UC Merced Library Offers 1,100 New Scholarly Journals Online

MERCED - Students, faculty and other researchers at the University of California, Merced, now have electronic access to more than 1,100 journals published by Taylor & Francis, thanks to a new deal between the publisher and the California Digital Library (CDL), a network connecting libraries and offering digital access to materials at all 10 UC campuses.

"Taylor & Francis is a growing publisher of important psychology journals," said Evan Heit, a psychology professor in UC Merced's School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. "The availability of these materials online will be helpful to our students as they write term papers and to faculty as they conduct their research."

"Because we are part of the UC system, our students have access to amazing resources that even 50- to 100-year-old colleges can't touch. These journals are a significant new addition to that selection," said UC Merced Deputy University Librarian Donald Barclay.

Taylor & Francis publishes a wide variety of scholarly journals on subjects from physics to social sciences. The company's Web site is at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals. When users visit this site from the UC Merced computer network or another UC network, no login is required to access the journals' content.

By the end of the summer, the content should also be searchable through the CDL's Melvyl® catalog ( http://melvyl.cdlib.org/) and through the UC Merced library catalog, both of which can be used from any location on or off campus.

Barclay said the CDL/Taylor & Francis deal is emblematic of how the academic publishing world has been undergoing rapid change for several years.

"Prices for journals have been rising for more than 30 years, sometimes at well over twice the rate of inflation," he said. "Library systems with buying power like the UC's have decided to negotiate harder with the publishers rather than just accepting whatever prices were offered."

UC Merced's library now offers access to about 15,000 journals through the CDL and campus-specific access. Yet none of these journals are found in print in the library. Barclay said other libraries are no longer using their precious floor space for print journals, either - mainly because users now prefer to accomplish research from their computers.

"Fifteen years ago, the current periodicals reading room was the hot spot of any campus library," he said. "Now, it's a ghost town."

The space that was originally intended to be UC Merced's periodicals room is more of a relaxation destination and social gathering spot than a research area.

"Online access is what people want," Barclay said. "Offering it this way through the CDL system helps all the UC campuses use money from taxpayers and from student fees much more efficiently."

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