Skip to main content

Plan For Disposal Of Redundant Library Materials (March 21, 2014)

Starting in June, UNB Libraries plan to dispose of print journals and other materials now available digitally, in part to save storage costs, and in part to retrieve space for other uses. This plan is consistent with the Collections Development (CD) Policy approved by the UNB Senate in November 2003: addressing library responsibility for stewardship and long-term preservation, the policy states that, "Under certain circumstances, local preservation may be limited to the intellectual content and not to the work in its original format. Specific examples would be [] journals that are digitized and available in a stable electronic full-text version." Thousands of bound volumes of print journals currently being stored, in both closed and open stacks, fit this description as, in the last decade, several electronic journal backfiles have been purchased outright (see table below). In addition to duplicated print journals, we are also considering the disposal of other types of print materials such as indexes and abstracts, as well as microforms, which are now available online.

Archival Journal Backfiles Owned by UNB & Location of Print Volumes

Backfile Warehouse Stacks # of Titles
American Geophysical Union   YES 20
Annual Reviews YES   18
Blackwell (now Wiley Online Library)   YES 546
Cambridge (CJO)   YES 176
Institute of Physics (IOP)     93
National Research Council (NRC) YES YES 14
Oxford University Press (OUP)   YES 142
Periodical Archives Online (PAO) YES YES 957
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) YES YES 131
Sage   YES 381
Science Direct (Elsevier) YES YES 543
Springer Online Journal Archive YES YES 805

The Plan for Disposal of Redundant Materials (see link in sidebar) was presented to, and received the support of, the Senate Library Committee at their meeting of February 27. The plan is being shared widely, along with the lists of affected titles (see links in sidebar), to ensure full knowledge of the university community of the actions that are being taken, and to provide opportunity for feedback.

We are also considering disposal of some of the print indexing and abstracting tools which have been online now for over a decade. The difference with these online indexes (as opposed to the journal backfiles) is that we subscribe to them, i.e. we don't own them. We are not anticipating cancelling these research tools, but if funding constraints made that necessary, we would lose access. The question we are grappling with is this: Are faculty and students likely to ever go back to the print (with a 10-year-plus gap) in the eventuality that we cancel, or would they (you) be more likely to rely on other online sources to track down relevant citations? A list of print indexes and abstracts which are duplicated electronically (or were discontinued altogether many years ago) is also attached to this message, for your review. We are still internally discussing how to proceed with this category of materials, but any feedback would be appreciated. Comments can be directed to your liaison librarian or to Jocelyne Thompson, Associate Director of Libraries (Collection Services), by telephone at 458-7053 or by email at