As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites
This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive –
As of November 1997 Norper included the descriptions of 299 different Internet serials. These were searched at their web sites in November and December. 74 were not found at the original or a new site. Of the 225 serials found, 53 were probably ceased, as they had no numbers or news dated 1997 (and in some cases 1996).
Bibliographic control of remote access electronic documents must include checking by library personnel as well as by search robots. Legal deposit cannot be based on access to the publishers' servers.
The Norwegian Legal Deposit Act of 1989 (in force from July 1, 1990) comprises all types of documents accessible to the public, regardless of medium. Thus also electronic documents, as well the hand-held as the not hand-held, are subjects to legal deposit.
Nevertheless, the special situation of the online electronic documents was commented upon in the Proposition to Parliament (no. 52, 1988-89). The Proposition states that a complete deposit of online electronic documents seems unrealistic and that it is necessary to work out criteria for selection. The Regulations of the Act state that the online documents are subjects to deposit only at the request of the recipient in each case. It also makes the Rana Division of the National Library (NBR) the recipient of all document types except films, videos and sound recordings of music.
NBR is responsibile for forwarding copies to the university libraries plus one extra copy to the University of Oslo Library (part of which is to become the Oslo Branch of the National Library (NBO) from January 1, 1999), for storing the documents, and for preliminary cataloguing in the BIBSYS database. BIBSYS is an electronic library system shared by about 70 Norwegian university, college and research libraries, among them NBR and the University of Oslo Library (and the future NBO).
In connection with this study on Remote access electronic serials and the National Library of Norway, section 4.3.3 of the Plan is relevant: In 1994 NBR began an Internet Inventory of Internet serials, which held 4 titles in December 1994 and 121 titles in August 1995 [and 582 in December 1997]. These titles were accessible at the publishers' servers via the NBR Inventory [World Wide Web site: http://www2.nbr.no/eltids/]. From the autumn of 1994 e-mail journals distributed via e-mail were deposited at NBR. NBR became a regular subscriber and received the journals at a server in the library.
As the remote access serials are usually accessible via Internet, the term Internet serials will be used hereafter.
On the other hand, several titles marked "removed" at the NBR list of changes, were found at the given URL during my study. They were thus accessible again after being inexplicably absent for some time.
Norper includes Internet serials from 1994. Some of these have commenced earlier than the year of inclusion (the earliest year of publication is 1990). In November 1997 Norper included 310 titles of Internet serials. 11 of the titles represent title changes, so this study deals with 299 serials.
The aim of the study was primarily to see how constant or inconstant the not hand-held electronic serials are, but a number of other circumstances have been looked at as well.
In order to discover the increase of these serials in the national bibliography, they were grouped according to the first year of publication given in the bibliographic record. If the year was unknown, the year of the cataloguing source was used. In two cases no year or source was given and the publication itself had disappeared.
Of the 299 serials registered in Norper , 74 were not found on Internet. Of the 225 serials found, 53 were probably ceased, as no numbers or news dated 1997 (and in several cases earlier years) were found. Only two of these 53 carried that information in the bibliographic description in Norper .
The following table shows a grouping into rough categories, termination and disappearance of the 299 serials:
Total number Ceased Not found Newspapers 28 1 7 Weekly or fortnightly magazines 9 0 0 Scientific journals 22 6 1 Company journals 41 8 16 Serials published by civil services 32 3 5 Serials published by political corporations 6 1 0 Serials published by religious corporations 12 2 6 Serials published by other corporations 64 12 19 Student journals 36 11 5 Serials published by polytechnics/ universities/scientific institutes 45 9 11 Serials of unknown type 4 ? 4 Sums 299 53 74
The aim of this study was primarily to see how constant or inconstant the not hand-held electronic serials are, but also in general to get more information on the Internet serials. The general impression that they are very unstable is confirmed. Anther impression, not proved by any details in the text above (but shared by the cataloguers) is that the characteristica of a printed serial (divisions into year and/or volume, issue) are much less distinct in later years than in the earlier years. In several cases it was difficult to find out if the serial had got a new "issue".
This study also supports what is experienced by other libraries: bibliographic control of remote access electronic serials is a very demanding operation that cannot be based solely on checking by electronic programmes and search robots. Regular checking by library personnel is also necessary.
Legal deposit of remote access electronic serials cannot be based on access to the publishers' servers. Of 299 Norwegian such serials registered in the national bibliography Jan. 1994 - Oct. 1997 only 225 can be studied at their net site today. What is left for the general public of the other periodicals, is probably only the bibliographic description - which in these cases has itself become a small historic document.