The E-Only Journal Exceptions Policy advocates that all journal subscriptions are purchased in digital format. This policy was adopted by the Duke University Libraries Collections Council on April 25, 2007. It guides the acquisition of new and existing journal titles with the following exceptions:


  • the print journal functions better as a browsing journal or current awareness source (e.g., due to interface design in the electronic version)
  • the quality of images or graphics is demonstrably poorer in the electronic journal
  • the print has significant artifactual or aesthetic value

Electronic Archival Availability

  • in case of cancellation, there is no guarantee that the publisher will continue to provide access to the subscribed electronic volumes
  • there is no evidence of an institutional commitment to the journal's long-term preservation

Print Retention Responsibility

  • Duke University Libraries has a either a consortial responsibility to retain a paper copy or another strong responsibility to retain a print archive of the journal title or the subject area to which the journal belongs.

Timeliness & Reliability

  • there is a delay between publication of print and availability of online content
  • the provider of the electronic journal is unreliable


  • the content of the print differs from the content of the electronic. (e.g., the print version contains significantly more material than the electronic version)

Use Restrictions

  • license restrictions prevent the university community from using the electronic version in a way that differs materially from use of the print version.

— Adapted from Cornell University Library, E-Only Journal Exceptions websiteApril 12, 2007