UCR and Scientific American

UCR and Scientific American

The UCR Libraries have Scientific American in 3 different formats and online from several different sources, so it can be confusing.  Unfortunately we are not able to subscribe to the content at for reasons explained at the bottom of the page.

In order to find Scientific American in the Scotty Catalog, one can search for the title Scientific American and limit to periodicals.


To access SA electronically, click on Scientific American [electronic resource].  The three sources we have for electronic access to Scientific American are Proquest, Ebsco and as a backup Cornell

1845-1908 Proquest in PDF
2005-Present Ebsco (Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Masterfile) in HTML

and as a backup we have the Cornell Making of America from 1846-1869.


We have from 1909- in print in the Science Library.  The call number is T1 S3 on the 3rd floor.  However, the volumes up to 136 (1937) are in the Oversized section.


Microfilm, which can be printed or scanned in the map collection is available for SA 1845-1908, but this is likely not a useful fact, since we have those online anyway.


1845-1908: Online Proquest PDF
1909-Now: Print
2005-Now:  Online Ebsco HTML

Why we can't subscribe to

(From the CDL Webpage, Barriers to Licensing)

Nature Publishing Group recently acquired Scientific American from its sister company at the Holtzbrinck group. With this change in management, the cost of UC's online site license would have been more than twice the fee currently charged for systemwide access. It is worth noting that this fee represented a 'discounted' offer: the list price quoted to the CDL was well over five times our current cost. The price of an institutional print subscription also increased more than seven-fold.

There was no plausible justification for raising online licensing fees for Scientific American to such exorbitant levels. As has been pointed out by others (see for example the Open Letter from the Oberlin Group libraries at ), pricing a general interest periodical such as Scientific American at such levels is unreasonable and unlikely to be considered a fiscally responsible investment by many libraries.

For this reason, the University of California Libraries unanimously decided to cancel an online license to Scientific American upon expiration of the subscription in May 2010. Campus libraries are happy to work with faculty and students to identify alternative high-quality sources of scientific news reporting and analysis.

Last modified: 6/12/2013 2:48 PM by M. Potter

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