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The Free JournalTOCs Trial is Open

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Free JournalTOCs Trail is Open

Today, the Free JournalTOCs trial 2011 has been open. JournalTOCs is offering libraries a free trial of a lightweight scholarly journals tables of contents customisation service. As libraries are faced with financial cutbacks, this trial gives libraries the opportunity to explore a real alternative to expensive database search services.

This trial should suit small to medium academic/college/research/industrial libraries.

The trial on offer is available until the end of April 2011 and will provide each participating library with a searchable and browsable database of the most recent tables of contents of up to 15,200 scholarly journals to which that library subscribes, to be made available within the library’s own website interface. This means that members of the library in question will always be able to click through to the full text of articles found. If desired, features to enable saving of searches, and export of citations to EndNote or RefWorks, can also be included in the trial customisation.

If you’re interested in the fine detail of how the customisation on offer has been implemented by one particular library and what its users thought of it, please read this recent article in the code4Lib Journal

Each participating library’s customised searchable database will have a simple interface (no complicated bells and whistles). The database will include issues published since 2008. It must be noted that only journals to which the library subscribes which produce Table of contents RSS feeds will be included. To see the 15,200 journals which currently have RSS feeds, go to the JournalTOCs service These 15,200 journals include 1,650 Open Access journals (selected for its importance) which can, if desired, be included in the trial database. Note that new journals with RSS feeds will be added to JournalTOCs during the trial period.

If your library is interested in taking part in this trial, or if you’d like more information, please register an interest with the ICBL at Heriot-Watt University, via

The trial process cannot be simpler:

  1. As soon as you express your interest, JournalTOCs will register a unique ID for your library.
  2. A JournalTOCs team member will contact you to provide more information and discuss your particular library database system requirements.
  3. In most of the cases a customised API will be installed on your website to interact with the JournalTOCs API
  4. The customised API will handle the search and browse of journal TOCs from your website
  5. At the end of the trial period you will receive a usage report to help you to take an informed decision.

The trial also offers the hosting option to libraries that don’t want to set up any software on their own web interfaces. Thus if you prefer that the hosting be done at journalTOCs you would only need to supply your list of journal ISSNs with the interface being hosted out-with the institution. In this case, JournalTOCs will provide you with a web admin interface so you could always keep the list of your journals up to date.

As the trial is also an excellent opportunity for JournalTOCs to gain experience working with diverse libraries, the trial is offered at no cost and with no ongoing commitment, but at the end of April, participating libraries will be offered the opportunity to continue the service until the end of 2011 at a cost of Euros 650. This will pay for ongoing technical maintenance and development of the service. The service can be renewed at the end of the year.

This is, therefore, a real low cost alternative to expensive library search database systems.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

January 20th, 2011 at 4:19 pm