Serials include journals, magazines, newsletters, directories, indexes, statistical series, and monographic series, in all formats (paper, electronic, CD-ROM, diskette, and others). They are subscribed to on an ongoing basis. Serials, particularly scientific journals are by far the most valuable sources of information for researchers. Understandably, the Library spends about 70 percent of its operational budget on journal subscriptions.
The decision to subscribe to a journal commits funds year after year unlike one-time purchase of books. Further, the cost of subscriptions to journals rises by 10-15 percent each year. A clearly defined serials acquisitions policy is vital to collection development in a special library such as at ICRISAT.
The Library ensures that the most important serials in core and peripheral areas of interest are acquired. It monitors new serial titles and brings them to the notice of the specialists so that they evaluate serials and suggest them to add to the collection.
The Library monitors the utilization of serials in an on-going manner to revise the list of serials being acquired, if necessary, and to add new titles.
The Librarian places renewal orders usually in November of each year with one or more vendors. Payments for journal subscriptions are usually made well in advance of the subscription year. This must be ensured so that there are no gaps in the receipt of issues of journals.
Journal issues received are entered into the Kardex Register.
When all issues of the volume of a journal including the annual indexes are received, the journal is sent for binding.
ICRISAT Library as a member of CGIAR Libraries and Information Services Consortium shares 119 e-Journals with other CG Libraries. The ICRISAT Library users, therefore, can have free access to these e-Journals.