This policy provides guidelines for the Chester Fritz Library in the selection, acquisition, provision of access to, and maintenance of electronic resources. For guidelines to electronic periodicals please see the appropriate sections of the Periodicals Policy.
The following guideline standards shall be followed for all electronic resources:
- The Library shall retain authority for selecting and deselecting materials.
- Collection development guidelines shall be applied consistently across formats including digital resources.
- Principal considerations include:
- establishing a rationale for the acquisition of each resource
- meeting faculty and student information needs, providing orderly access and guidance to the digital resources, and integrating them into library service programs.
- Financial consideration aside, whenever possible, adequate information resources should be provided for all disciplines.
- Priority shall be given to digital format acquisition of those resources which benefit the most faculty and students for the best price.
- Priority shall be given to digital resources when they offer significant added value
over print equivalents in such ways as:
- more timely availability
- more extensive content
- greater functionality such as the ability to invoke linkages to local and/or related resources
- greater access because they can be delivered rapidly, remotely, at any time
- improved resource sharing due to the prevalence of digital resources
- ease of archiving, replacing, preserving.
- The Library will address objections to linked digital information by following the Procedure outlined in the ALA Bill of Rights for “Challenged Material.”
The following guidelines are divided into two tiers:
- Tier One - Provides guidance on the evaluation of free electronic resources such as websites to be cataloged or sites to be linked to the Chester Fritz Library homepage;
- Tier Two - Provides guidance on the evaluation of electronic resources that are be considered for sole acquisition, co-acquisition with another entity, or those resources which have been donated with licensing and/or long-term maintenance considerations.
Tier One - Free Electronic Resources
The following criteria shall be considered when determining whether or not the Chester Fritz Library catalogs a Web site onto ODIN, links a Web site to the Library homepage, or in any other way the Library promotes or provides access to a free electronic resource. Bibliographers shall have the responsibility for linking Web sites to Resources by Subject according to their subject specialties.
- Are the scope and limits clearly stated?
- Is the title informative?
- Does the content fit the scope?
- Are headings clear and descriptive, or do they use jargon unknown to the intended audience?
- Is text well written with acceptable grammar and spelling? What is the quality of multimedia files?
- Is the content organized by the needs of the user?
- Is it a dead end, or are there links to take you further?
- Are the content and the links clearly described and suitable to the expected audience?
- Is the content up-to-date? Are out-of-date links promptly corrected?
- Is the content amplified over time, or is one visit all it's worth?
- Is the origin of the content documented? Are facts verifiable and accurate?
- Is the material on the site covered adequately?
- Is the information on the site accurate?
- Who is the author/source?
- Is it clear who is responsible for the site? Can the author be contacted?
- What are the author's reputation and qualifications in the subject covered?
- Is the information presented in an objective, balanced manner?
- Are biases and opinions clearly identified?
- Is there any conflict of interest?
- How does the site compare with other sites on the same subject?
- Is the content unique, or readily available elsewhere?
- Has copyright been respected?
- Is the site appropriate for the intended audience?
- Is there community interest in the content or the site itself?
- Are there reviews of the site?
- Is the site still useable with a standard browser?
- Is it written in standard html, or have proprietary extensions been used?
- Does it use standard multimedia formats?
- What software must be installed to use the site?
- Do parts of it take too long to load?
- Is the site accessible to persons with disabilities?
- Is it usually possible to reach the site, or is it overloaded?
- Is it stable, or has the URL changed?
- Is the URL stated in the text of the webpage?
- Does the site use the words the average person would try in a search engine?
- Is it open to everyone on the Internet, or do parts require membership and/or fees?
- If there is a charge, can the library pay it on a subscription basis for multiple access points?
- Are any rules for use stated up front?
- Are the individual Web pages concise, or do you have to scroll forever?
- Do essential instructions appear before links and interactive portions?
- Do all the parts work?
- Is using the site intuitive, or are parts likely to be misunderstood?
- Can you find your way around and easily locate a particular page from any other page?
- Is the structure stable, or do features disappear between visits?
- Does it look and feel friendly?
- Does it do more than can be done with print?
- Are interactions secured if they involve private information?
- Can you use the site with older browsers?
Tier Two - Acquisition and/or Licensing of an Electronic Resource
In addition to the above criteria, electronic resources which are fee-based, shall be evaluated against the following guideline standards.
Costs and Pricing
- Electronic content shall be comparable in cost to its print analog unless there is substantial added value (such as a bibliographic database enhanced with full text).
- Preferably, the Library will not be required to purchase both print and its digital equivalent.
- When content and access costs are separated the Library shall have the flexibility
in selecting appropriate access mechanisms (including local or remote server, resource
sharing agreements with other institutions, etc.) and shall be able to alter these
agreements for an existing license, subject only to access and use restrictions in
the license agreement. The information provider shall inform the Library how much
of the total cost is attributable to:
- licensing the content
- providing access
- The Library would prefer pricing based on flat rates rather than flexible rating. Site license pricing shall be tied to FTE student count as opposed to the size of the total UND population.
The Library prefers license agreements that include:
- Permanent access rights to the content that has been paid for.
- Information providers shall employ a standard agreement that describes the rights of libraries and their authorized users in terms that are readable and explicit, and they shall reflect realistic expectations concerning the Library's ability to monitor use and discover abuse. Agreements shall contain consistent business and legal provisions, including, for example, indemnification against third-party copyright infringement liability and permission to use records in personal bibliographic software.
- The license agreement shall not contain a clause that establishes the laws of any one state to rule. If so, the clause shall be changed to the state of North Dakota or worded in such a way as to not mention any state.
- The licensed content, plus any associated features and capabilities, shall be accessible from all institutionally-supported computing platforms and networked environments; this access must be based on current standards (e.g., Z39.50 compliant) in use by the library community.
- Licenses shall permit fair use of all information for non-commercial educational, instructional and research purposes by authorized users whether local or remote, including Interlibrary lending, unlimited viewing, downloading and printing.
- Use data shall follow the ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) Standards and be available to the Library as part of contractual provisions for a license, and the confidentiality of individual users and their searches must be fully protected.
- The license shall permit access by IP range or other non-password authentication.
- Consultation with appropriate legal counsel may be required.
- Data formats shall follow industry standards and must be fully documented. Data shall be platform-independent and available in a multiplicity of formats (e.g., ASCII, PDF, SGML, etc.).
- The information provider must provide a reasonable response time.
- Interfaces shall be easy to mastered by the intended audience.
- Information providers must keep the Library informed of format and content changes and coordinate their implementation with the systems librarian.
- The Library must be able to provide access to a network infrastructure. System capacity and bandwidth shall adequately provide reasonable response time.
Rev. & Adopted 12/03