Cataloging open-access publications

Susanna at Tulane recently posted this question on a couple of listservs I subscribe to.

Does your library have a policy for including open access publications in the local catalog or other web-based discovery sources? If so, we would appreciate hearing to what formal extent you treat these titles to support your users’ needs, and how selective you are in representing them in alongside the traditional (paid) electronic resources.

She received 29 responses and summarized them for the list.

The general impression from this quick scan is that […] most routinely select and catalog open-access publications alongside their expensive counterparts, in the same work-flow process. With such a small sample, perhaps those who took the time to answer have been actively involved in open-access issues… or at least represent institutions with adequate staffing levels to deal with policies on this topic.


  • Two have formal policies for open access, appearing on their web sites. Criteria for selection are similar to those for paid publications.
  • Three stated they have no policy about selecting and documenting open-access, but in practice, freely available e-journals and integrating resources are included.
  • Access

  • Only three said that they did not catalog open access or other freely available electronic publications.
  • Only one said a short bibliographic record was included in the catalog for these publications.
  • Most of these institutions used either Serials Solutions or SFX to create a local A-Z listing linked to their web site.
  • Only one said explicitly that no A-Z list is maintained.
  • Maintenance

  • Ongoing maintenance of links was not commented upon much at all.
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