The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library

Worldcat Library Catalog Journal Titles

Collection Development Sustainability Task Force

Developing your Access Toolkit

This image shows the options to access a resource previously available through our Elsevier "Big Deal". Many of the most-used journals will still be avalible immediately. Other access methods include searching for an open access version of the resource, potential investigation of unmediated request-based access for faculty through the copyright clearance center, and use of interlibrary loan.

Our friends at SPARC shared with us a quote from a member, who summed up the economic challenges of academic publishing for libraries and universities as, "Often, we are paying for convenience, not access". 

It is estimated that more than 28% of scholarly articles are open access and that it is even more common with recent, frequently accessed articles (With unpaywall users in 2015 finding that 47% of the articles they tried to access had an open access version available). 

The problems with the oligarchical practices of publishers are systemic, and our individual behavior changes will not be able to solve them. However, our individual actions can potentially be a drop of water in a wave that changes the landscape of academic information. Applying varied search strategies is not something unfamiliar to academics, we now ask that you consider applying a few new strategies to support the shift from an oligarchical system of closed ownership to a system of free or open access to critical information.

Additionally, using a few of the tools listed below can help you find and access information quickly, including information and sources you might not be able to access as quickly through library means, like ILL (although we are huge fans of ILL and encourage you to use it whenever needed!)

Apps, Plug-ins, and helpful websites

Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

Interlibrary Loan (also referred to as Get it!, ILL, and Document Delivery) is something that many of us are familiar with (This video introduces the process if you have not used it before). And these services will continue to be essential to researchers getting access to needed resources. 

A suggested order of operations for accessing a known item would consist of:

  1. Search Worldcat or another large aggregator that integrates the library's collections to see if it is within our subscriptions. 
  2. In another tab, search the title of the article to see if a Green OA version has been uploaded to an institutional repository or another accessible self-archiving tool. (Plug-ins like Unpaywall do this for you if you find yourself at a paywalled version of the article).
  3. In Worldcat, sort by "Best Match" rather than by "Library". Almost always you will easily find the article listed as "Held by other libraries". Open the record page and click the "Get it!" button to submit an ILL request. 

Advocacy Organizations