The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees voted Thursday via conference call to purchase a citation database for Torreyson Library.

During the July board meeting, Provost Lance Grahn, Library Director Art Lichtenstein and representatives of the Student Government Association told the trustees the database will improve the research capabilities of the library for students and faculty.

Lichtenstein said during an interview with the Log Cabin that the Web of Science citation database is one of the premiere searchable databases for interdisciplinary research. He explained the database can search thousands of citations on a research topic and compile a list of articles.

"We have other services that do similar things, but not with the depth and sophistication of Web of Science," he said. "Imagine if you were restricted to using the old World Book Encyclopedia for research. You could do some research, and it does give you accurate information. But it’s a small pool you’re fishing in. The Web of Science would give you 100 times more information."

He said the database is also useful for citation tracking; searching all the places an author’s works have been cited. Lichtenstein said citation tracking allows researchers to follow the spread of information over the years.

He added the database is helpful for students doing interdisciplinary studies.

President Allen Meadors researched the cost of the database and presented it to the board via conference call Thursday. Schools that purchase the database pay $27,613 for the current one-year buy-in, plus an annual maintenance fee of 5 percent of the subscription cost, not to exceed $2,500. Additional archival files may be acquired in five-year increments at an additional one-time cost.

The total costs, with a 10-year, 15-year and 20-year archive, were:

• 10 years; $67,651

• 15 years; $81,458

• 20 years, $93,883

Meadors recommended the board purchase the base subscription with a 15-year archive. The initial purchase was to be made from the Board of Trustees Endowment Fund.

The majority of trustees believed the 10-year archive was the better option. Trustee Kay Hinkle noted at the last board meeting there was a proposal by the SGA for a student fee for library improvements. Once that funding is in place, the board can purchase more archives later, she said.

Board President Rush Harding said he felt the 15-year archive would give the academic community at UCA more to work with, however, he said, he thought students and faculty would still be excited about the database with the 10-year archive.

The board voted 5 to 2 to purchase the Web of Science with a 10-year archive.

Harding said, "My ‘no’ vote is not against doing this. I just thought the 15 would have been a little better. But I’m just excited we did this."

(Staff writer Rachel Parker Dickerson can be reached by e-mail at rachel.dickerson@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)