UCB Libraries


Libraries Policies: Cataloging Policies
      Alternate Format Serial Subscriptions in Lieu of Binding

Although the Libraries generally binds paper issues of the journal titles that it holds, there are circumstances in which it is preferable to replace unbound issues with an alternate format (e.g. microforms, CD-ROM), and to discard the unbound issues.

  1. Factors Considered
    Cost-effectiveness is a major consideration in determining whether a journal title should be bound and retained in paper copy, or whether unbound issues should be discarded and replaced with some other format. Costs include searching and claiming for missing issues, binding and other preservation issues, space, the cost of the alternative format, equipment needed to support the alternative format, etc. Some common situations are:

    A. Physical Suitability: Titles that are in newspaper or newsletter format, that are oversized, that are printed on poor quality paper, etc., may not be suitable for binding.

    B. Likelihood of Issues Missing; Likelihood of Difficult Replacement: Titles that are published daily or weekly have a substantially increased risk of having issues never received. Publishers of such titles often do not maintain sufficient stock to supply replacements. The cost of obtaining full volumes for such.

    C. Likelihood of Damaged Issues: Titles that are often damaged through defacement or removal of pages are good candidates for retention in an alternative.

    D. Space Requirements: Titles whose size or extent as bound paper volumes is substantial may require more space to house than is available or reasonable.

    E. Equipment Requirements: Titles available in an alternative format that requires equipment not readily available or prohibitively expensive may be retained in paper form and bound.

  2. Decision Authority
    Decisions to purchase microform subscriptions or other alternative formats in lieu of binding are made by the Collection Development Librarian and the appropriate bibliographer. Decisions regarding physical bindability of an item are made by the Head of the Preservation Department. Decisions may be made at any time, including at the point of which problems with binding or missing issues are noticed.

Related Documents: Incomplete Serial Volumes


Additional Descriptors: Binding -- Microform Subscriptions as Substitute; Binding -- Substituting Alternative Format for Serials; Alternative Format for Serials