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Journal Deselection 2021: Home

What's the purpose of this project?

Image of journal shelvingIn the context of academic librarianship, deselection refers to the permanent removal of an item from the library collection. There are a number of reasons to remove content from a collection, including:

  • Scope: Is the content relevant to curriculum and research needs?
  • Current: Does the content contain obsolete information?
  • Usage: Is the content being used?
  • Redundancy: Are there duplicate copies of the content?
  • Completeness: If it is a part of a set, is it intact?
  • Uniqueness: Is the content unique or scarce?
  • Format Obsolescence: Can you still watch that VHS tape?
  • Physical condition: Is the material damaged?

While academic libraries periodically remove content from the collection, larger projects take place in response to changing spaces - which is the case for Creighton University Libraries.

The Libraries are embarking on this project in anticipation of physically merging the Health Sciences Library collections within the Reinert Library by the end of 2023. The merger is taking place as the university vacates buildings on the west side of the highway, which includes the Biomedical Information Center, within which the Health Sciences Library is located. The construction of a next generation library space remains a priority on campus, for more information on these developments, please see the recent convocation address

The University Libraries team invites faculty to review an initial deselection list and participate in the decision making process; faculty have until June 1st to review the list and share feedback.


Are we going to lose current journal content?

No, most of the print volumes of the journals on the deselection list were discontinued previously in favor of the electronic edition. Other titles were discontinued entirely and the print volumes from prior years remained in our collection.

Will we be able to access the content in another way?

Yes, the library provides electronic access to most of the titles on the list. The list presented indicates what coverage we have in another format (electronic or microform). An interlibrary loan request may be placed to access content that we do not own in another format.

I see that some journal volumes are available in microfilm or microfiche, how do I use that?

Our libraries have a document delivery service available. When you place a request for content on microform, a staff member will create a PDF of the content and email it to you.

What happens if all academic libraries eliminate print copies of these journals?

Academic libraries have developed print retention programs to ensure that print copies of content are retained. You'll see a number of health sciences journals on the list, there is a print retention program established by the National Library of Medicine specifically for health sciences journals, called MedPrint. Creighton University Libraries participates in the MedPrint program and retains several journals in print due to that commitment. Consortia of academic libraries have also established print retention programs, such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance's Shared Print Repository and the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST).  

What happens to the print content removed from the collection?

The title list will be shared with organizations accepting print donations, including other libraries maintaining print volumes for a shared repository. Remaining content will be sent to the recycling center and recycled. 

How was the list created?

The University Libraries team conducted a detailed analysis of the journal collections at the Health Sciences Library and Reinert Library. The analysis included: title usage, electronic format availability, the number of our peer libraries that own the item, and whether it is in Hathitrust. The library team used this analysis to develop an initial list of print journals for deselection that either:

  • Duplicated in an electronic format, or
  • Had not been used in the past 15 years and were owned by at least two of our peer libraries

The list was reviewed by our liaison librarians to eliminate any titles which will not be considered for removal - the next step is soliciting input from our faculty!

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