Over the next few months, change is coming to HSLIC starting with the removal of the print journal collection. The removal of the print journals will allow us to remodel the 3rd floor into a learning commons to better support the HSC community.
Removal of the collection will be no small task, as it weighs approximately 500 tons, the equivalent of moving 105 African elephants. Core titles, such as Nature and The Lancet, will be relocated to our off-site storage, while other titles will be discarded.
The decision for which journal titles to keep was based on multiple factors, including the use of the title by our HSC users, availability of the title in electronic format, number of libraries worldwide that hold the title in print, and if the title is on the Abridged Index Medicus (AIM) list of core clinical journals. We are also keeping several titles that may have local or special interest on this campus.
While we donated a small portion of the bound journals to the Texas Joint Library Facility, other titles that did not match the above criteria will be discarded. Discarding of library materials is never taken lightly and is the last resort.
HSLIC considered many alternatives, including recycling the material. However, due to the climate of today’s paper recycling market, removing the bindings is not cost effective for recyclers. Donating older print material is costly due to the weight and is not always needed or wanted. Developing countries need access to current health sciences literature versus outdated information.
Removing the print journals was set in motion in the mid-1990s when HSLIC purchased its first package of 50 e-journals. Since this time, the popularity of electronic resources has completely transformed the publishing world as well as library users’ expectations.
Recognizing the overwhelming preference for e-journals, HSLIC began transitioning away from print in the early 2000s and stopped purchasing print journals altogether in 2016. HSLIC currently subscribes to over 2,700 e-journals, with coverage back to 1995 for many titles.
Bound journals relocated to off-site storage are mostly prior to 2000, and represent over a century of the understanding and advancements in health sciences. This information can be critical for research questions where a broader look at the literature is necessary. This information will still be available to HSC users.
Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions about the project.