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JSTOR Journal Withdrawal Project

Alkek Library proposes to withdraw print volumes of 92 journals that are duplicated in the JSTOR journal archive. We welcome comments and questions about this project and encourage you to contact us for further information or clarification.

Please review the list below of JSTOR titles slated for withdrawal. Only print volumes that are currently covered by JSTOR will be withdrawn. There will be no loss of access to any issues.


Alkek Library JSTOR Withdrawal Plan*

1. Identify journals that a) contain few images, and b) are preserved at Harvard and CDL repositories to 95% level of completeness. 92 journals fulfill this criteria currently.

2. Make the list available to library representatives, allow feedback through 18 February, 2015.

3. Withdraw print issues starting 19 February 2015. Electronic access will continue via JSTOR with no loss of access. Contribute withdrawn issues to print repositories or JSTOR. Recycle issues not needed.

4. Repeat process annually or as needed, as more journals reach the level of 95% completeness.

 * Approved by Faculty Senate Library Committee, October 22, 2010. In 2011, 213 JSTOR journals were withdrawn using this method.


Contact: Paivi Rentz, Library System Coordinator 245-7552


What is JSTOR?

The JSTOR (journal storage) project is a creation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The purpose of JSTOR is to convert back issues of print journals into electronic format to save libraries space (and the capital costs associated with that space) and to enhance access to the journal content. Begun in 1995 with less than a dozen journals in economics and history, the JSTOR project has grown to over 1,000 titles in all subject areas. Texas State has access to the majority of them.


Why do we need to withdraw anything?

Alkek Library has no off-site storage facility, and is every year adding many thousands of new volumes to the collections. While the library is not yet entirely out of space, space is limited and the library will need to increasingly deselect materials to be able to house needed materials for years to come.The planned library renovation will also reduce collection space.


Why withdraw JSTOR and not some other content?

Alkek Library has a retention policy for journals. According to it, the library may withdraw journals when all of the following apply:

  • The library has full-text access to the entire journal, with perpetual/post-cancellation access.
  • The digital versions are complete, of high quality, and in formats that facilitate preservation.
  • There is sufficient print and digital backup of content and a sustainable plan to maintain it.

JSTOR is a significant collection that meets all the above requirements:

  • JSTOR digitizes every issue from cover to cover, from volume 1. The Library is committed to pay the small annual access fee that covers the ongoing costs of maintaining the collections.
  • JSTOR has a high-quality digitization process, and their electronic files and metadata are in formats that can be readily converted to newer formats as they are developed in the future.
  • JSTOR has been certified as a trusted digital repository by the Center for Research Libraries. This audit confirms that the repository is meeting best practices for the preservation of digital content.
  • The one-time "Archive Capital Fees" libraries pay to JSTOR cover the cost for preservation and migration of digital content.
  • Multiple data centers guarantee the security of the electronic content.
  • JSTOR works with institutions knowledgeable in the preservation of paper to store multiple copies of the original print publications underlying the archives so that they are available for re-digitization as well as other unanticipated needs. There are two climate-controlled paper repositories of JSTOR journals at California Digital Library and Harvard. At both locations, each issue of each journal is page-verified for completeness and efforts are ongoing to complete holdings. Content is also being stored at many regional repositories.
  • JSTOR has a process for selecting a third-party steward in the event that JSTOR should cease operations.


Will Alkek withdraw all JSTOR titles?

No. At this time, we have identified as weeding candidates only those titles that are adequately preserved both digitally and in print and that contain few images. We've used the What to Withdraw Print Collections Decision-Support  tool developed by ITHAKA, to identify likely candidates based on preservation status and image-to-page ratio. Every title on our list of withdrawal candidates meets the following criteria:

  • Both page-verified print repositories, Harvard and UC archives, must have over 95% of the total number of issues.
  • Journal averages less than one image per twenty pages.


How can we be sure that we will always have access to the electronic archive of JSTOR titles?

JSTOR is a collaborative preservation project by libraries and the Mellon Foundation. All participating libraries contribute funds through archive fees for preservation of the digital record. JSTOR is considered the most stable of any electronic archive.


What will happen to Alkek's current subscriptions to JSTOR journals?
The withdrawal plan does not affect current subscriptions. The only change is that in cases where our subscription is to the print version of the journal, we will no longer bind the print issues.


What will the library do with the withdrawn journals?

We will check with JSTOR, the Center for Research Libraries and print repositories to see if we can contribute to their archives. Volumes not needed will be recycled.