I’ve told this tail so often, it’s making me horse!
Some ejournals are published on one platform only, and all their content can be found in place. However, some journals’ content is found across multiple platforms. Note the routes and years covered in this example:
To explain this, I’ve developed a story about racehorses and stables. Journals are like racehorses, in that they are born in one stable (or publisher, or platform), and may be traded during their professional lives.
Consider the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (OJLS). This racehorse started its career at the stable called Oxford Journals. Some time later, a new racehorse owner called HeinOnline was interested in buying OJLS, and moved OJLS into a new stable*. After a while, LexisNexis bought OJLS from HeinOnline and the journal moved again, this time to LexisLibrary.
Archive access travelled with OJLS in the move from Oxford Journals to HeinOnline, but not in the move between HeinOnline and LexisLibrary (hence the lack of overlap in content). This is due to differences in the contracts agreed at each sale.
When you look at one journal over the course of its history, its content may be hosted by a number of platforms.
If you consider any individual platform at a particular point in time, it will host a variety of journals, and this will change over time as its parent publisher buys and sells content.E-resources software acts like a kaleidoscope for viewing our ejournal collection. There will be a way to view all our platforms (equivalent to the stable in the equestrian metaphor), another to see a list of all journal titles (the racehorses), and possibly a discovery layer which allows you to search all article records regardless of journal or platform (let’s call that the horseshoe level).
Here are these views for EBSCO and Ex Libris systems:
See also: Journals and matryoshka (Russian) dolls
*Update: Thanks to Terry Bucknell for his comment that in the OJLS example, some content was licensed to Hein and Lexis aggregators, but the title did not change ownership; and Damyanti Patel who revised this as a tale about what local access is available from various places and why, rather than the history of the journal.
Just goes to show what I can’t see because my access is limited by paywalls!