The Biggest Challenge for all Librarians, Colleges and Institutes when subscribing Journals is to find best and most cost effective Journals, which can meet their requirement and also not heavy on their budget and they get best deals too.
There are some standard practices which are listed below which if followed judiciously will provide not only happy moments for Librarians and journals selection committee but also significantly reduce post subscription follow-up, quality issues and authenticity of publication.
The Publishers Catalog
Always subscribe your journals by referring the original publishers catalog as publishers catalog will give you complete, authentic and reliable information. Some times publishers drop/ add Journals, may merge volume / Issues or Change Journals name all this information is only available on latest Publishers Catalog.
The Publishers Website
Publishers website is the most authentic way to find the current status of Journals. If you have decided to procure a Journal directly from publisher or your supplier agency , always check the current status of papers published / Vol & Issue , Editorial Board status online , as its now mandatory to have all these details available before print publication .
Journals National / International ?
There is lot of confusion about which Journals are national and which can be / should be considered International.
It should be noted that all Journals who's ISSN no's are issued in/ from India are originally Indian Journals, as their place of Publication, Publishers are Indian.
Also all Print International Journals can only be called international when they are imported by through customs route i.e. only if they are legally imported via shipments after going through customs .
The best way to check the journals ISSN is to go on www.portal.issn.org and check the country of origin and publisher.
Checking Publishers Credentials
Always ask for Publishers details like PAN, GST, Import-Export Code , Registration with government agencies like ( DRDO ) , Check GST returns filing online, List of Clients and current company status.
Confirming with Publisher
It is always beneficial for libraries to directly be in touch with publishers for getting technical support and also about printing/ dispatch and delivery of missing issues.
Some times libraries get only promoted selective Journals of their choices and may not receive complete list of Journals or information, the best way is to ask the agencies to reveal the college name to publishers ,so that publishers provide assistance to libraries.
Publisher Authority Letter
If your library is subscribing Journals through any agency please ensure that the agency is authorized by publisher to sell and represent them in your college, as in case of any dispute publisher will not entertain request of Institutes/ Colleges who buy from unauthorized agencies.
For this the best way is to ask for authority letter from the agency from the publisher on their letter-head.
We are hopeful that if decision makers follow the best practices, then they will get the best Journals but also most value for the money they have invested.
If you have any queries or suggestion , please do share with us.