Friday, February 6, 2009

Fulltext Sources Online

Fulltext Sources Online is a two volume publication that is updated twice per year (We keep it behind the reference desk). It costs $285 per year.

We just received the new edition, and the July edition, which it replaces, looks untouched by human hands. Whenever I see this, of course, I question whether we should be getting it.

It lists 41,234 publications whose full text can be found in 25 aggregators (like Ebsco, Factiva, JSTOR, Newsbank, etc). It is arranged alphabetically by title of publication, with subject, geographic and language indexes.

Significantly, 36,417 of the entries include URLs, and of these 13,035 contain free archives. This is noted by a special symbol within the entry. Blogs, radio programs, TV transcripts and newsletters are also included and noted as such in the entry as a document type.

Definitely this is a useful resource. But do we get asked for this kind of information enough to justify the price, or do most patrons want to know what we have access to here in the library (which can quickly be answered by our E-Journal magazine list which can be found here ).


Cynthia said...

I use this from time to time when doing Statewide. If a person is looking for an article we do not have (and Rutgers does not), I go here to see if I might find a free archive. This has happened maybe twice in the past year. I suspect it will happen more often once I loose access to Rutgers.

Despite my using it, I see no reason to get a new version every year, let alone twice a year. Perhaps we can keep our copy now, skip the July update (and save money?) and revisit it this time next year.

JiHae said...

Once a year sounds practical to me. I don't think we should get rid of it all together.

Catherine Harper said...

This source definitely fills a niche, and, for a company library with the funds to pay whatever it takes to get an article for a client, it’s probably very useful. I’m not sure how much we need it, though. I do like the idea of being able to say to a patron that there’s no online alternative available before asking them to wait for an ILL photocopy request to be filled, but if it turns out that there is one and we can’t access it, I still have nothing better to offer them than ILL. If we provided articles from DIALOG on a cost recovery basis to patrons who are in a rush, we'd need FSO to tell us if that were an option. But we don't (nor am I suggesting that we consider it).

I haven’t had occasion to use FSO in several months. I tend to Google the journal’s web site to find out what kind of archive may be available. As far as keeping it goes, I don’t feel strongly one way or the other, but I guess I'm leaning toward a "no".

Jane said...

GS says: Unfortunately, I have never used this source to answer a question. It looks useful but the types of question I have gotten that I could have used it for have answers that can usually be found elsewhere. I also go to the website for the magazine/journal to see if there are free archives available and I think that is much faster than looking in the book. As far as which database or aggregator provides which title, unless we have access to it, it won’t help the person standing in front of us. I don’t think we need this title.

JiHae said...

But what if we lose power for several days and someone wanted to know whether there was full text access out there for 'Flame Retardancy News'? What then?

Seriously though, are we planning on getting rid of most all of our print resources? While FSO may not be used frequently, I *think* it's the only resource out there of it's kind. And $285 is but a drop in the bucket, right Jane?

Kristin said...

Please, please let us keep it; at least every other year? It does fill a need (even if it is my own - just kidding). For those rare times that a college student comes by with a list of journal articles, it is really helpful just to be able to look up the obscure journals to see where they may be accessed. Even if we don't have it in one of our subscriptions, this lets us inform the student who can determine if his/her school may have the particular database.
Please? May we keep it?

Janie L. Hermann said...

I can remember a time when I used this weekly or more. I can not recall using it in the past few months, but I have used a few times in the last year or so. It is helpful for obscure journals or just to confirm that no database access is currently available.

I think an annual update would be good, no need for two times per year though.

Jane said...

Just when I had decided to let this go KF said, "Guess what I just used to answer a Q&A Backup question?" As far as getting it only once per yer--that's not an option. The yearly subscription includes the extra July update. I don't want to get every other year, because I think this kind of info changes often, so that would really reduce the value of the title. We'll keep (for now). And then if we get a request about Flame Retardancy News we'll be all set.