Where to Spend Our E-journal Money?

A preprint of an article that will appear in the forthcoming issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy:

This paper identifies core journals in the life sciences for Cornell University researchers by analyzing the frequency of Cornell-authored citations in Biosis Previews between 1996 and 2001. The distribution frequency of journals confirms Bradford’s Law of Scatter or the 80/20 Rule. The top 240 journals, providing 80% of the citations, were analyzed by publisher type and institutional subscription price. In general, journals from society and associations received the highest number of citations and were priced considerably lower than commercial journals. The methodology described is a fast, no-cost, and scalable procedure that can be adapted to various subject databases, and may be used to provide guidance on which titles to purchase for electronic access.

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