It's been happening gradually. Publishers have been moving from print versions of long established journals to online distribution. Libraries, as the traditional archivists of publications, have been caught in the middle often duplicating a journal in both print and online formats. But now budget constraints and improved technology have shifted our once cautious collection policies to favor online acquisition of journals over the print.
The publishing industry is making this decision easier for us by offering electronic access as the primary distribution format, often with an additional cost for a print copy. This is the reverse of what used to be just a few years ago. As prices continue to increase, we can save on mailing, handling, shelving, and binding costs by eliminating the print.
Also, researchers and students prefer using journals from their labs, offices, and homes at any hour. In order to meet their needs, we are migrating from print holdings to online only. There are several benefits to this new form of access: searching full text for specific words, linking to references, citation searching, and emailing authors from the article page among others. In some instances, the entire archive of past issues is available.
It is important to check EUREKA, the CSUS Library catalog, to see in which format you can find a journal title. The Journal Locator List can also be used to find if a particular journal is available in one of our online databases.
If you happen to enjoy printed materials, don’t worry! While more and more resources are available online, it will be some time before the Library is completely digital.