Serials and Electronic Acquisitions Annual Report 2001-2002




Electronic Resources

We first started to add electronic journals to our collection in 1997/98 with 18 titles reported. Since then we have been growing at an astonishing rate: 2477 in 1998/99, 3762 in 1999/00, 8587 in 2000/01 and we now have 11,229 electronic journals in our database (compared to our print count of 8746).

The e-resources database was converted from Access to Oracle over the summer, and we were able to add entries for indexes, databases and internet resources. Subject headings became a new feature and there was improved acquisitions functionality and reports. All of the acquisitions information including expenditures is on a screen together with licencing information for ease of use. There are a number of very useful reports that I can get on demand. The renewal list sorted by the month the product is due for invoicing helps me to keep track of expected renewals and ensure (as much as possible) that lapses do not occur. I also make regular use of the statistics report and the expenditures reports. There is also a notification feature that allows me to email directly from the database, the daily new additions, in order to advise Heather Fraser of what needs to be catalogued and to keep Patti Ryan and John Dupuis informed of the availability of new titles/products.

Many new products where added this year, including those added through consortial arrangements by OCUL. New products included Computer Database with 253 titles, Kluwer with over 700 titles, 62 free archived titles from Highwire, Wiley with almost 400 titles, Proquest nursing with over 300 titles, Ovid nursing, and Annual reviews, Pages of the Past, and many others. Numerous trials were set up throughout the year so that we could assess possible new products and make good decisions on which products to purchase. The process of ordering and adding new electronic products to our collection is very fast compared to print, but brings a lot of new complexities with the variety of licencing agreements and ordering requirements that can be demanding.

Regular and ongoing maintenance is required to the database, especially in terms of titles added and/or deleted by providers. Over the year, I reviewed and added and/or deleted titles to ABI, CPIQ, Expanded Academic, Canadian Index, and Business Source Premier had over 600 titles added. JSTOR and Project Muse also add titles to their packages regularly, and over 100 titles were added to JSTOR. Doug Fenwick added a script to the holdings for ABI and Business Source Premier to reflect those titles that have embargoes on releasing current issues. In addition to this activity, there is also ongoing holdings maintenance and a major project was undertaken to update holdings for Elsevier titles. JSTOR holdings need to be updated every year as they add additional volumes to their title holdings. Another, more frustrating, area of change is in the URL=s which publishers change often without telling us or giving us sufficient notice. For instance, the URL=s for all of the IEEE titles had to be changed. There will be more projects like this coming up in the new fiscal. Fortunately, there is a lot that Doug Fenwick can do to automate this process so that not everything has to be done manually each time.

It continues to be a challenge to keep up with addition of new publishers and titles to providers such as Catchword, Ingenta and Highwire (eg Ingenta became the provider for the online journals published by Sage, and over 120 Sage titles became available for free via Ingenta because of our print subscriptions). There is some frustration with sites such as Catchword that take down our online access at end of the calendar year and then reinstate us as publishers advise of renewals – even though we pay our renewals in the fall, we sometimes find ourselves in January and February without access to titles for some publishers. While registration of new titles with Catchword is fast and easy to do, for Highwire and Ingenta it can be tedious and requires our subscriber number from the mailing labels of the print journals. Sometimes they are slow to respond after registering and so require vigilant follow up.

Our expenditures on electronic resources this fiscal exceeded 2 million dollars and took up almost half of our serial budget. (See Appendices A, B and C)


This fiscal year will likely be remembered because of two major changes. The cancellation of print subscriptions for titles that we now pay for online access marked the beginning of what will likely continue to be a change in focus for our department. The move of the remainder of the Government Documents serials check in and processing to our department came with new challenges and skills to be acquired.

Print Cancellations

The new policy to reduce duplication of serial subscriptions and holdings impacted us. We cancelled 50 microtext subscriptions for titles for which we have online access. We cancelled our print subscriptions for titles that we now receive online through a variety of packages including Project Muse, ACM, IEEE, Academic Press, Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Springer Verlag, Kluwer and Wiley. These and other Aregular@ cancellations together totalled 821 subscriptions (438 for Scott, 12 for BG-Docs, 50 for Frost and 321 for Steacie) and $712,413.00 savings. (See Appendix F)

After completing our cancellation projects, and with the completion of lists of all subscriptions by fund, a revised count of our number of subscriptions and titles was done by location and format and this is reflected in our monthly and annual statistics. (See Appendix E)

Government Documents

Early in the fall, a list of titles funded to DOCPER was created, completing the project started in 1998/99 to have a list of active serials for every fund for reporting annual subscription expenditures. The list was done in anticipation of the move of the last phase of Government Documents receiving and processing to the Serials Section in Scott, with the objective of adding the transferred titles to the list before filing the cards onto the main Kardex and thereby having a comprehensive list of all active Government Document serials. Planning for the move of the Canadian federal, Ontario, municipal and intergovernmental, started in the fall. The Ontario Kardex cards came over in October, with the addition of 92 active titles to Kardex. In February, we received 8 floor model Kardex units from BG and the rest of the winter and early spring months were spent going through all of the cards in order to identify and separate the active and inactive titles. We identified 808 active titles to be added to the Excel DOCPER list, and to be filed onto Kardex. Most of these cards did not have the full Yorkline entry recorded on them, so they first needed to be updated to main entry to be consistent with all other filing on Kardex. The inactive cards were then reviewed against Yorkline and holdings were updated in Yorkline to reflect their inactive status. No attempts were made to find out if titles had ceased; they were simply just closed off. Most of the cards were discarded after this; we retained only those cards that had detailed holdings information that was reflected in Yorkline with the use of brackets to show incomplete volumes. Changes were made to how mail addressed to BG is delivered and staff are sending out change of address letters as needed for titles still being mailed to BG. We expect it to take about a year to get through this process, as many titles are annual publications.

We are struggling somewhat with the claiming for these titles; there was not much information on the cards other than holdings and call numbers, so determining where they come from and where to send claims and other correspondence is a puzzle for us to solve.

Other Serials Section Activities

After a long wait, Rosy Go received training on FHRS and all serial invoices are now processed in our department instead of being passed on to staff in Monograph Acquisitions. The same is true for resolution of invoicing problems and processing statements.

There were not so many changes on the vendor front this year (thankfully) with the exception of the purchase of Martinus Nijhoff, periodicals division, by Swets Blackwell, to take effect with our 2003 renewals. We did an early prepayment with Swets Blackwell of $750,000 usd, giving us a credit of 2.05% (a savings of $17,011 cdn). Because our prepayment amount was calculated before we knew that the Wiley print titles would be cancelled, we ended up the fiscal year with a carry over of $127,546 usd.

We made a change to our policy to replace missing and stolen serial issues to complete volumes for binding, and now no longer order replacement issues for any titles for which we have online access.

We continue to regularly monitor open orders, and we have expanded our online claiming to include Swets Blackwell, Divine (formerly Rowecom) and Coutts.

I did some preliminary testing in the Sirsi test database, to create order records for serial subscriptions, to be used to post payments of renewal invoices. The testing was unsatisfactory and needs more work. The major drawback is the lack of a field that allows us to record the volume or year covered by the payment. The question of whether we should use Adated@ or Arecurring@ order types is not yet resolved. Even if we succeed in this venture, we will not be able to get out reports of expenditures by fund and title similar to what we have now with the Excel tables.

Weeding took place at Frost, Steacie and BG over the summer. Steacie withdrew 344 volumes of ACM and IEEE proceedings as these are now available online. BG pulled 1276 volumes, representing 212 inactive titles.

We ordered a number of back files and subscriptions of nursing journals to support the new programs.

Binding and Labelling

Our binding budget was dropped back down to $160,000 this year after only one year with an increase (last year it was $175,000). Next year the decrease will be even greater as we take into account less periodical binding after the major serial cancellation project. Our overall volume of binding dropped from 20,155 last year to 16,525 this year. There was a related decrease in the number of items processed from 63,025 last year to 55,987 this year. (See Appendices G and H)

The biggest change that occurred in Binding and Labelling was the switch from using a book plate to using a book stamp. Initially we used a stamp that was designed by Susan Eastwood. This stamp was found to be too large and unwieldy, and so it was replaced by a small round stamp that is simpler and easier to use.

We hired Jackie Cheng for our annual relabelling project over the summer. She relabelled 20,919 books.

We upgraded the Able binding system to release 6.1 on all workstations including the branches.


We did not have the expected volume of donations over the summer from faculty clearing out their offices; I think the strike and the resulting extension of classes into the summer accounted for this. We did receive numerous donations nevertheless; two of the collections had over 2500 books each (Whittaker and Cuff). This year I tracked the number of books received and their disposition. We received a total of 10,126 books from May to April. Of these, 8.3% went to Domtar, 23% have been set aside for Zubal, 25% have gone to the National Library, 6.1 % have been added to the collection so far; the remainder are waiting to be selected and assessed. I was able to sell some books to Zubal for $350, and to Great Books on Main Street for $250. I was also able to make 20 boxes of books available to an individual who was shipping books to third world countries.

Plans and Objectives for 2002/03

Update serial records in Yorkline and Kardex to reflect the JSTOR weeding, Government Documents weeding and transfers, and Scott reference weeding and transfers.

Weed Kardex records for serials for which Yorkline holdings are complete and for which there is no billing history for the last 7 years, to make space on Kardex for the addition of over 800 Government Documents Kardex records, and to eliminate bent and damaged drawers.

Shuffle Kardex to equalize the workload between the 4 Kardex assistants.

Assist with the planning for the BG moves particularly as it pertains to serials and to relabelling.

Update URL=s in the database for Elsevier and Academic Press.

Add holdings in Yorkline for online journals.


There were no staff changes this year.

Staff Training

Rosy Go attended a variety of training sessions for Word, Excel, Power Point, and Access. Samdai Mahadeo Bidhesi attended Excel and Word training.

Karen Cassel Professional Activities

May 2001, Annual CPM symposium

May 2001, Conducted an Electronic Journals Workshop for the Central Ontario Health Libraries Association, in Orillia

June 2001, ALA, San Francisco

June 2001, PDF training