Use and Impact of Electronic Journals on the Users of University of Pune, Pune, India

Article excerpt

1. Introduction:

The history of electronic publishing is very short if compared with traditional forms of publishing, but full of important events. The very first e-publishing came in the 1980's in the form of plain text e-mails. They were sent to the subscriber via a mailing list. After many changes, finally in the years 1994-95 appeared the very first e-journals. The first e-journal to be distributed was Electronics Letters online by IEEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) (Pettenati, Corrado, 2001)

The 24x7 availability of the online journals; facility to access the issues from any corner of the world with the help of internet and more importantly as the journals are available online there is no need to bound the issues at the end of the year and preserve it on the shelf for year together has forced the librarians to go for the electronic journals. Readers are also getting addicted to this new form of publication because it saves the time in searching the required information.

Across all disciplines, faculty members and other users have come to value electronic access to scholarly literature, and use of such resources increases dramatically with their availability in electronic form (Guthrie and Schonfeld 2004; Tenopir 2004; Marcum and George 2003; Wolverton and Tenopir 2005)

Seeing all the advantages of the online journals and in order to overcome the budget factors the libraries are either entering into the consortia for the subscription of the electronic journals or they are individually going for the databases where they can have access to the e-journals at a very discounted price. Through this the librarians have overcome the budget and the storage problem but are facing the new problem of archiving the subscribed electronic information for future use.

2. Profile of the University Library:

The Library was established in January 1950 and was named in honor of the first vice-chancellor Dr. M.R. Jayakar. The library is one of the richest libraries in Western India in terms of collection and the services rendered by it to its users. Library is fully automated and is providing access to its collection through its webopac by using LIBSYS library software package. Presently the library has more than 4,65,000 documents in its collection which contains, books, bound volumes of journals, theses and dissertations etc.. The Jayakar library is also participating in the consortia program launched by UGC ( University Grant Commission) and INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network centre) called UGC-INFONET under which it is getting access to more than 4000 electronic journals covering all the subjects from science, social science and humanities. Apart from the access to electronic journals received under UGC-INFONET consortia, the library is individually subscribing for many of the electronic databases and journals such as Science direct, EBSCO, PsycArticle, Nature, Lexisnexis etc. (Jayakar Library Portal, 2010) taking into consideration all the journals received from UGC-INFONET and the journals subscribed individually, presently the library is having access to more than 8000 journals. The library has developed library portal which list out all the databases and journals subscribed by the library and is available for the user to use.

3. Services provided by the library:

With the help of the electronic journals library is in a position to render many of the services to its users which they were not able to provide with its print collection of journals into the library. The following services are being provided to the users of the library.

3.1 Access to the electronic version of the subscribed printed journal:

The library is subscribing to more than 550 printed journals which also contains the journals published by Sage and as per the policy of the publisher the users are getting free access to the electronic version of the printed one. …