Journal Collection Review

The following Procedure for Reviewing and Updating the Fogler Library Journal Collection was passed by the University of Maine Faculty Senate, February 25, 2004.


In fall semester, 2003, Executive Vice President and Provost Robert Kennedy appointed a Task Force to make recommendations on how best to make adjustments in the Fogler journal collection in light of substantially increasing cost of journals, the increased number and specialization of journals, and Fogler Library storage issues. The Task Force approached this assignment with the following five postulates guiding its deliberations:

1) The Fogler acquisitions base budget must increase annually.
2) No increase that the University can sustain will be sufficient to allow business to continue as it has in the past. Hard decisions will need to be made often, if not annually.
3) A static journal collection, or one that changes only by attrition, is not acceptable. The collection needs to be reflective of the changing needs of the students and the faculty, which requires a continuing reassessment of the titles in the collection.
4) The monograph budget must not be starved to support an increasingly ravenous journal budget.
5) The problem of maintaining and improving access to information through the Fogler Library is not an issue internal to the University of Maine, to be dealt with by this institution alone. Fogler is Maine’s only research library and serves a statewide clientele. Its resources must be available to all who need them, and this means the responsibility of maintaining them has to be shared more broadly by the UMS and the State of Maine.

The Task Force recognized that there had not been a well-articulated, inclusive process for culling, changing, or adding journals to Fogler Library. It recommended that a new process be devised that will give faculty members a more direct voice in the decision-making, provide equity across disciplines, and include a communication component that will help keep the university community informed and involved. Because the Faculty Senate represents the faculty of the University as a whole, the Library Committee of the Senate was charged with the task of developing a recommendation for such a process.


In light of the substantially increasing cost of scholarly journals and the essential nature of these journals to the research and pedagogy of the faculty, the Faculty Senate supports the following inclusive process for reviewing and updating the Fogler Library journal collection each year:

By February 1 Each Year: The faculty will submit any requests for new journals (using the Fogler Library website), including information as to whether this request is to be held in case additional funds become available or whether this new journal should replace an existing one.

By February 15 Each Year: The Faculty Senate will inform all faculty that the annual review of scholarly journals will be conducted in March and encourage their participation in the process.

By March 1 Each Year: The Fogler Library Staff will provide information to the faculty, including:

  • The estimated annual library collections budget, and the impact this will have on the journal collection;
  • A list of all journals to which the library subscribes; and
  • A list of the journals that are on the library’s “Watch List” for possible cancellation and the reason, which might include:
    • The journal is duplicated within the collection
    • The journal is rarely used
    • The journal has had a dramatic price increase
    • Feedback that a journal is dated, no longer needed, etc.

By March 15 Each Year: The faculty will review the Watch List and respond to the library staff in writing if they feel a journal on the list is critical to their program or research.

By Mid April (Prior to the April Faculty Senate Members’ Meeting) : Library staff will review the faculty responses and revise the “Watch List” as appropriate and feasible.

By April 30: The Faculty Senate will review the revised Watch List and respond if necessary. The Library Staff will use the feedback from the Faculty Senate to formulate the final “Watch List,” which will form the basis for cuts if necessitated by the budget.

By the First Faculty Senate Members’ Meeting of the Fall Semester: Since many actual acquisitions and cuts are made during the summer, the Library Staff will provide an update to the faculty about the status of the collection each fall.

It was mentioned that the March 15 deadline was to be pushed back because of spring break. The date will be changed to late March. No one was opposed to changing the date.

The motion carried unanimously.