Research scholars at Delhi University are facing problems because of delay in renewal of subscription for e-journals at the Central University.
Currently, the university’s library is home to approximately 45,000 e-journals and the renewal amount for the same is approximately Rs 5 crore.
“Purchasing an e-journal individually is not easy, especially for those who are not entitled to fellowships. They are highly dependent on the university to access these articles. JSTOR, a very important e-journal for sociology scholars, remains non-accessible at the university,” says Nivedita Ghosh, a research scholar in the sociology department and an assistant professor of sociology in Jesus and Mary College.
“Not just scholars, even teachers need to refer to e-journals. We get to know what is happening around the world easily through an e-journal. Books take longer to get published. So, even if someone might not have written an entire book, some part of their research may get covered in an e-journal,” she says.
Some scholars are concerned about the limited availability of e-journals in the library. “While lack of access to e-journals is hampering work, DU subscribes to only a part of the Taylor & Francis Group journal. This means that, in case of some articles, scholars need to pay up directly, to be able to read the full article,” says a PhD student, on conditions of anonymity.
Another PhD student, who is writing her thesis, says, “We don’t just want to access the e-journals at the earliest, we also want the university to subscribe to more e-journals.”
“Not a single e-journal subscription has been renewed so far this year. While some continue to provide access based on their goodwill with the university, others have discontinued our access to e-journals. Teachers, research scholars, postgraduate students are largely dependent on e-journals and lack of access to even one journal can hamper their work. Only a researcher can understand their importance,” says a library official at DU, who did not wish to be named.
Payments for e-journals are released every financial year. At a meeting on December 2015, an amount of Rs 5 crore was to be released by the university.
“We have meticulously followed the process and sent the request to the finance department in March 2016. The finance department now has to approve it and send it to the pro-vice chancellor of the university following which the renewal process of the e-journals will start,” he says.