Answered By: Chris Clouser
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2014     Views: 33

You are correct. We only have electronic access to Science through 2004 at the latest. The electronic access we do have is through a variety of 3rd party databases from vendors such as EBSCO (EBSCOHost databases), Thomson Gale (InfoTrac databases) and JSTOR. We call these database vendors "aggregators" because they collect online content from many different publishers and package the content into databases that they sell to libraries. The database vendors must license the content from the journal publisher to make it available in the database. Libraries prefer aggregator databases because you can search the content of lots of journals at the same time. Up until a few years ago, the publisher of Science did license the content to database aggregators. More recently, however, the publishers of Science decided to produce and market their own electronic content and discontinued the licenses for the aggregator databases. That's why databases from different vendors all end at 2004. We didn't cancel the electronic content, Science pulled out of the aggregator programs. Another attractive feature of aggregator databases is that the pricing structure is very favorable to libraries. Through an aggregator database we can get access to lots of content from many publishers at a far lower cost than if we tried to collect the content directly from the publishers. We can't do that with Science any more. We have investigated a subscription to the electronic version of Science, but have found the cost of the individual title database to be prohibitive. They are pricing the online content much higher than a single subscription to the paper issues (which we are still maintaining). Science's decision to go foward as an independent database came fairly late in the game. Many libraries, including IUP, have already bought in to the aggregator databases and, given the amount of content that you can get from them, are averse to giving up the databases. Incremental money for additional electronic content such as Science, is scarce. We regretted Science's decision to drop out of the aggregator market and go it alone because we lost access to the current content. However, we just have not been able to afford to pick up the electronic access to it. I'm sorry that I can't provide a better answer, but it is an economic issue. We haven't lost the content entirely, though, since we have maintained the paper subscription.

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