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MU Libraries Ensure Future Access to Electronic Journals

Electronic access to journals is cost-effective and convenient, but as library collections become more electronic, the question of long-term future access to this material has arisen. MU Libraries has taken an important step to ensure that its users will always have access to its electronic journals by entering into an agreement with Portico, a not-for-profit service launched in 2005 that offers a permanent archive of electronic scholarly journals.

“Our relationship with Portico means that MU Libraries can continue to expand electronic access to information, which is increasingly the preferred format of our users, while also maintaining our traditional preservation function, which is vital to many researchers,” stated Jim Cogswell, Director of Libraries. “The libraries have dramatically increased online journal access for our users in the past year, and we now have subscriptions for over 8,000 Internet journals from the top science, medical, and social science publishers. The journals made available through Science Direct, Wiley InterScience, SpringerLink, and Sage will all be protected through the Portico service.”

Portico provides all libraries supporting the archive with campus-wide access to archived content when a publisher stops operation, ceases to publish a title, no longer offers back issues, or for some other reason the content is no longer available from the publisher or other source. To date, over 5,300 journals have been promised to the Portico archive, and over 175 libraries are participating in the archive. Portico is actively receiving content from publishers and is engaged in carefully converting this content to an archival format and depositing it into the Portico archive.

The MU Libraries serve a student body of 28,000 plus a faculty of 1,800, and have a collection of 3.2 million print volumes, 35,000 journal titles (in print or online) and 7.4 million microforms. With an annual budget of $12.5 million, the Libraries support the instruction, research, service, and economic development missions of the University of Missouri-Columbia. By acquiring scholarly resources, developing innovative services, and applying new information technologies, the MU Libraries fulfill their primary purpose: to serve users. MU Libraries Web site is at the following address:

http://mulibraries.missouri.edu.