Polices Collection Development Policy for Internet Resources
The University of Oregon Libraries supports the instructional and research programs of the University. Toward this aim, the Library collects or provides access to materials in multiple formats, including electronic formats. One important electronic resource, the Internet, is readily available to any library users with access to the World Wide Web. However, while the Internet is easily accessible, the Library recognizes that careful selection of Internet resources and availability of these through the Library's catalog will accomplish several objectives: 1) increase awareness and maximize use of significant sites; 2) provide value-added access to Internet resources often absent when using various search engines to locate resources; and 3) enhance and expand the Library's collection of traditional formats.
This policy will guide the selection of Internet resources, primarily those that are monographic in nature. The phrase, "monographic in nature, " refers to Internet resources that are specific documents or bibliographic and numeric files rather than entire collections of resources such as Web or gopher servers. While there are several useful search engines for searching the Internet, focusing on individual titles emphasizes the important contributions that subject specialists make to providing access to Internet resources. This policy also does not address either online bibliographic and full-text databases or electronic serials. Collection development policies and procedures for online bibliographic and full-text databases and electronic serials will address the selection, acquisition, and provision of access for these resources.
Records for selected resources will show in Janus, ORBIS, and OCLC. In addition to descriptive and subject cataloging, these records will provide the necessary URLs for locating the resources on the Internet. Eventually III's Web interface to ORBIS and Janus will make it possible to click on URLS from the union catalog and gain access to these resources. Though selected Internet resources will be accessible through the catalog like other materials in the Library's collections, given the nature of their format, the Library does not physically house these resources. Inclusion of a resource in the Library's holding does not preclude it from being linked or located via a subject specialist's homepage.
Selection Responsibility: Responsibility for selecting these materials falls to individual subject specialists and the head of collection development as these materials fall into their regular selecting responsibility. Other librarians, library users, and other individuals will offer suggestions to appropriate subject specialists or the head of collection development.
Funding: Collection Development will encourage subject specialists to select Internet resources which are free of charge. Selection of free Internet resources will bypass the usual routing of orders through the Acquisitions Department. This situation will foreseeably change as more commercial resources become available via the Internet. At present and in the future, when funding is necessary, the subject content will determine the individual fund. Subject specialists and the head of collection development will determine the appropriate individual funds to use for purchasing Internet resources. As with all other formats, the Library will consider other allocations for those titles deemed major purchases. The Library will also consider trial periods.
Adherence to Other Collection Development Guidelines: The selection of Internet resources should follow present collecting policies, both general and subject specific policies. Specifically their selection should adhere closely to the chronological, geographical, language, and date of publication guidelines set forth in general or subject specific policies. As with other materials subject specialists should also 1) consider present curriculum and research needs, 2) select materials which meet the standards the Library expects of all materials in regard to excellence, comprehensiveness, and authoritativeness, and 3) weigh the selection of a particular fee-based title against other possible acquisitions from material budgets.
Specific Format Criteria: In addition to content, subject specialists should closely consider the criteria listed below when considering the purchase of Internet resources.
- the improvement or enhancement that the resource will give to existing print materials
- the broad accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements
- the compatibility of the resource with existing hardware about to be purchased or already in the
Library and hardware on the University of Oregon campus
- the currency and relevancy of the resource's information, if deemed necessary for subject matter
- the user-friendliness of the resource
When possible, it is helpful to consult available reviews of Internet resources before their selection. Reviews can outline how well a resource meets specific criteria and can provide further insight regarding the resource's overall quality. Subject specialists should not necessarily exclude a title because it does not meet every individual criterion. However, subject specialists should attempt to select resources that adequately meet as many of the selection criteria as is possible.
Selection Tools: In addition to searching the Internet via various search engines, subject specialists may consult several sources for current reviews of Internet resources. These sources of selection, which do not constitute comprehensive coverage, include CRL News' regular feature on Internet resources geared for specific subjects, the column "Net Sightings, " featured in Database and Online, respectively, and the column "Internet Librarian," in American Libraries.
The Library will comply with the existing copyright laws. The Library will also promote copyright compliance among its users and among its staff.
When applicable to Internet resources, the Library will negotiate and comply with vendor licensing agreements. Because this format increases the complexity of licensing agreements, subject specialists should inform the Head of Collection Development about Internet resources requiring a licensing agreement prior to selecting that resource.
The Library will maximize access to Internet resources through several means:
- cataloging of each resource
- regular updating of records when information, particularly the site's URL, changes;
- provision, maintenance, preparation, and loading of necessary software and hardware;
- appropriate staff and user support and training for in-building use
Selecting an Internet resource that duplicates an existing print resource usually constitutes acceptable duplication because the site probably will incur no fee and a site's selection provides greater access than the single use point that a print resource may provide. The Library will duplicate print resources with fee-based Internet resources when:
- the resource has significant historical value
- one format is unstable
- a cost benefit for purchasing multiple formats exists
- multiple formats meet the different needs of user groups
Different subject areas obviously require different applications of generally accepted deselection principles. Nevertheless, ongoing deselection of Internet resources is a necessity because of the dynamic nature of such resources. These guidelines should provide some suggestions for when to deselect a resource:
1) an Internet resource is no longer available or maintained;
2) the currency and reliability of the resource's information has lost its value;
3) another Internet site or resource offers more comprehensive coverage.
Because of the complex and dynamic nature of providing access to Internet resources, the head of Licensing, Grant Admin & Coll Analysis and other librarians will need to review this policy regularly.
For information, contact:
Head of Licensing, Grant Admin & Coll Analysis
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403