Ecology and Environmental Toxicology: TTU Libraries Program Support
Recent Library Expenditures in Support of this Program and Related Areas
Library Expenditures for areas related to this program are based on the "fund codes" that are assigned by librarians to each subscription. While each title assigned a relevant code will vary in its applicability to this program, the funds expended are indicative of the overall support for this program. The interdisciplinary nature of this program makes it difficult to come up with exact figures. The fund codes used to calculate overall support include ENT - entomology, RAN - range, FIS - fisheries, BIO - biology, BIC - biochemistry, ICA - ICASALS, and CIV - civil engineering. The civil engineering fund is a moderately large fund but is much less relevant than the fields of biology, fisheries, etc. By the same token, a number of funds such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, etc. will be used to purchase relevant titles but were not included in the calculation. Therefore, the following figures are approximate and only useful for broad comparisons. Several other expenditures for Reference titles, database access, etc. are not included but are important elements in supporting every program on campus. The following table includes appropriations, not actual expenditures. Occasionally, expenditures exceed appropriations.
* The Approval Plan is a systematic method of receiving regular shipments of books based on profiles set up by subject librarians. The Approval Plan vendor is Blackwell North America. The primary profile used to receive books relevant to this program is the Biology profile, though related titles are regularly received based on profiles for nutrition, chemistry, agriculture, etc.
Specific library holdings added in the last three years in anticipation of this program are difficult to assess precisely. However, a list of new books related to toxicology is maintained at (www.lib.ttu.edu/biology/tox-nb.htm). Many titles are in the process of being ordered at this time, such as the thirteen volume set "Comprehensive Toxicology" and cannot now be listed. New journals include:
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Journal of Industrial Ecology
Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Due to the obvious importance of journals to this discipline, adequate access to this material is our top priority. A page listing the top journals in the field has been created which lists our holdings, those of the Health Science Center Library, and provides access to two tables-of-contents services at (www.lib.ttu.edu/biology/tox-jo.htm). For those titles we do not own, specific articles may be requested online from FirstSearch or though the Library Information System. Requests for new titles may be submitted at any time. Decisions are finalized early in the fall semester. These titles are often quite costly, therefore, each title is carefully considered.
Future Library Expenditures in Support of this Program and Related Areas
Expenditures for serials are expected to increase by 7-10 percent just to keep pace with inflation. Funds for book purchases are also expected to rise by a more moderate rate of 5 percent.
Present TTU Library Holdings & Resources
Library resources begin with library personnel. Briefly, these personnel consist of reference librarians and subject librarians. The latter group, as the title implies, have subject specialties whereby they may assist patrons with detailed queries, such as those brought up by research oriented faculty and graduate students.
A complete list of these individuals may be found on the library's web page (www.lib.ttu.edu/collections/liaisons.htm), but the seven individuals most likely to be involved with this program include: Oleta Armstrong,Reference; Jack Becker,Agriculture; Michael Golden,Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Geosciences; Bill Johnson,Biology, Mathematics, and Physics; Susan Norrisey,Engineering and Computer Science; Brian Quinn,Health; and Tom Rohrig,Government Documents.
Spending by these individuals for materials related to this program may occur individually or collectively as part of a team such as the Science Team or the Reference Collection Committee. Requests may be submitted to these people in a variety of ways from students or faculty.
Books, documents, and other individually packaged information sources, either print or electronic number approximately 50,000, based on keyword searching in TechPAC, the Library's online catalog out of about 1.4 million volumes. This number represents only a portion of the materials held on the Tech campus for it does not include those items available from the Health Science Center Library. It is hoped that this program will foster collaborative collection development activities by these two campus Libraries. Additionally, the Law School Library holds environmental law materials not included in the figure above.
Several other factors should be considered in assessing the adequacy of the collection in meeting the information needs of faculty, staff, and students in addition to merely counting volumes held at the University Library. The first factor is the growing number of electronic resources that will be counted on more and more to support academic programs at TTU. Another factor is the Government Documents collection. Texas Tech is home to one of only two Regional Depository Libraries in Texas. Therefore, it not only offers a wealth of print materials, some 1.3 million documents and 1 million microforms, but it now offers the full text of U.S. patents for the past twenty years on CD-ROM, in print, or on microfilm. Finally, the Southwest Collection houses rare books and original manuscripts, many specifically related to the history of this region, that may offer support to specialized research centering on the environmental history of the Southwest. Additionally, numerous departmental libraries may offer access to specialized materials and the Geosciences Reading Room offers information sources related to geology and maps, including the latest GIS (Geographic Information System) software.
Texas Tech University Libraries were recently admitted into the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and this represents a significant commitment on the part of the Libraries and the University administration in continuing the support for additional materials and personnel expenditures required to attain this distinction.
Journals, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and newsletters are among the most critical type of information to scientific research and teaching. In addition to the429titles subscribed to and available in print at the University Library, a number ofadditional titles are held in theHealth Science Center Library and the Law Library. Due to the escalating price of print journal subscriptions, and the inability of any academic library to "keep up", we have had to cut serials from time to time. This activity is not only hard on programs, it is hard on people. In order to minimize this "defensive" posture, the Library has entered into a number of agreements to subscribe to electronic journals either as individual titles or as part of subscription packages. Relevant examples to this program includeAcademic Press (IDEAL) (seventy-three titles) andSpringer-Verlag (ten titles). A few titles are also available from TexShare through thePeriodical Abstracts database (thirty titles). The latter option includes titles with selected articles offered in ASCII text. Thus, some 542 periodicals are available in print or electronic formats from the University Library relevant to this program, not counting Government Documents, Law, or the Health Science Center Library.
As mentioned above, Reference constitutes a distinct collection area with a separate budget and selection procedure. Acquiring materials in this area is essentially dependent on the initiative of each subject specialist to request items and supply the appropriate documentation to the Reference Collection Committee in light of "competing" requests. The overall philosophy of the University Library, with regard to the Reference collection, has been to focus on usefulness to as broad an audience as possible. Thus specialized materials are not always approved, yet many titles, in order to be of any value, must be specialized. Also, online databases have been favored over CD-ROM resources. This may be changing with the advent of a new CD-ROM tower that has recently been installed. The ERS Office (Electronic Reference Services) is also available for online searches, for a fee, to access databases where we have no current subscription such as Zoological Record, via Dialog.
General, as well as specializedreference resources number approximately 1 percent of the overall collection in this subject area. These materials are available in print and electronic formats. Major print indexing/abstracting services related to this area include: Science Citation Index - Q1 S365, Chemical Abstracts - QD1 A51, Biological Abstracts - QH301 B37, Biological Research Index (Biological Abstracts/RRM) - QH301 B371, Cumulated Index Medicus - R2 I3, Pollution Abstracts - TD12 P77, and Zoological Record - QL2 Z8 (up to 1981). The primary collection of bibliographic databases is available online from OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) via FirstSearch. OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, library computer service and research organization dedicated to the public purpose of furthering access to the world's information. While the number of available databases via FirstSearch varies slightly from year to year, we now have unlimited access to some sixty databases with at least thirteen of those relevant to this field:Agricola,Applied Science and Technology Index,BasicBiosis,Biological/Agricultural Index, CAS-StudentEdition (Chemistry), Contents1st (Table-of-Contents Service), Dissertation Abstracts,Environmental Science and Pollution Management,Geobase, Georef (Geosciences),GPO, andWorldcat. The advantage to having access to online resources is that the information is more conveniently and more efficiently available for our patrons.
Additionally, three full text and bibliographic resources have become available or have been developed for TTU Library patrons. The first is a locally developed database that specializes in environmental information related to playa lakes and the Ogallala Aquifer. It is a digital library initiative that includes citations, full text articles, and an image gallery. It will soon offer water rights/environmental law information. It is located atwww.lib.ttu.edu/playa/playa.htm. This is an educational site, freely available to anyone without restriction. The next two resources are marginally related to this field:Lexis-Nexis Universe (legal information) andCompendex(engineering information). Both sites are restricted to TTU affiliated parties only.
Guidelines for the discipline include the Clapp-Jordan formula. This formula appeared in the literature over thirty years ago (College and Research Libraries 26:371-80). An article appeared in the 1972 volume of this same journal (vol. 33 no. 3, pp.190-198), challenging the validity of this formula. Searching the library literature now (LibraryLit & INSPEC) for information on this formula results in nothing. An Internet search using Altavista results in two occurrences where it is only mentioned. Basically, it attempts to measure the adequacy of a library's collection for the patron's on campus by counting faculty, students, programs, books, journals, and documents. Obviously, the formula fails to include electronic access to information, the Internet, and the consortial relationships, such as those used for Interlibrary Loan, that are common to academic libraries today. Thus, it is not considered a worthwhile measure of adequacy for academic libraries in the transition form print to electronic resources, even though a large number of those resources remain in a print format.
Strengths and Weaknesses
TTU Libraries offer several strong assets in support of this program such as knowledgeable, service oriented librarians to manage the dynamic and interdisciplinary information resources characteristic of this field. These services combined with numerous networking relationships with other research institutions make available an outstanding interlibrary loan program and access to specialized bibliographic databases via Dialog.
Other strong points include the government documents collection, one of only two regional depositories in Texas, and electronic access to numerous bibliographic and full text resources such as OCLC's FirstSearch, Lexis-Nexis Universe, Compendex, and a local database covering playa lakes and the Ogallala Aquifer.
It is hoped that access to additional databases such as Cambridge Scientific Abstracts will be offered in the future.
Specialized materials for teaching and research, in all formats, need to be added. Many items that are older and in different languages, important to a research collection, are lacking. Access rather than ownership will be the dominant strategy used to make these materials available. Expensive, though valuable journals, such as Aquatic Toxicology, are also needed. Finally, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts should be made available to provide adequate support for teaching and research in toxicology at TTU.
Numerous recent book titles are in the process of being ordered. The Science Team is gathering information whereby the needed items, mentioned above, may be considered for adding to our collection.
Access to Non-TTU Library Resources via Cooperative Library Arrangements
There is a great deal of information available regarding TTU Libraries exchange activity with other research institutions in the latest annual report by theAccess Services Department. Selected portions of that report will be used to give an idea of how this service works and who generally takes advantage of it. Financial realities brought on by the information explosion necessitate the cooperative lending of scholarly information between academic libraries. TTU patrons may request journal articles, books, conference proceedings, documents, etc. in a variety of formats through the Interlibrary Loan Department. Costs for this service are NOT passed on to our patrons.
Interlibrary Loan Summary
Turnaround Time for Articles
Turnaround Time for Books
Top Ten Suppliers of Books and Articles for TTU Patrons
Just as we borrow from others, so too, others borrow from us:
Top Ten Borrowers (Loans from Tech Library)
TTU Libraries are committed to supporting this program with knowledgeable, service oriented personnel, adequate materials in a variety of formats for research and teaching, and timely access to remote information. Academic libraries are partners with faculty, staff, and students in creating solutions to the challenging task of storing, organizing, and making available scholarly information in a fast-paced, high tech educational environment. Please let us know how we can more effectively and efficiently meet your information needs in the field of toxicology and environmental health.