As I can remember I have mentioned about necessity of knowledge about publications in my reply to your Kardex related queries in the context of an Interview. Isn't it?. Certainly a professional wanting to make a career in a Scientific Research Institute doing high quality applied & cutting edge research must acquire knowledge about the publications related to that particular discipline. You see, the subjects have their life time. And it naturally differs from subject to subject. As we often see that our computer softwares are often becomes "outdated" as new versions come into work. Similarly, the subjects get outdated over time and this is called "obsolescence period" Beyond that time they are usually not referred or cited. An able Librarian while doing housekeeping jobs, often keep those old sets of journals away from "active consulting areas" to some other place so that the space can be more judiciously utilised. Besides, when a new researcher approaches him for pertinent literature, s/he can guide the individual to browse the collection of old journals WITHIN THE PERIOD OF OBSOLESCENCE & not beyond that. thirdly, if the Librarian is asked to prepare a viable & handy bibliography on that subject, the librarian generally does not go beyond the period of obsolescence. This period is regarded as active research period. If you go through the citation (or referencing) pattern, you will see that the numbers are generally diminish with time (for applied research mainly!) unless of course some extraordinary discoveries. (For instance, in Molecular biology , generally the active areas limited to 7-9 years; but, Watson Jones discovery of DNA helix in 1953 often comes into view)
That is why I mentioned the importance of knowledge about about Publications, that's all!
Yes, for bound volumes of journals, it is always advisable to prepare an Accession Register.
The single issues of different journals are generally recorded under the heading of each title especially in KARDEX..
Where KARDEX is not available/used, a simple bound ruled register can do where a handwritten Index is made and the titles are recorded (generally alphabetically in most libraries)
Personally speaking, I have never witnessed putting Accession Numbers to loose journals in libraries in Calcutta.[In abroad however, the loose issues are numbered as they usually don't bind the journals. There were hard boxes where the 'sets' of journals were kept. However, I am speaking of the days when e-journals did not come into existence. Those were entirely hard copy days and the boxes were numbered in alpha-numerically. with title year and volumes in abbreviated forms (like JCM/ 86/21-22 meaning Journal of Clinical Microbiology; 1985; Vols. 21 & 22) Use of boxes had several distinct advantages: (1) it enabled the users to take out & carry the particular issue they require, (2) photocopying the loose or individual issues are much easier as one can easily open the full face of the journal and the spines never intervened into the clarity of the photocopying,
(3) the possibility of dust accumulation could have been minimized
(4) more importantly,the boxes were often supplied ready made by the publishers & were cheaper than binding costs. in 1985-86, on an average, the boxes cost $1.8 to$2.8 per piece to accommodate one or two volumes while binding costs for half of such volumes were no less than $4.25 to $6.00]
Here in my present place we subscribe to around 250 hard copies of journals and we record the daily arriving loose issues in our Kardex and Computerised database (meant for loose journals) Later as the volumes are completed and the loose issues are bound together, they are recorded in our Computerised Accession Register as we do for books. However, the headings certainly varies in comparison to Accession Register of Books. These bound volumes, over the years, give rise to Library stock and are verified during stock taking and Audit inspection.
It also used in preparing library statistics for the Annual Reports of the organizations. Additionally they help in proposal of induction of new staff and most interestingly & importantly, they help in elevating the library during Categorization of Libraries which enhances the pay Scales of Librarians and as the categorization escalates, it makes avenues of inducing more staff in various categories & Pay Scales.
I hope I could explain the issue to your satisfaction.
Please go through the 25th. August 2014 issue (Vol. 107 No. 4) of Current Science pp.562-563. containing a Meeting Report entitled Taking Science to the Public. This is in relation to your post on Science Popularization.