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As a matter of practice and service to the CUMC community, the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library systematically and deliberately evaluates its scholarly journal collection, using an ever expanding set of data points. In the past few years, we developed a sound methodology to safeguard and monitor access to peer-reviewed scholarly journals at CUMC during fiscal constrictions and unpredictable exorbitant subscription price increases.

Indicators and Data Points

For each journal we collect the following metrics, evaluated on an annual basis:

  • The number of article downloads by CU researchers
  • The number of articles CU researchers published in each journal, broken down by type (i.e. article, letter to the editor, meeting abstract, etc.)
  • The number of times CU researchers cite articles from each journal
  • The journal impact factor and category ranking from the Journal Citation Reports

To ensure that the library does not miss critical titles and continues to meet emergent needs, the following data is monitored and evaluated on an annual basis:

  • The number of interlibrary loan requests
  • New subscription requests

2014 Journal Cancelations

The 2013 journal evaluation started with those titles that had fewer than 600 downloads in 2012 (the most recent full year of data available). To put this in context, the most heavily used titles (eg NEJM, JAMA, Lancet) are downloaded tens of thousands of times per year and medium level titles are downloaded thousands of times.

Due to lower use

This review led the library to discontinue one entire package by the publisher Karger and purchase only the 7 titles, in which CU researchers demonstrated sufficient interest. The canceled Karger titles had low download rates, minimal publishing and minimal citing by CU researchers. 

Another group of journals identified for cancelation are Masson and Doyma, the French and Spanish language Elsevier packages. These titles had low download rates, low citation and low CU researcher publishing rates.

Due to changes in pricing structures

Two additional titles were included in this year's cancelations; Thyroid and the British Journal of Radiology. The price increases for each were 55% and 45% respectively.

CUMC researchers demonstrate a modest interest in Thyroid with download rates just above 600, 2 published articles in the last 4 years, and handful of citations. However, the title is splitting into three bundled titles, a method of increasing revenue that is gaining popularity from publishers. Had we committed to continuing the Thyroid subscription, this split would have resulted in a price increase from $ 1,761 to $2,730.

The British Journal of Radiology is not splitting, but is changing the pricing tier for Columbia University. The download levels have consistently been above 1,500, but there has been minimal publishing or citing of the journal by CUMC researchers in the last 4 years. Combined with an impact factor of 1.314 and radiology category ranking of 78 out of 116, this publishing and use behavior does not warrant committing to the 45% price increase.

All the 2014 canceled titles described above can also be viewed by subject.

Add Your Voice to our Data Stream

Patron feedback and journal requests are an integral part of our journal analysis. Please contact our Knowledge Management Strategist, Susan Klimley at, if you have any concerns about the 2014 journal cancelations or to recommend subscription to a new title.

Communication about new additions to the journal collection is forthcoming in Spring of 2014 and will be posted on the library website.  If you would like to be notified when it is ready, please, send Susan Klimley ( your contact information.

In this issue:

  • History of the Health Sciences Lecture
  • New room reservation system
  • EndNote Clinics coming in December
  • Mac OS 10.9 "Mavericks" being tested 

... and more

Cure your EndNote headaches by dropping in to one of our EndNote Clinics. Bring your laptop and questions to Lower Level 2 of the Hammer Health Sciences Building. 

Tuesday, December 3rd, 1-2pm
Wednesday, December 11th, 2-3pm
Monday, December 16th, 4-5pm

Just getting started with EndNote? Sign up for one of our regular EndNote classes. 

Get a start on your data management plan with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship's Data Management Workshop Monday, November 18th at the Studio@Butler on Morningside Campus.

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Studio@Butler (rm 208 Butler Library), Morningside Campus


History of the Health Sciences Lecture
Thursday, December 12th at 6pm with refreshments at 5:30
Russ Berrie Pavilion, 1150 St. Nicolas Ave at W 168th St., Room 1

Ziv Eisenberg, Ph.D., Lecturer, Program in the History of Science & Medicine, Yale University

In the 1930s and early 1940s, American husbands were offered new roles in responding to their wives’ pregnancy and the birth of their newborn. Medical experts –obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, and maternity nurses – produced new literature that taught expectant fathers to function as the doctor’s proxy in the home, supervising their wives’ behavior and ensuring that they followed the physician’s orders. Experts aimed not only to protect the health of mothers but also to empower husbands; however, at the same time, they also demanded that men provide their wives with meaningful, practical help. Through pregnancy classes, guidebooks and leaflets, husbands learned to perform traditionally female household tasks like cooking, changing diapers, and bathing their baby, without risking feminization.

The physicians and nurses who helped give expectant fatherhood a new meaning were part of an emerging reform movement that sought to make childbearing safer and reduce maternal mortality. Since breadwinning was a husband’s traditional source of authority, Depression-era unemployed and underemployed men lost their confidence and sometimes the respect of their families.

Capitalizing on the dismal state of men, medically-trained maternity experts sought to re-conceptualize “modern fatherhood” as therapeutic, an opportunity for a husband to prove his value and create strong bonds with his wife and baby. For men struggling to earn money and trying to maintain or regain their masculine authority, the whole nine months of pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby became unique opportunities to assert power in their family, keep busy, and find a new purpose in life. Dr. Eisenberg’s lecture opens a new window into the dynamic relationships between health care providers and expectant families, and suggests a fresh understanding of the history of modern pregnancy in America.

Free and open to the public.