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A Study Of Interdisciplinary Research Needs: Results From Input Of Faculty In Six Engineering Departments In Prioritizing Serial Subscriptions

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Value Added Collection Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.121.1 - 8.121.12



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Paper Authors

author page

Virginia Baldwin

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A Study of Interdisciplinary Research Needs: Results from Input of Faculty in Six Engineering Departments in Prioritizing Serial Subscriptions

Virginia Baldwin Associate Professor University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The issue of journal cancellations has been a subject of much discussion and controversy, research, conference presentations, and publication in the literature of library and information science, especially in the 1990's. Burgard & Easton (1999) highlight a selection of 14 library Web sites that describe their own cancellation projects. University faculty, particularly in the sciences and engineering, have been vocal regarding the loss of their research materials. Library administrators have found increasingly consultative methods of determining candidates for deselection, the need for the process (Sapp and Watson 1989), and the universality of the problem. A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library website for serials cancellations created their web page "in response to faculty perceptions that journal cancellations were only a local phenomenon" (Burgard & Easton 1999, p.70). Driven by publisher cost increases and reductions rather than increases in university library materials budgets (Rogers, Oder and Albanese 2000), (Nicklin 1991), cancellation of titles, often core title with long runs at the library, has been the widespread result. An analysis of the holdings of cancelled titles at the University of Arizona as reported by Bosch, Jones, & Simons (1994), using their library's online catalog, reveals that out of the sample of 31 titles, 2 subscriptions began in the late 1940's, 3 in the 1950's, 3 in the 1960's, and 11 in the 1970's.

There is little opportunity to provide the library resources needed for new programs when serial subscription cancellation projects focus on reaction to serial price increases rather than changing needs of the curriculum and research. Emerging disciplines are typically accompanied by new periodical literature. One of the key features of emerging disciplines is that they are almost entirely created by a fusion or merging of two or more, often several, traditional disciplines. Desai and Magin (1991) describe their new bioengineering curriculum using terms such as subdisciplines and cross-disciplinary and refer to bioengineering as a "mature interdisciplinary field" (p. 231). Curricular focus areas for the program are: cell and tissue engineering, neural engineering, and bioinformatics. Tissue engineering is a merger of the fields of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics, biomedical engineering and materials science. Fundamentals for this new curriculum involve studies in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and mathematical modeling. Important subdisciplines include bioinstrumentation, bioimaging, biotransport, biomechanics, molecular and cell biology, nanotechnology, immunology, and biochemistry. At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) the Civil Engineering Department offers graduate programs in Environmental, Geotechnical, Structural, Transportation, Materials and Water Resources Engineering. Each has a strong interdisciplinary component. Research by faculty in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, and Electrical Engineering has a strong materials science component, as does the graduate


Baldwin, V. (2003, June), A Study Of Interdisciplinary Research Needs: Results From Input Of Faculty In Six Engineering Departments In Prioritizing Serial Subscriptions Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11952

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