Periodicals Collection Development Policy
Effective periodical collection management necessitates systematically evaluating the collection in order to ensure its continued relevance to University teaching and research needs. This need to evaluate, coupled with rapidly rising prices for periodicals and increasing demands by the University community for more titles, places a growing burden on the Library’s ability to maintain the collection. This necessitates establishing criteria by which titles may be evaluated for purposes of selection and continuation or cancellation decision-making.
Responsibility for the development of the Library’s periodicals collection rests with the Head of Collection Strategies and Collection Development Committee. The Head of Collection Strategies will work with the Collection Development Committee to analyze periodical subscription benefits and costs, including obtaining departmental feedback, evaluating usage data, and utilizing bibliographers' expertise to make decisions to optimize University resources to the benefit of the University's mission.
The primary purpose of a periodicals collection development policy is to establish guidelines for the identification, selection, and continuation of periodicals in accordance with the intellectual and informational needs of the Library’s constituency. Needs must be determined, then titles must be chosen and retained in accordance with ascertained needs and within the context of prevailing feasibility levels. This policy pertains to serials held in individual subscription, and those held in aggregate form as an electronic journal collection.
The needs of the Library’s constituency are identified by the bibliographers' knowledge of their respective fields and awareness of teaching, research and service needs, and as appropriate, in consultation with appropriate faculty members in their subject areas. Some methods used include:
- Acquiring information reflecting the broad goals and objectives of the University from official sources;
Obtaining information reflecting departmental needs from departmental mission statements, UND catalogs, course syllabi, faculty profiles, and liaison activities;
Obtaining information reflecting areas of interdisciplinary interest or interest not incorporated in the curricula from student contacts, faculty contacts, and reference services;
Obtaining data reflecting demands for library materials and services from interlibrary loan transactions, circulation activity, reshelving of materials, browsing activity, questionnaire responses administered to users, etc.
Given the non-static nature of curricula and research, assessment of needs is viewed as a continuous process.
Factors Used in the Selection, Continuation, and Cancelation of Titles
The following factors, when and to the extent present, are those which support selection and continuation. While listed in the order of their approximate importance, they are used in conjunction with each other and emerge as singularly decisive only when all other factors are equal for competing titles. Titles failing to meet or that measure poorly against these criteria are candidates for cancelation. The factors are:
- Relevance of the title to curriculum and research
- Demand for the title
- Perceived need for the title
- Coverage (scope and content) of the title
- Accessibility (physical and electronic) of the title - including through interlibrary loan
- Accessibility (bibliographical) to the title
Adding, Replacing, and Canceling Periodical Titles
Under the direction of the Head of Collection Strategies, the Collection Development Committee will regularly review periodicals and standing orders to determine if:
- Their usage warrants their continuation
- Their attributed departments still deem them important for meeting their area's education and research needs
- They can be transitioned to a newer format for a similar cost
The library may acquire new titles requested by departments if sufficient demand is shown through statistical sources or described need and the library obtains sufficient funds for the new title, generally through canceling other titles. It is expected that the long-term research and instruction needs of the University, together with the academic needs of the students, shall be considered in regard to subscription cancelations. These decisions will be made by the Collection Development Committee.
Adding Free Serial Titles
New serials which do not entail cost, whether in print, electronic, or other formats, must meet appropriate selection criteria listed above for inclusion in the periodical collection before being added.
Canceling a Periodical
A journal may be canceled due to deficiencies in meeting the above selection criteria. Cancelations may also be required on a large scale if the library is directed to review and/or reduce its total expenditure on materials, including serial subscriptions.
Mandatory Review of Serial Titles Due to Cost
Limited ongoing resources available for serial purchases make it untenable to sustain excessive price increases in subscription costs. Serials that increase in cost beyond the average and beyond what the serials budget can bear shall be reviewed, as well as serials with a high cost per use.
A department and bibliographer will be asked to review titles and substantially justify the journal’s inclusion in the collection as core to a particular academic discipline. Journals that fail to meet the selection criteria for continued inclusion shall be canceled and/or substituted by alternate titles in the same discipline at a cost of equal or lesser value than the original subscription price prior to its increase.
Revised and adopted January 2022