Crème of the Web: The new JournalTOCs

Hervé Basset, independent consultant and author of the Science Intelligence blog, reviews the new JournalTOCs.

With more than 40,000 scholarly journals currently published worldwide by around 7000 different publishers, it is often a challenge to remember who is publishing what.  And when you do decide to subscribe to your chosen journal table of contents (TOC), then the nightmare begins... Which publisher? Open access or commercial? Which platform? Email or RSS feed?, etc.

JournalTOCs has been well known to librarians since 2009.  It is a wonderful resource that enables users to retrieve journal Tables of Content in a second. It is a single place for researchers and students to subscribe to their favorite electronic journals alert.  Until now, the interface was modest.  But Roddy MacLeod, the founder of the service (and now an energetic retired librarian) has just announced a new look: "We wanted to give the site a more professional look and feel, and to introduce some of the collaborative features that Santiago Chumbe (Heriot Watt University) had been working onI like being able to see how many people follow a journal, whether the journals are OA or subscription, and I'm very happy that it's now possible for anyone to submit a journal", says Roddy.

JournalTOCs claims to have enlisted 16,000 journals, including some of the most prestigious commercial publishers, including Elsevier, Springer and Wiley.

My personal opinion: JournalTOCs is a pure Web 2.0 success.  It is a truly free service, funded purely by institutions (and not sponsored by commercial adds), and completely devoted to serving the research and library community. With this new professional design, it should be added to every library's bookmarks.