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Journal & Index Weeding Project : Home

Information on Swem Library's weeding of print copies of journals duplicated in JSTOR, plus old or duplicate indexes.

Proposal and Background


The library's 2nd and 3rd floor shelving spaces are badly impacted. In many areas where new volumes are still being added, there is no available space to put them, and none can be created without removing material from the shelves or undertaking major shifting projects. So many periodicals and indexes have already been relocated into off site storage that that building is nearly full. In addition, the print periodicals and indexes have seen dramatically reduced usage now that the library offers a wide selection of online journals and research databases.

Space is a scarce resource in the library. To make the most efficient use of that resource, we will withdraw older volumes of the print periodicals that are fully duplicated in stable online archives.  ("Withdraw" means to remove a print volume from our collection permanently, not just to move it into storage. Volumes withdrawn are always offered to other libraries or to out-of-print journal replacement services.) In addition, we will withdraw print periodical indexes which have been superseded by online sources or otherwise become obsolete. Complete lists of titles proposed for withdrawal are provided under the "Title Lists" tab of this site.

As  volumes  are withdrawn, the periodicals shelving will be regularized (many of the existing shelves are at irregular heights) and the remaining volumes shifted to make more room for new books. The off site building area will be reorganized to make best use of the available space for other low-demand library materials.

Proposed for withdrawal: Bound Periodicals duplicated in JSTOR

JSTOR is a growing archive to which journal volumes are continuously added once they "age in," usually after they are 3 to 7 years old.  JSTOR's archives are stable and reliable, and the organization has an excellent reputation in the academic library world as being committed to preservation and responsible archiving practices. Their content includes cover-to-cover PDF copies of each journal issue. The full content of JSTOR's Arts & Sciences Collections I through VII has been purchased by Swem, including payment of a one-time archiving fee and ongoing maintenance costs.

We will withdraw only those volumes covered in JSTOR as of this year.

The project entails no loss of journal content to W&M users. The W&M community will have immediate online access to PDF copies of all journals withdrawn. The project does not cancel any subscriptions to current journals or indexes.

Proposed for withdrawal: Print indexes/abstracts in Storage and the Main collection


  1. Indexes with an electronic duplicate/equivalent (stable subscription for 7 or more years, aggregators can be suitable equivalents when appropriate).
  2. Indexes with most current volume older than 10 years old – Retrospective and historical indexes excluded.
  3. Indexes with short runs (less than 10 years) – Retrospective and historical indexes excluded.
  4. Indexes not requested by users since placement in storage.
  5. Indexes for serials not owned by Swem.
  6. Indexes deemed obsolete in the discipline.
  7. Indexes to disciplines outside of the curriculum of campus programs.


Georgie Donovan
Associate Dean for Collections and Content Services

Don Welsh
Head, Research Department