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Definition and types of Electronic Journal (e-journal)

E-Journal

Electronic issues of journals and articles to periodicals the library subscribes in. It consists of Full-text and Bibliographic Databases. Full- text databases contain the whole content of an article such as citation information, text, illustrations, diagrams and tables. Bibliographic databases only contain citation information of an article, such as author’s name, journal title, publication date and page numbers. An e-database is an organized collection of information. It supports flexible and in-depth searching of different fields, e.g. journal title, article title, author, abstract, year, etc. We can only search for journal title in the Library Catalogues, but not the title or author of individual articles. Therefore, e-database is extremely useful to find out the articles on particular topics, e.g. Peer assessment in classroom. A particular journal articles can retrieve from e-database, which could not find the same information via the Library Catalogue.
 
Libraries have been exploring easily to cope up with the problems of ever increasing prices of the journals, space requirements and decreasing level of usage as the journals get older. Nevertheless, libraries are required to maintain back the issues of the journals, usually in bound form. Electronic Journal helps the librarians in addressing these problems to a great extent without significantly affecting the service levels. Electronic journals can be accessed via inter-net from any web enabled PC. Depending on the type of subscription, one or more users can access the service simultaneously, either directly from an independent web enabled PC or in a local area network through a proxy server (IP addresses based access). Electronic journals also offer benefit of full text searching and downloading of articles. Many publishers of electronic journals offer their journals through consortia of libraries at much lower rates. INDEST and INFLIBNET are two such consortia operating in India. Access to articles in electronic journals can also be made through aggregator services which offer searchable databases of contents of e-journals from several publishers, and links to journal site for full text. Emerald, OCLC and J-Gate are some of the example of e-journal aggregator services. The main disadvantage of electronic journal is that libraries cannot physically posses the journals.

Advantages of E-Journals:
E-journals are becoming increasingly in demand both as a means of rapid desktop access to current research materials and as a way to view past volumes. E-journals offer a range of potential advantages to libraries and end-users:
  1. Allows remote access.
  2. Can be used simultaneously by more than one user.
  3. Provides timely access and at the rate of 24 X 7 X 365 formula.
  4. Supports different searching capabilities.
  5. Accommodates unique features (e.g. Links to related items, reference linking)
  6. Saves physical storage space.
  7. Supports multimedia information.

As a result of the above advantages, libraries today buy licenses for an ever-increasing number of Electronic Journals from a range of different publishers and providers, and use a diverse set of technologies for information delivery.


Categories of E-Journals:
 Based on the level of content e-journal can be classified as:

a. Scholarly or research e-journal.

b. Popular or general public e-journal.

c. Industry or Trade e-journals.

Based on availability and pricing e-journals may be categorized  as followings:

Free online e-journal: The journals, which are totally free in online. Such as Fulltext Database/ service.

Free along with print subscription e-journal: The journals, which online access are free and also provide print subscription. i.e. Cambridge University Press, John Hopkins University Press, Oxford University press.

Priced e-journal: The journals, which are online and priced marginally less than the printed version. i.e. Blackwell, Blackwell Navigator etc.


  • Reference Article: Velumani, K. V. (2013). An investigation in to the impact of e resources in modern Library and Information Centers.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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