Throughout the 1990s and the early part of this decade considerable attention has been given to the issue of periodical holdings in Australia's research libraries. This interest has been driven by concern regarding the diminishing journal resources available to Australian researchers. There has been a widespread belief, supported it seems by statistical evidence, that serial subscriptions declined substantially during the 1990s. It has been accepted that the reduction in print serial collections was driven by the rapidly rising cost of scholarly publishing--in particular journals--and the declining purchasing power of the Australian dollar over the course of the 1990s. More recently these concerns have been muted slightly by the uptake of electronic journal subscriptions, particularly in the form of large-scale aggregations, which have gone some way towards restoring buying power. Nevertheless there is some unease with the service delivered by these aggregations, in terms of the quality and completeness of their content, the restrictive aspects of their licensing agreements, and issues regarding long term security of access to the digital content.
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