I think they say this pretty well. I know it is getting late in the game to "find" new crud to look at but....

I think we could dumby it up some too.

back to PolicyDraft

Selection Considerations

Selection criteria for digital library resources comprises four levels of review: is the content appropriate to the library mission; are the format and information delivery medium appropriate to the content and commensurate with the library rationale for acquiring the resource; is the acquisition practical within existing budgetary, technical, legal and other constraints; and is the resource compatible with the library's overall strategic digital library vision and current infrastructure.


Is the content intellectually significant? Is the content relevant to the University of Texas at Austin? Measures of intellectual significance include authority, uniqueness, timeliness, breadth or depth, and demand.


Is the format appropriate for the content? Is the format appropriate to achieve the underlying rationale for the acquisition of the resource? Print may be the appropriate format for a unique item with a low rate of expected usage; while high-use general undergraduate-level information resources, distance education resources, or frequently used reference material, may be more appropriately acquired in a networkable digital format. In a similar vein, special collection material with wide potential interest might benefit from re-selection for digitization to increase its utility and to make it available to a wider audience. An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of a particular format, along with considerations of audience, intended use of the material, archival and access issues, and overall cost -- are all factors to be used in determining which format would be most appropriate for the library collection.

‘’’Practical issues’’’

Does the library have the necessary overhead resources (equipment, staff, space, etc.) necessary to support the resource? Do library users have the necessary resources to utilize the content (computers, players, plug-ins, etc.)? Does the license or contract for the resource meet the library, university, and state requirements? Is the vendor reliable, is the format stable, and can we utilize the resource (linking, archiving, etc.) in the ways our users need? Does the digital product adhere to the best prudent practices of current library collection management (including, but not limited to, appropriate retrieval software, a well-designed interface, appropriate format and linking options, a properly reliable delivery mechanism, authentication and security designs that meet library needs, a library-friendly approach to fair use and copyright, quality statistical reporting, appropriate technical support, assurances of rights to permanent access, and appropriate licensing terms).

‘’’Strategic Considerations’’’

Is the resource compatible with the library/university/state information technology plans? Is the product compatible with the library's overall digital library vision and the library's current infrastructure in terms of its discovery, access, organization, and technical components? Does the product comply with the digital guidelines established by the International Coalition of Library Consortia? Is the product design and delivery consistent with the best practices of digital libraries?


Within this framework, it is the objective of the library to collect scholarly digital materials in order to provide broad access to relevant scholarly information at every level of granularity including articles, monographs, and large databases. As with all formats, digital material should meet the same subject, chronological, geographical, language and other guidelines as outlined in the library's subject collection policies; and possess the same standards of excellence, comprehensiveness, and authority that the library expects from all of its acquisitions. The library recognizes that different disciplines utilize different formats and different types of information in different ways, and that no one solution is appropriate for every subject or area of study. The ultimate goal of The University of Texas Libraries digital library collection development planning -- is to provide seamless cross-linkages between all elements of the digital library whether commercially licensed or locally created, and whether the resources are locally or remotely mounted and serviced. Priorities

Priorities should be given to those digital materials that offer significant added value in supporting teaching and research over similar materials in traditional formats, that offer significant opportunities for cost containment, and whose license terms are reflective of the University's academic values. Measures of added value might include: additional content, greater functionality, greater accessibility, improved resource sharing ability, improved linkages with other information tools, ease of archiving, and the enabling of more efficient uses of limited faculty and student time and resources. Licenses should allow the library the flexibility to develop collections that match the University's needs without contractually forcing entangling ties to unwanted products, and without restricting the rights of fair use or the values of academic inquiry. License terms should also be financially sustainable and address archival rights to the resources in question. Materials that meet these and other selection needs will be given priority over digital material of a more problematic nature.