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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bradley A. Long, MSLS (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: This book attempts to be an overview of current electronic journal practices, from standpoint of the librarian. It ends up being a loose collection of essays on the topic. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: This is meant to be an overview of the current state of electronic journals. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but more of an overview of current practices. It does address a serious area of concern to librarians at this time, but it is not the only book to look at electronic serials. Instead of this being an overview of today's practices, it is more like most Haworth Press titles, a compilation of related articles.
Audience: This book is written specifically for librarians who deal with any aspect of electronic serials, including collection development, cataloging, and dealing with publishers. It does address all of these areas, but not quite in a manner that a reader might expect. It is more like a collection of journal articles than a monograph on the topic. All of authors appear to be very knowledgeable in the area of electronic serials, as does the editor.
Features: The book looks at the publishing and pricing aspects of electronic journals as dictated by publishers. It also covers at acquisition, cataloging, and archiving related issues that librarians have to deal with, along with special projects that librarians and publishers have ventured into. The book covers the acquisitions of electronic journals very well, but does not seem to be as focused in other areas. There seems to be too much of an emphasis on specific publishers and their models, rather than an overview of a variety of publishing models.
Assessment: In the five years since the first edition, much has changed in the area of electronic publishing. There have been a number of books and journal articles that have addressed these changes over this time period. This title is very useful, but it should not be considered as a core title in the area. It does not flow smoothly between chapters, and each chapter seems to follow the author's format, not one defined by the editor. It serves well as supplement to other titles in the field.