Purpose: The research sought to determine the impact of online journals on the use of print journals and interlibrary loan (ILL).
Setting: The Library of the Health Sciences–Peoria is a regional site of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library with a print journal collection of approximately 400 titles. Since 1999, UIC site licenses have given students and faculty affiliated with UIC–Peoria access to more than 4,000 online full-text journal titles through the Internet.
Methodology: The Library of the Health Sciences–Peoria has conducted a journal-use study over an extended period of time. The information collected from this study was used to assess the impact of 104 online journals, added to the collection in January 1999, on the use of print journals.
Results: Results of the statistical analysis showed print journal usage decreased significantly since the introduction of online journals (F(1,147) = 12.10, P < 0.001). This decrease occurred regardless of whether a journal was available only in print or both online and in print. Interlibrary loan requests have also significantly decreased since the introduction of online journals (F(2,30) = 4.46, P < 0.02).
Conclusions: The decrease in use of the print collection suggests that many patrons prefer to access journals online. The negative impact the online journals have had on the use of the journal titles available only in print suggests users may be compromising quality for convenience when selecting journal articles. Possible implications for collection development are discussed.