Problems of e-journals in Indian Health Science Libraries
Problems of E-Journals inHealth Science Libraries in India. BY Aslam Mehdi, Librarian, J.N. Medical College, AMU ALIGARH firstname.lastname@example.org
OutlineIntroductionPurpose of E-journalsAdvantages of E-journalsIssues & challengesVarious consortia & Initiatives for E-journalsE-journals in Public DomainSuggestionsConclusion
Introduction: Emergence of E-journals. Shifting paradigm from print to online. Growing demand of e-journals in medical colleges in India. Changed scenario for the library managers & information seekers.A number of Health Science Libraries remain deprived of availing the benefitsof e- journals on account of various factors such as:- non-availability of infrastructural facilities- low application of ICT in HSL- huge subscriptions of journals
Main purposes of E- Journals :Main purpose of electronic Journal is: To save the time of the users and staff. To solve the problem of space in the libraries. To disseminate knowledge with easy techniques. To provide the latest information.
Advantages of e-journalsInformation can be retrieved within no time.E- journals can be downloaded instantly.Users can access E- journals any time.E- journals can be accessed any where .Supports Multi Media use for health information.Fully searchable and hyperlinked with easy browsing.E- journals can be accessed with various search options.
Benefits for Librarians:Unlimited access and unlimited use of E-journals .No bindery and repair work for E- journals.No shipping and handling charges required.E- journals solve shelving and rectification problem .No risk of damage and theft.
Issues & challengesDisparity in the provision of funds.Lack of support from the management.Non-availability of basic infrastructural facilitiesLow application of present ICTLack of collective will & efforts by the govt. agencies.Lack of adequate trained library personnel.Huge subscription charges of journals .
Various e-consortia & initiatives for E-journals :UGC-Info net : Launched in 2003 covering 200 universities with2011 journals in health sciences.HELINET : Launched by RGUHS in 2003, 650 journals, Ist e-consortia in India .ERMED :Electronic Resources in Medicine, Started in 2008 byNML. Covered 98 medical college so far, 2400 journals .medIND: Developed by ICMR & NIC in 1986, 40 biomedicaljournals with back volumes.J-gate : Launched in 2001 by Informatics India , 7739 journals.Hinari : Launched in 2002 by WHO,7000 journals, accessible forlow income countries only.
Open Access Journals for Health Sciences:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ : The most popular databaseof 18 million- documents.www.freemedicaljournals.com : 430 journals .www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ : 499 journals .www.biomedcentral.com/: 200 useful journals .http://www.doaj.org/: Directory of Open Access Journals: 524Medical Journals.http://highwire.stanford.edu: 1,989,822 full-text articles, 282sites with back issues.
E- electronic journals during 1999–2002, in US medical collegelibraries (As per statistics of Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries)
The growth of electronic resources, 2000 – 2008
SuggestionsThere should be no disparity of funds among various healthscience libraries by the fund granting agencies in India.The NML should acquire a better consortium of e- journals withmaximum number of peer reviewed journals covered.The Ministry of Health should try to get the access of HINARI andprovide it to all HSL in India as it covers more useful journals.Trainings in ICT applications should be mandatory for the medicallibrarians.All medical libraries in India should develop their websites withproper links to e-journals available.Open Access Journals which are available freely in public domainshould not be subscribed by any medical library in India.Creation of a National Digital Health Information Centre with afacility to provide access to maximum number of e-journals.
ConclusionThe Health Science Libraries are facing severe problems due tolack of sufficient budget, shortage of proper trained staff andescalating cost of journals.Thus there is an urgent need for generating a mechanism bygovernment of India to address the issues being faced by the HSLin India.Access to high quality information improves decision making byhealth care professionals and is a major determinant in the qualityof care and improves health for the nation and the world.