I’ve sent the following invitation to some library-related email lists. Let’s hope we get a good response.
In the year since I retired from work as a subject librarian, I’ve continued to contribute to JournalTOCs, the free scholarly journal tables of contents service. I’ve made this unpaid effort because I totally believe in the possibilities of using metadata produced by journal publishers (commercial, Open Access, institutional, etc) in order to provide economic and efficient current awareness services for researchers and students.
Now, JournalTOCs is offering libraries a free trial of a lightweight scholarly journals tables of contents customisation service. As libraries are faced with financial cutbacks, this new initiative gives libraries a real alternative to expensive database search services.
The trial on offer is available until the end of April 2011 and will provide each participating library with a searchable and browsable database of the most recent tables of contents of up to 15,000 scholarly journals to which that library subscribes, to be made available within the library’s own website interface. This means that members of the library in question will always be able to click through to the full text of articles found. If desired, features to enable saving of searches, and export of citations to EndNote or RefWorks, can also be included in the trial customisation.
If you’re interested in the fine detail of how the customisation on offer has been implemented by one particular library and what its users thought of it, please read this recent article in the code4Lib Journal http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/4134
Each participating library’s customised searchable database will have a simple interface (no complicated bells and whistles). The database will include issues published since 2008. It must be noted that only journals to which the library subscribes which produce Table of contents RSS feeds will be included. To see the 15,000 journals which currently have RSS feeds, go to the JournalTOCs service http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/ These 15,000 journals include 1,600 Open Access journals which can, if desired, be included in the trial database. Note that new journals with RSS feeds are constantly being added to JournalTOCs.
This trial should suit small to medium academic/college/research/industrial libraries.
If your library is interested in taking part in this trial, or if you’d like more information, please register an interest with the ICBL at Heriot-Watt University, via firstname.lastname@example.org
The free trial is available with no ongoing commitment, but at the end of April, participating libraries will be offered the opportunity to continue the service until the end of 2011 at a cost of Euros 650. This will pay for ongoing technical maintenance and development of the service. The service can be renewed at the end of the year.
This is, therefore, a real low cost alternative to expensive library search database systems.