|Winter 2003||Volume XVIII, No. 1|
Editor: Robert M. Joven, MLS Information & Education Services Ext. 8493 E-mail - email@example.com
In an article entitled “A New Premise in Science: Get the Word out Quickly, with Online Journals”, the New York Times on December 16, 2002, discussed the advent of the Public Library of Science. The purpose of the PLoS is to publish scientific journals via the Internet at no cost to the reader in order to expedite the publication of the results of scientific and clinical research as an alternative to commercial science journal publishers like Reed/Elsevier. The founders of PLoS “. . .envision the sprouting of a kind of cyber neural network where all of scientific knowledge can be searched, sorted and grafted with a fluidity that will speed discovery.” The articles’ authors in PLoS will bear the expenses associated with this initiative at $1,500/article.
The Internet location for PloS is http://www.publiclibraryofscience.org/
PubMedCentral http://www.pubmedcentral.gov is a predecessor to PLoS in the publication of electronic articles. PubMedCentral is a product of NIH through the National Library of Medicine. However, PubMedCentral attempts to work with existing publishers to have their articles put online to decrease the lag time between research findings and their promulgation. PubMedCentral, as clearly noted on its homepage, is not in the journal article publication business.
How successful these or other similar e-article endeavors will be is complicated by numerous economic and cultural factors. Commercial publishers want to maintain their highly remunerative income stream and are reluctant to move to a new distribution medium which may imperil their revenues. Faculty authors whose CVs are scrutinized by academic appointment and promotion committees find a career necessity in publishing in the highly recognized commercial journals that Reed/Elsevier publishes like Science.
Electronic publication has, of course, already had a major impact on the way in which scientific literature is searched. The UCHC Library provides access via its homepage to over 2,600 e-journals, 139 e-texts and 145 health sciences databases. The Library online catalog hyperlinks to e-journal sites on the Internet.
The Library homepage where these e-resources are located records 275,000 accesses per year. The online catalog has 150,000 accesses; e-journals, 65,000 accesses. MD Consult, a database designed to provide clinicians with a multifaceted information resource including e-journals, e-texts, consumer health information, continuing medical education and pharmaceutical data, records at UCHC 50,000 accesses annually.
These library-based e-resources are available to the UCHC community both at the work site and at home through a proxy server. Authentication to access the latter is through the barcode on one’s UCHC Library card.
A consequence of electronic access to the professional literature on one’s desk or laptop is that information users may be disinclined to go back before the mid 1990s in their search of the literature. It is at this point that many scientific and clinical journals began to provide electronic access as an alternative to the traditional printed format.
The scientific literature, of course, has a long history
preceding the middle of the last decade. This literature is still highly
relevant containing seminal articles in all major subject specialties
and documenting the paths that scientific research has taken. The Library
provides an online photocopy request service that can be used to request
articles that are from that portion of the journal collection that is
not digitally available.
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Lyman Maynard Stowe Library at the University of Connecticut Health Center
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Farmington, Connecticut 06034-4003
The URL for this page is: http://library.uchc.edu/libpub/winter03/director03.html
Last Updated: February 26, 2008