Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) recently found out that EBSCOhost, a popular academic search engine, is in danger of losing its funding.
According to Dan Scapardine, vice president of Legal and Governmental Affairs, an SGA senator recently brought up the issue when she noticed a blurb at the bottom of the EBSCOhost search page on the library’s Web site.
The blurb says, “Due to a cut in state funding to the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative, access to New Jersey Knowledge Initiative databases on EBSCOhost may end on February 29, 2008.”
The Web site also encourages users to call Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s office to ask that state officials restore funding.
EBSCOhost is only part of a package assembled by the New Jersey government. The other search engines in danger of losing funding include Academic Search Premier, Source Corporate and Nursing and Allied Health Comprehensive.
These resources were combined as a package called the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative (NJKI) on July 20, 2005. NJKI is a program accessible to all colleges and small businesses in New Jersey for the price of $6 million. This fee grants users two years of access. However, for this year, the funding has been cut by a third, or $1 million.
According to Taras Pavlovsky, Dean of the Library, “After two years of access to their databases, they’ve become a critical part of the curriculum.”
“There is no way we can live without EBSCOhost,” he said.
Pavlovsky said the College may have to dip into its treasury in order to fund EBSCOhost. The budget is already tight due to budget cuts made by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.
Unfortunately, even if the College is able to keep EBSCOhost, Pavlovsky said the other, more expensive subscriptions will have to be canceled.
According to Scapardine, “It is not a College initiative. It is part of Gov. Corzine’s proposed budget-cutting measures.”
Many students are troubled by the possible loss. “I personally do use EBSCOhost and I know that many of my peers do as well,” SGA executive president Christine Cullen said.
Junior psychology major Bethany Heleniak agreed.
“I think it’s a really good resource for College students,” she said. “I think it would limit my options and sources if I couldn’t access it.”