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JRNL - Journal Retention and Needs Listing: Gap-fill Pilot

Describes the use and operation of JRNL

The Project

The JRNL Gap-Fill Pilot Project

JRNL, the Journal Retention and Needs Listing, is seeking libraries to participate in a year-long pilot filling gaps in serial titles committed to long-term retention.

  • Not a participating library of a consortia registered to use JRNL. Unsure?  Please check: 
  • Must be willing to use the gap-filling functionality (see below) to offer to fill known gaps in retained titles of other libraries in JRNL (see also: New Gap Tool Demo, January 19th, 2021). Please note: Pilot libraries will be unable to express needs (or seek to fill gaps) in their library’s holdings.
  • Must be willing to communicate with the receiving institution (the institution that has the gap) and to complete the gap transaction within 60 calendar days from the date the offer is made.
  • Shipping costs are the responsibility of the offering institution unless other arrangements have been negotiated with the receiving institution

About JRNL

JRNL is communally developed and governed by participating consortia: The Florida Academic Repository (FLARE), the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST), the Big Ten Academic Alliance Shared Print Repository (CICBTAA-SPR), and the Eastern Academic Scholars' Trust (EAST). Consortia member institutions use the tool to identify holding commitments, facilitate deselection decisions, and to fill gaps in retained titles.  The gap-fill functionality of JRNL allows libraries to express needs (or gaps) in their holdings as well as communicate offers to fill the gaps in other participating libraries’ holdings. Currently, there are over 9000 titles in JRNL for which libraries are actively seeking gap-fills.

For more information, please check out the live Gap Tool Demo and the offer to fill gaps instructions below.

Attention: If your library has restrictions in the donation of library materials, please negotiate alternatives with the receiving institution prior to making an offer to fill a gap.

Offer to Fill Gaps - How To

From the Offer to Fill Gaps tab in JRNL, a user can search for gap records from other institutions by filling in the search criteria at the top of the page. 

Searching for one gap record

You can search gaps in your PSAP (Print Serials Archiving Program) only, extend your search to all PSAP's, or select a specific PSAP to search. When choosing the "search only my PSAP's" option, or selecting a specific PSAP, you can narrow your search by institution and location.

You can search for one gap record at a time by supplying Title, OCLC, Publisher, ISSN, LCCN, Subject, or Facility Type. Keep in mind that Title and OCLC are the only required fields in JRNL, the rest are optional fields so may not pull up any results on their own. If you are searching by one of the optional fields and your search returns no results, the title may still be listed but none of these fields were supplied by the original uploader.

If there is a match, you will see the title info in the screen below the search box. If your search does not retrieve any results, the bibliographic information for the title you are searching for has not been uploaded in to JRNL. 

Searching for multiple gap records

You can search for multiple gap records at once by uploading an OCLC file. The OCLC file must be saved in .CSV format and contain a single column of numbers with the column header labeled as “OCLC”.  Click the Choose File button next to OCLC file and select the file you wish to upload. If any of the titles for which you supplied OCLCs for are in JRNL, you will see the title information in the area below the search box. If you do not see a match for any OCLC in the file, the bibliographic information for that title has not yet been supplied to the JRNL tool.


From the Offer to Fill Gaps tab, click Offer next to the gap that you wish to fill. View the gap Description carefully to determine if you are able to submit an offer to fully or partially fill the gap record. 

Full: the user is offering to fill all volumes included in the gap record. 

Partial: the user is only offering part of the gap record. A data entry box will appear for the user to indicate exactly which volumes are being offered. 

When an offer is submitted, a gap transaction is opened and an automated email is sent to the institution that has the gap (receiving institution) to facilitate communication between them and the institution filling the gap (offering institution). The receiving institution must then email the offering institution to indicate they accept the offer and negotiate the shipping process.

Users will note that the “Offer” link for the gap record is changed to “Retract” for the Offering libraries page view (See "Retract a gap offer”), and to “Pending” status for all other JRNL users (See Pending gap records).  Reminder, the recipient library will never see their own gaps in the “Offer to Fill Gaps” tab, they are only displayed in the institution’s “Manage My Gaps” tab.

Offers made on gap records in JRNL must be completed (Checked In) by the receiving/recipient institution within 60 calendar days of the offering institution's submission. (See Manage my Gaps)

An automated reminder email is sent at 30 days and again at 53 days post offer date. If the transaction has not been completed in JRNL within 60 calendar days, the gap offer will automatically be canceled and the gap relisted.

If you decide for whatever reason that you do not wish to fill a gap that you made an offer on, simply select Retract and the gap record will go back to being available to offer to fill. If you Retract an offer, another email will be sent to the recipient informing them of the retraction.  

Once an offer is made, the gap record will show as Pending to all other JRNL users until the transaction is complete. 

Participant Application

To apply: The JRNL Oversight Committee will select up to ten libraries to participate in the pilot.

Applications will be accepted until all positions have been filled. Priority will be given to those who apply by August 19, 2022 and the JRNL Oversight Committee expects to begin contacting selected pilot participants shortly thereafter. 

Questions or need assistance? Please contact:

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