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Checking journal availability

Does the University of Manchester library subscribe to journal “ABC”?  It is a common question, but in some cases the answer is not simple. See How can I check a journal’s availability through the library?

First, electronic access to journal articles:

The library buys packages of e-journal subscriptions from various suppliers, and these are available through e-journal databases. The simplest way to check e-journal access is to use the Electronic Journals A-to-Z list and search using keywords from the journal title. Note:

  • There may be more than one supplier for a journal
  • Subscriptions from different suppliers may cover different dates
  • There may be an embargo (most recent issues are not available) on some subscriptions

Second, access to print copies of journals:

Print journals are expensive to store, and less popular with users, but for some, especially older, articles you should check the Library Catalogue (Select Collection as Journals) to see if the library has a print copy.

Taking today’s query – Do we have a subscription to “Intelligent Buildings International” (see http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?tabid=483)

  1. Searching Electronic Journals A-to-Z list for “intelligent buildings” does not return a supplier, so we probably don’t have a subscription.
  2. The query mentioned IngentaConnect, so we can look at the E-Journals A-to-Z list, suppliers tab to double check. We can connect to IngentaConnect and then do a search for the title within this database. This confirms that this journal is not part of our subscription (just Vol 1 Issue 1, 2009 is available free).
  3. Checking the Library Catalogue confirms that we don’t have print copy (as expected).

So for an article from Intelligent Buildings International the choice is between paying the fee to get the article through document supply, and finding an alternative article, to which the library does have access.

There are various FAQ answers related to e-journals, but it is not easy so suggestions for improving these answers are welcome.

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