PolicyDraft PolicyDefinitions PolicyScope PolicySelectionCriteria

Selection Criteria


Sound Recordings

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.

Data Recordings

CDs are not the Library's preferred format for data and/or software applications. For data recordings, the preferred formats (in order of preference) are web based data files or printed data files (whether on paper or microform). For software applications the preferred format is web based.

Video Recordings

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.

Electronic Books

Based on circulation statistics, the library prefers printed formats over electronic formats for monographic purchases. For selection criteria for monographic purchases, please refer to the Library's General Collection Development Policy and to individual subject polices.

Electronic Journals

As defined 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 obtains about an e-journal.

In cases when a journal is available in more than one format (e.g. print and/or microform as well as electronic), the following criteria should be considered:

Does the library subscribe to the journal in any other format? If so,

  • is the selector suggesting that the Library add a subscription to the e-journal in addition to any current subscriptions to the journal in other formats? Or is the selector recommending that the Library purchase a subscription to the e-journal to replace any current subscriptions in other formats? A case could be made for either possibility and there is currently no preference as long as both possibilities are considered.
  • is the fee to upgrade to the e-journal version reasonable? How expensive would it be to cancel the subscription to the print or microform version in favor of a subscription to the e-journal version?
  • is there a preferred format among users? Several ways that this might be determined is by usage statistics or informal comments from users if the library is currently subscribing to the journal in another format.
  • is content in all versions/formats identical? There may be occasions where subscribing to the e-journal version of a journal may be warranted if the content of the e-journal version contains information that is unavailable in the print or microform version.

In cases when the journal is not available in any other format or once it is established that the e-journal version is preferred, the following additional selection criteria should be considered:

  • Content decisions, that is, the decision whether or not the topics covered by a journal 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. Judgements of quality such as whether a journal is considered to be a core title in its discipline may be supported by information contained in Ulrich's or Magazines in Libraries.
  • Cost is always a consideration in the decision to purchase a new subscsription, more so even than with monographic purchases because of the ongoing commitment over time that a journal subscription requires. At the time that this policy is being written, the Library's serials budget is frozen. New subscriptions are added rarely and almost always accompanied by an equivalent reduction in some other part of the Library budget (for example the cancelling of an equivalently priced journal subscription or the reduction of library services or student assistant hours). For this reason, freely available, open access e-journals are preferred.
  • There are also some selection criteria that should be taken into consideration for e-journals that are similar to those related to access to ???????? and for which there is no counterpart in print or microform journal selection.
    • Is there a restriction on the number of simultaneous users of the e-journal? Preference will be given to those e-journals with no such restriction.
    • How are authorized users identified (what is the method of authentication)? Preference will be given to those e-journals that use IP recognition to identify authorized users over those e-journals that use passwords or referring URLs to do so.
    • Does the subscription include access to the e-journal's backfiles? Preference will be given to those e-journals that provide access to backfiles of a journal either through open access or as a benefit of owning a current subscription.
    • Does the subscription include a guarantee of permanent access to the volumes and issues purchased or will all access cease if (when) the subscription is cancelled? Preference will be given to those e-journals that provide a guarantee of permanent access.

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.

Electronic Serials (e-serials) The following types of resources are considered serials, whether issued individually or as component parts of a collection:

  • electronic journal and electronic magazines (may also be known as e-journals, e-magazines, e-zines)
  • electronic newsletters
  • electronic newspapers

Web Sites

A Web Site may be deemed a valuable asset in that it broadens, enriches, and compliments the Library's collection. The selection of Web Sites into the Library’s collection should be consistent with the Library’s Mission, General Collection Development Policy and, when appropriate, the Subject Specific Collection Development Policy. Responsibility for the selection of a Web Site to be placed into the collection, like most materials, falls to individual the Subject Specific Liaison with input from the Reference Librarians.

The Web Sites linked on 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.

Web Site content is divided into two categories including:

Internal Internet Resources - pages that hold information on Library operations such as hours, staff directory, and maps. Publication pages that hold instructional and educational information, such as Resource Guides and Electronic Database Guides. Databases including the Online Catalog and the database page which provides linking to restricted access databases such as those produced by Ebsco.

External Internet Resources - These are links to websites housed outside the University's server that are meet Collection Development criteria and are deemed valuable enough to become part of the Library's collection. Many Government Document resources will fall into this catagory.