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Hilton M. Briggs Library Policies

SUBJECT: Paper versus Online Serial Subscriptions


  1. Purpose

To guide subscription practices when both paper and online forms of a serial are available.

  1. Policy
  • In most cases, the library will not pay for both print and online subscriptions for a given serial. If a serial title is available both in print and online, the preferred format will be online.
  • This policy will be implemented on a case by case basis contingent upon the suitability of the online version. Suitability includes factors such as the effectiveness and ease of use of the online interface, the reliability of the online system, the comprehensiveness of the content coverage, and the difference in cost between print and online access.
  1. Procedures
  • The Collections Committee will review the print titles annually.
  • Any potential changes from paper to online format will be made in consultation with the relevant subject librarian(s) and department(s).
  • Faculty who disagree with a change may discuss their concerns by contacting their subject librarian.
  1. Related Documents
  • Collection Development Statement (contact library staff to access this document)
  1. Responsibility

The Head of Technical Services or designee is responsible for implementation, enforcement, and ad hoc review of this policy and annual review of procedures. The Policy and Procedures Committee is responsible for review of this document every four years. The Dean of the Library is responsible for review and approval of this policy and associated revisions.


Reviewed by:              Library Faculty                         January 8, 2020

Approved by:              Dean of the Library                  January 17, 2020

Origination date:        September 9, 2015

Revision dates:            January 17, 2020

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