Library: Collection Development

From University of Nebraska Medical Center
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Purpose and Scope

The guidelines described in this Collection Development Policy are designed to support the mission of the McGoogan Health Sciences Library and apply to the general, circulating collection. The acquisition and retention of resources are based on meeting the educational, research, and clinical needs and the institutional values of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in a responsive, user-centered manner.


The McGoogan Library primarily serves the faculty, students, researchers, and staff of UNMC. The library also serves the health practitioners of UNMC’s clinical partners and the public.

General Selection Guidelines

  1. Subject Areas: The collection represents the disciplines of UNMC’s colleges and institutes. National Library of Medicine Classification QS – WZ. Limited collecting is done in subjects outside of the health sciences, and they generally include topics falling into the BF, H, LB, and Q classification. Library of Congress Classification
  2. Books: Books are purchased ad hoc, based on the curricular and research needs and user requests. Electronic formats are preferred when available and where cost and licensing terms are favorable. Print books are generally preferred for:
    • Study materials and exam guides
    • Titles authored by UNMC-affiliated individuals
  3. Journals: Journals comprise most of the library’s collection. Current journal subscriptions are only in electronic format. Older print volumes may be retained based on space and availability of the materials through other libraries.
  4. Anatomical Models: The library maintains a collection of anatomical models that support the curricular needs of the institution.
  5. Other Online Resources: The library subscribes to a variety of databases and other electronic resources. Examples may include citation databases, clinical support tools, and writing resources.
  6. Languages: The library only collects English language materials, with two exceptions:
    • Foreign language journals or books that come as part of a package subscription or an Open Access collection.
    • Foreign language communication guides for health practitioners.
  7. Geographic Limits: The library collects books and journals from international English-language publishers.
  8. Material Age Limits: The library’s collection is developed with an emphasis on current information resources.
  9. General Exclusions: The following materials are generally excluded, although exceptions are made: introductory undergraduate textbooks, loose-leaf publications, newsletters, and workbooks.
  10. Duplication: Duplication of formats is mostly avoided except in limited circumstances, such as when an electronic version of a high-use book becomes available after a print version has been purchased.
  11. Gifts: The library selectively accepts gifts of books that meet the selection criteria of the collection. The library cannot guarantee a donor that their gift will be added to the collection. Disposition and retention are at the discretion of the library. The library does not accept donations of print journals.

Guidelines for Withdrawal or Cancellation of Materials and Resources

Withdrawal of Physical Materials

The following materials may be withdrawn without notification or consultation of users:

  • Older editions of textbooks or study resources
  • Out-of-scope books or other items no longer supported by the curriculum
  • Books or other items in poor condition
    • If the content and circulation of the item makes it worthy of retention, it will be repaired or replaced if possible
  • Open Access resources not hosted by the library

Retention of materials in the collection is at the discretion of the Head of Collection Development and Metadata in consultation with the Library Dean and Associate Dean, when appropriate. Retention decisions reflect many variables, such as space, currency, and educational and clinical relevancy.

Withdrawal/Suppression of Owned Ebooks

Ebooks purchased with perpetual access rights may be withdrawn or suppressed within the catalog at the discretion of the library. Common circumstances include:

  • Any high-use ebook with a newer edition (in print or online)
  • Any superseded pharmacotherapeutic, clinical, or other ebooks intended for use at the point of care.

Cancellation of Subscription Resources

The library regularly reviews serials and other online resources to ensure their relevance and value for the collection. Resources being considered for cancellation may be presented to campus for comment and feedback before final cancellation. The following factors may be considered:

  • Usage statistics
  • Cost per use
  • Subject scope and relevance to the library’s primary users
  • Uniqueness of content
  • Availability of other access
  • Terms of license and subscription
  • Campus feedback in response to the proposed cancellation

Collaborative Relationships

The library relies on relationships with the libraries within the University of Nebraska system and other library consortia to augment the collection through shared licensing of online resources.