron Letters. These alternative publications can only survive and impact on commercial publishers' subscription prices if faculty elect to publish their research in the alternative journals, thus enabling academic libraries to subscribe to the alternative titles and cancel their more expensive counterparts. Young and/or untenured faculty will have to make the difficult choice of whether to publish in the alternative journals or, to insure adequate exposure of their research, publish in the recognized and well-established but expensive journals. Only when departments responsible for promotion and tenure recognize the value of supporting these new and alternative journal publications and encourage untenured faculty or those faculty seeking promotion to publish in them, can these alternative journal publications become competitive with their more elite commercial counterparts.

    8. Full-Text Accessibility
      The Library has chosen and will continue to choose to incorporate links from its OPAC to full-text articles. As new formats, such as Preprint Servers surface, the Library must create new and effective means to alert patrons to the existence of these important resources. Choosing to add these resources requires careful evaluation of both cost and value to the University faculty and students it serves. The introduction of Reference Linking enables the patron to access the full-text of an article directly from a citation referenced from either an online journal or a database service. SciFinder Scholar currently allows a user to link directly to the ACS Web journals to which the Library subscribes, as well as to many World Patents. Patrons have come to expect full-text access to cite articles and the vendors of databases have addressed these expectations and developed the appropriate technology. Most databases now offer this capability. Given the many technological advances requiring new software, the Library often will be forced to choose which expensive software to add and what the cost benefits of doing so might be. With so many new resources surfacing, the Library must make wise choices in concert with the faculty to determine the cost/benefits of acquiring them.

    The future of collecting to support Chemistry in a changing information economy
    The library anticipates both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services. We do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing our share of its limited resources. We hope for a continuation of our current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity; will play a role in budget decision-making.

    The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns 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 and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

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