Requesting a new journal subscription

Requests for new journal subscriptions should be made on the same Library Suggestion Card as for books and they are subjected to a similar approval procedures.

Subject lists and price details can be obtained from Ulrichsweb.  Beware that there is often is a wide disparity between the subscription price charged to an individual and that charged to an institution.

Subscriptions are normally on a calendar-year basis. A publisher will normally apply a subscription order received in the latter half of the year to the next volume due (or calendar year). That is, the publisher may not supply back issues for the current year.

Library Catalogue listing

  • New print subscriptions. The catalogue record for a new print subscription is created at the point of order, with the status displaying the legend 'On order'. Once the printed copy starts arriving, a holdings statement is added
  • New database subscriptions. A catalogue record will only appear once access has been activated

Electronic journals or e-journals

  • Some print subscriptions are bundled in with electronic access. Access to the e-backfiles will depend on the number of print back-years purchased.
  • Some publishers bundle in the electronic version - but at an added cost (about an extra 10% excluding VAT)
  • Other publishers allow the format to be selected, i.e.
    • print only
    • electronic only
    • print/electronic combined
  • Subject cluster deals are now being made available by individual publishers from their own titles.
    (However, the imposition of VAT can mean that electronic journal subscriptions are more expensive than their print equivalents.)
  • Nationally-negotiated deals are those whereby a library can subscribe to the majority of titles of a particular publisher, produced in an electronic format. These deals are cost-effective, but often involve 'no-cancellation of existing subscriptions' clauses.

How to help us

  • Cancellations - we are required by our suppliers to inform them of any journal subscriptions that are not going to be renewed by the end of September (for the following calendar year). Otherwise we will still have to pay. Therefore it is important for departments to review their journal lists around June.
  • New journal titles - Requests for new journal orders need to be received by us in sufficient time, so that the subscription can commence with a new volume or year. Many publishers will not back-date subscriptions

Processing targets


  • UK national daily newspapers - processed by 9am each weekday (if delivered by 8.45 am)
  • Printed journal issues -  processed by noon each weekday (if delivered by 9.30 am)


  • New titles- print: within 5 working days
  • New titles - electronic journals or databases: within 5 working days
  • Journal queries: simple or urgent -actioned within 24 hours;  complex queries- 2 working days

We can help you by ...

  • Advising on the price of materials
  • Advising on access difficulties to e-material
  • Providing information on the state of your budget