|Definitions||Scope||Selection Criteria||Evaluation and deselection||Procedures for Acquisition and Integration|
The purpose of the Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy is to direct the addition, maintenance, and removal of electronic resources to the existing library collection through the following:
Acknowledging that differences between versions are created by packaging content in various formats. Acknowledging that there are limits to the Library's ability to provide access to materials in electronic formats.
Guiding the selection of electronic resources by identifying the characteristics of useful and usable resources.
Adding discipline, consistency, and transparency to the process of selecting, acquiring, licensing, organizing, announcing, maintaining, and evaluating electronic resources.
These definitions are provided to clarify what is meant by the use of the following terms in this policy.
Announcing - making users aware of the availability of, location of, content of, usefulness of, and how to use an electronic resource (usually recently acquired).
Acquiring - purchasing and/or providing access to materials in the Library's collection, including free resources.
Database - A large, regularly updated file of digitized information (bibliographic records, full-text documents, directory entries, images, statistics, etc.), sometimes related to a specific subject or field, consisting of records of uniform format organized for ease and speed of search and retrieval and managed with the aid of database management system (DBMS) software that includes an internal mechanism (search interface) for searching based on proprietary metadata. Content may be created by the publisher or be an aggregation of material published by other entities. Databases are often accessible online through the Internet.
Electronic Book (e-book, e-library book)- a digital version of a traditional print book, or a book-like electronic publication with no print counterpart, designed to be read on a personal computer or an e-book reader.
Electronic Journal (e-journal, e-magazine, e-zine, e-serial)- a digital version of a print journal, or a journal-like electronic publication with no print counterpart, made available via the Web, e-mail, or other means of Internet access. Includes electronic versions of popular magazines, newsletters, newspapers, and zines.
Electronic Resource - materials that require computer mediation in order to access their content and make it useful.
Evaluating - regularly reviewing the continued usefulness of each electronic resource.
Licensing - controlling the use of a resource by negotiating a formal written contract between a library and a vendor for the lease of one or more proprietary (copyrighted) bibliographic resources, usually for a fixed period of time and usually in exchange for payment of an annual subscription fee or per-search charge.
Maintaining - keeping library electronic resources operable and the information contained within them accessible.
Newsletter - A serial publication consisting of no more than a few pages, devoted to news, announcements, and current information of interest primarily to a specialized group of subscribers or members of an association or organization who receive it as part of their membership available in print and/or online and/or by email. Most periodical indexes and bibliographic databases do not cover newsletter content.
Organizing - the arrangement of resources in order to provide the most effective access to them.
Selecting - Determining which materials should be added to the library collection in order to develop a balanced collection of materials to meet the information needs of university faculty, staff and students in accordance to the library’s mission statement and the General Collection Development Policy.
Website - An information resource suitable for the Internet which is accessible through a web browser. The content is formatted with a markup language and often provides navigation to other web pages via (hypertext) links. Websites are differentiated from online databases by their general lack of internal database management system (DBMS) software although they may have a "search this site" box (powered by external software like Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com, etc.) that allows a keyword search of the site.
Given the broad definition of an electronic resource above, the purpose of this section is to clarify which types of electronic resources are covered by this policy. Two distinctions will help make this clarification. The first distinction is between the work of library staff and the work of library users. The second distinction is between information resources that are used to find and inform users’ academic work, and practical tools with which they do their academic work.
The distinction between library staff and library users is not always clear. It is not necessarily a distinction between individuals but rather a distinction between roles and the tools used to perform those roles. There are instances in which library staff are also students and/or faculty of the University. The role of library staff member requires the use of certain tools and information resources in order to fulfill job duties. The purpose of this policy is not to guide decisions about this type of tool or resource. This policy is meant to guide the addition, maintenance, and removal of electronic resources that are used to find and make accessible information that informs the work of library users.
The second distinction is based on the purpose of an electronic tool or resource. The library provides electronic resources to users the primary purpose of which is to manipulate information. In this category fall software like the Microsoft Office Suite, the Adobe Reader, Adobe Photoshop, Internet Explorer, and WinZip. The purpose of this policy is not to guide decisions about this type of tool or resource. This policy is meant to guide the addition, maintenance, and removal of electronic resources that are used to find and make accessible information that informs the work of library users.
Thus, the scope of this policy extends only to those electronic resources that are used to find and make assessable information that informs the work of library users.
Specifics regarding individual e-materials are listed below the Selection Criteria section.
In order to provide consistent, useful access to electronic resources, the library designates a single, primary principle access point for each type of resource (web page, e-journal, and database).
Principle access points for databases The principle access point for databases is the library databases page (http://rattler.tamucc.edu/elecres/index.php) where databases are presented alphabetically by title and in subject groupings and resource type groupings. The library’s ability to present subject and resource type groupings will be improved (categories expanded, etc.) with the full implementation and integration of the Metalib federated search tool into the library website.
Principle access points for e-books The principle access points for individual e-books is the library online catalog, Portal.
Principle access points for e-journals The principle access point for e-journals is the Periodical Holdings List. With the establishment of the SFX OpenURL link resolver and the online Periodical Holdings List, providing access to e-journals, particularly online collections of e-journals is no longer necessary.
Principle access points for websites The principle access point for web sites are subject guides (http://rattler.tamucc.edu/elecres/resourceguides/searchguides.html) and departmental web pages.
The cost of an electronic resource is one point among many to be considered when making selection decisions. The fact that an electronic resource is free from cost to the library is not, by itself, sufficient reason to add it to the library collection.
The reverse is also true; selection of an electronic resource that has a high cost should not necessarily be immediately rejected, particularly if there are unique benefits that would accrue from the purchase such as accreditation of an academic unit or participation in a consortium.
CDs are the Library's preferred format for sound recordings. It is the only format for which the Library maintains the equipment required to access information stored as a sound recording.
CDs are not the Library's preferred format for data and/or software applications. For data recordings, the preferred format is web based data files. For software applications the preferred format is web based.
DVDs are the Library's preferred format for video recordings. It is the only format for which the Library maintains the equipment required to access information stored as a video recording.
For content selection criteria for CD and DVD purchases, please refer to the Library's General Collection Development Policy and to individual subject polices.
Content decisions: The extent to which the resource in question either directly or obliquely supports specific areas of the educational and/or research objectives of the university will be evaluated based on the criteria established in that subject area’s collection development policy. If the resource in question fails in some way to align with these criteria, librarians have the discretion to judge whether the resource may possess other qualities that distinguish it and which would add value to our electronic collection.
Cost: Cost is almost always a consideration in the decision to purchase a new database. This is more often the case than with monographic purchases because of the recurring financial commitment that a subscription requires and also because freely available databases (as defined by this policy) are fairly rare.
Access: Access is fundamental consideration that is comprised of several additional criteria.
The library prefers printed formats over electronic formats for individual monographic purchases. For selection criteria for monographic purchases, please refer to the Library's General Collection Development Policy and to individual subject polices.
As stated above, for the purposes of this policy, an electronic journal is defined as being a digital version of a print journal, or a journal-like electronic publication with no print counterpart, made available via the Web, e-mail, or other means of Internet access. The distinction is important to selection decisions and should be the one of the first pieces of information a selector considers about an e-journal.
In either case, the following criteria must be considered:
In cases when a journal is available in more than one format (e.g. print and/or microform as well as electronic), the following additional criteria should be considered:
In cases when the journal is not available in any other format or once a preference for e-journal version is established, the following additional selection criteria should be considered:
Government Documents- Electronic resources received through the federal and state depository programs are subject to government mandated requirements, criteria, and conditions unique to those programs. As far as is possible their selection will be based on the criteria described in this policy. In cases of conflict between this policy and government mandated requirements, criteria, and conditions, the government's policies will take precedence.
Electronic Newsletter (e-newsletter) - Because of their ephemeral quality, e-newsletters will be generally not be added to the collection. Decisions concerning individual titles will be made by the serials librarian, subject specific librarian and/or library director.
Web Pages - There are two categories of web pages:
The purpose of this policy is to guide selection decisions regarding external web pages; internal web pages will not be addressed.
An external web page is deemed valuable when it broadens, enriches, and compliments the Library's collection and supports the academic work and research of the University. Content decisions, that is, the decision whether or not the topics covered by a web page support the educational and/or research missions of the library and the university should be made based on the selection criteria outlined in each individual subject collection development policy. Most web pages and sites are freely available but in instances when access is fee-based, cost should be taken into consideration. In general, freely available pages and sites are preferred. [Note that selection criteria for web pages and sites which form part of the access interface for a database or e-journal are addressed in those sections of this policy.]
It is assumed that librarian liaisons (selectors) are adept at making judgments about the quality of a web page or web site and will select for inclusion only those sites that are of high quality. Factors which will be considered and given preference when evaluating web pages and web sites include:
Note that External web pages and sites linked to from the Library's web site are separate and independent from the Library. The Library exercises no control over the content of the information provided by the producers of those sites.
Databases: Database usage (and cost per search for fee based databases) is reviewed by the Periodicals / Electronic Resources Department monthly. These statistics are currently available to library staff upon request and are occasionally highlighted at reference meetings. Full database reviews using the criteria outlined in this policy currently occur on an irregular basis. Deselection occurs most often based on external conditions such as the exclusion of a particular database from a consortial purchase (like TexShare) or renewal.
E-journals: E-journal usage is reviewed by the Periodicals / Electronic Resources Department monthly. These statistics are currently available to library staff upon request. Full e-journal reviews using the criteria outlined in this policy currently occur on an irregular basis. Deselection occurs most often based on external conditions like a publisher removing their journal from an aggregation (database) or in other ways changing their access model (i.e. requiring that we pay for the online version of a journal that had previously been available for free with the print subscription). E-journal deselection can also occur when a consortial subscription is not renewed.
Websites Websites are reviewed using the criteria outlined in this policy by the librarian liaisons as they update subject guides and department web pages. This usually occurs annually.
Databases: Trials are often used to evaluate databases. The Periodicals / Electronic Resources department will attempt to arrange a trial of a database at the request of library staff or library users. Working with the Systems department, the trial database is made available on the library web site. Feedback is collected and price information requested and retained until such time as a purchase decision is made.
Once a database to be added to the collection is identified, any site licenses or access contracts are reviewed by the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian and then negotiated and executed by the University Purchasing Department. Serials / Electronic Resources staff then work with the database vendor, the librarian liaison to the subject area covered by the database, and the Systems Department to complete a database information sheet on the database. The database information sheet is forwarded to the Systems Department for incorporation into the library databases page. The Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian activates the database in the SFX link resolver and the Metalib federated search engine.
E-journals: Once an e-journal to be added to the collection is identified, any site licenses or access contracts are reviewed by the Serials / Electronic Resources Librarian and then negotiated and executed by the University Purchasing Department. Serials / Electronic Resources staff then confirm access (on campus and remote), troubleshoot any errors and add the link to the Periodical Holdings List.
Websites: Once a website to be included on a resource guide or departmental web page is identified, it should be brought to the attention of the librarian liaison and/or department head who is responsible for the subject area or departmental web pages to which the site is pertinent. Librarian liaisons and/or department heads are responsible for incorporating the site into the resource guides and departmental web pages that they are responsible for maintaining. Web pages are updated in MS Word using the “track changes” feature. Resource Guides updated using MS Word and then saved as PDF documents then edited by the reference librarian in charge of those guides. The changed document is routed to the Systems Department for publishing on the library web site.