Collection Guidelines


A. Introduction
B. Responsibilities
C. Selection Criteria
Collection Descriptions
General Criteria
Online Purchases and Licensing
Primary Formats
Secondary Formats
D. Reference Materials
E. Electronic Resources
F. Demonstrations of New Products
G. Cooperative Resource Sharing
H. Donations/Gifts
I. Weeding
Appendix A Collection Development Steering Committee
Appendix B Consortia Memberships
Appendix C Weeding Criteria
Appendix D Historical Collections and Archives Collection Guidelines

A. Introduction

The Augusta University, chartered in 1828, is a major academic health center and health sciences research university. The Augusta University consists of colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate School, Medicine, and Nursing and an affiliated health care system-and is the only academic institution in the State of Georgia dedicated exclusively to the health sciences. The mission of the Augusta University is to improve health and reduce the burden of illness in society by discovering, disseminating, and applying knowledge of human health and disease.

The Greenblatt Library provides services and resources necessary to meet the information needs of the university mission. A collection management program analyzes and assesses data to organize and direct the processes of acquiring and providing access to materials and content, integrating them into coherent collections, and managing growth and maintenance. Such a program is an integral part of the library's plan for providing necessary access to information resources to its community.

B. Responsibilities

The Collection Development Steering Committee oversees collection development activities and makes recommendations to the Director for major expenditures, new recurring items and other items brought to the attention of the Serials Librarian. The committee membership is reviewed regularly by the Director and includes multiple stakeholders. (See Appendix A)

Serials selection and access is a complex operation that is undertaken in the context of print and electronic access, consortia arrangements, and licensing agreements. Reviewing and routing contracts for electronic resources is the responsibility of the Serials Librarian and/or the Chair of Content Management and the Director of Libraries. Providing access to print and electronic serials is the responsibility of faculty and staff of the Content Management department.

Day to day collection activities is the responsibility of the Serials Librarian and the Academic Librarian in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including the Collection Development Steering Committee.

C. Selection Criteria

The Collections of the Library of the Augusta University reflect the tripartite mission of Augusta University and gives its highest priority to acquiring materials or providing access to resources needed to meet the teaching, research and service goals of its faculty, students, staff, residents, and Augusta University Medical Center employees.

Collection strengths reflect the educational goals of the five schools, clinical information and evidence, and the thematic research areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infection & inflammation, and neurological diseases. As a designated resource library for the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine, the Library has a responsibility to maintain comprehensive collections.

Collection Descriptions

Circulating Books - general texts providing an overview and monographs providing in-depth information on health care and related topics

Reference Books - directories, statistics and other resources, and recent encyclopedic medical texts which provide factual data, with a focus on the health sciences and Georgia. Directories and similar resources are collected in print to provide a permanent record of retrospective information or a “snapshot in time”

Indexes and abstracts - electronic databases are acquired; print indexes and abstracts are retained for retrospective material, primarily pre-2000 and for material not available electronically in our library

Current Journals - primarily electronic; print is collected for core, heavily used titles, and titles that do not meet criteria for electronic access

Bound Journals - completed print volumes are bound to provide back files, reduce wear, reduce loss, simplify handling and shelving, and to protect the integrity of the volume

Microforms - a small collection of journal titles and government documents is maintained; a small number of historical collections are added for preservation purposes

Audiovisual - small collection of videotapes, audiotapes, and slides are collected to supplement the print resources

Leisure - small collection of fiction and non-fiction popular books, magazines, and newspapers

Theses & Dissertations - two copies of all Augusta University student theses and dissertations are provided by the student as required by the Graduate School; one circulates and the other is archived.

Office collection - a small number of print items, mostly in field of librarianship, for use within a library department. Exact location information is found in the cataloguer's notes

Historical and archival collections - institutional and local medical history, rare books, manuscripts, artifacts, and archival material. (See Appendix D)

Electronic collections - electronic books, journals, databases, and other emerging forms of electronic content delivery

General Criteria
Requested by the Augusta University community
Frequently published in or cited by Augusta University community
In scope material
Relevance to new or existing programs
Amount of relevant material already in collection
Impact factor from Journal Citation Report
Appearance on core lists
Print, electronic, and interlibrary loan usage statistics
Indexed in current science and health sciences bibliographic databases
Credentials of author or editor
Professional society affiliation
English language
License agreements
Backfile/archival availability
Consortia discounts and sharing
Cost and cost per use

Online Purchases or Licensing
Journal packages, databases, etc. acquired independently are evaluated on:

  • content within the mission of the institution
  • multi-disciplinary content preferred
  • publisher-provided data to enable content comparison of products
  • free trial
  • publisher-provided usage statistics, preferably COUNTER-compliant
  • price based on or negotiable for size of the institution
  • proven, successful publishing record of publisher
  • site license for all of campus and hospitals and clinics
  • available off campus
  • in house use for all walk-ins
  • preferred maintenance on publisher server
  • archival access in some form

Journal packages, databases, etc. purchased within consortium are evaluated on:

  • significant portion of the content within the mission of the institution
  • multi-disciplinary institutional content preferred
  • costs based on mission related content when package content is broader than mission
  • institutional use statistics, preferably COUNTER-compliant
  • cost-savings or other benefits from consortial arrangement
  • site license for all of campus and hospitals and clinics
  • available off campus
  • in house use for all walk-ins
  • priority to GETSM, CONBLS, MLA consortium offerings and GALILEO when in-scope

Primary Formats
Texts and monographs written for the professional, postgraduate, and upper level university students
Reference works such as directories and statistical sources
Historical or archival materials (see Appendix D)
Journals, books, and other material with scholarly or clinical content relating to our scope.

Electronic format is the format of choice for journals. Print materials are purchased for ease of use, cost savings, certain kinds of content, and when not feasible via electronic format. (See Section E. Electronic Resources.)

Aggregated resources (mixed and linked electronic content provided by vendors or publishers)
Databases that index scholarly or clinical journals in the health sciences and general sciences

Secondary Formats
A small number of the following are collected with compelling interest or need
Audiovisuals - models, video, audio, slides
Consumer Health
Compact disks, DVD, multimedia card
Government documents
Laboratory manuals
Popular Works

Annual reports (non Augusta University)
Newsletters (non Augusta University)
Loose-leaf publications
Study guides and examination questions

D. Reference Material
The reference collection is a small, current collection of print materials that provide quick easy access to factual or encyclopedic health sciences information and Georgia data.

Generally, materials should not be older than 5 years. Exceptions: Materials such as directories and other online sources with only current information should be purchased in print and retained to provide retrospective information or a “snapshot in time” for older information not kept online (e.g. Georgia County Guides, directories for previous years not available online)

A few core encyclopedic texts should be purchased both in print and electronically.

Lesser-used, more expensive resources may be purchased every few years rather than annually.

Weeding should take place continually, but at least annually to ensure resources are current. Weeded material may go in the circulating, serial, or historical collections if appropriate, or will be discarded.

Formats should include but are not limited to:

Encyclopedic, core textbooks (e.g. Harrison's, Joslin's) - the most recent and only one or two in each discipline
Dictionaries, including a few general and foreign languages
Drug information
Statistical sources, including U.S. demographic information and Georgia information at the city and county level
Directories, including previous years
General almanacs
Serial works (e.g. USP DI) - some may be transferred to bound journal collection after 5 years
Encyclopedias are generally not collected.

E. Electronic Resources
Electronic is the format of choice for journals. Selected print journals are collected for core, heavily used titles, and titles that do not meet criteria for online purchases or licensing (see above).

Duplication of resources should be minimized. Duplication may occur when online + print deals are chosen to add core print titles at a small additional cost, or may occur involuntarily when titles overlap from different aggregators.

Bundled journal packages are evaluated for their overall value to our mission and are compared to getting specific titles individually

License agreements should include

  • all primary users of the Library, including faculty, staff, and students of Augusta University and GHS Health System
  • on-site visitors to the library
  • access for primary users by IP address and proxy server access with proper authentication. In some cases, a username/password access is acceptable if the information can be posted on an Intranet controlled web page or otherwise shared exclusively with primary users
  • site licensing based on relevant FTE users, simultaneous users, or number of seats
  • provision of monthly COUNTER compliant statistics
  • perpetual access to the information, with archival responsibility clearly stated
  • scholarly sharing within the fair use guidelines of the U.S. Copyright Law

In addition to the criteria listed above and in Section C, the following factors should be considered:
Type of display, e.g. PDF
Reliable and easy to use interface
Archives, including whether purchased or leased, format, available through vendor or third party
Frequency of updates
Reliable and prompt technical support
Perpetual link (DOI, URI, durable URL) at the journal article level

The Library agrees in principle with the open access publication movement and will monitor and explore memberships and other evolving forms of supporting open access information to its users.

F. Demonstration of New Products
Library faculty should continually evaluate and recommend new products that may serve our users well. Demonstrations directed toward campus faculty and students must be timely and targeted since it may set up expectations of intent to purchase if given a favorable review. Before demonstrations are made available to library users, the Collection Development Steering Committee should reach a consensus that it may be of benefit for one or more constituencies on the campus and is economically feasible within the next fiscal year.

G. Cooperative Resource Sharing
Cooperative resource sharing arrangements are made to avoid duplication, to share resources via consortia arrangements, and to obtain discounts thru consortia buying. (See Appendix B)

H. Donations/Gifts
Gifts and donations are accepted based on the same selection criteria as for the rest of the collection. In general, textbooks are accepted if 5 or less years old. Duplicates of items already in our collection are generally not accepted. Serials are accepted to fill gaps in the printed or print/electronic access collection. Donated items become the property of the library and may be disposed of at the Library's discretion.

Donors are encouraged to call or email prior to making a donation. Materials of historical or archival significance, the Historical Collections Archivist should be contacted. Letters acknowledging receipt of a gift are provided, but appraisals cannot be provided by the Library and must be arranged by the donor, if desired.

I. Weeding
Items in the book collection are evaluated for retention, discard, replacement, or bindery at the age of 8-10 years as part of a systematic weeding project. Usage statistics (browse/circ), collection statistics, and replacement information are used to inform evaluation & weeding decisions. Decisions to transfer general circulating items to Historical Collections and Archives are made jointly by the Academic Librarian and the Historical Collections Archivist. Replacement items and bindery items are typically classics in the field, historically valuable reprints or highly circulated items.

Items evaluated and retained contain standardized printed notes on the first page in the book for the reason of retention (Reshelve or Keep). Such notes refer to Historical, Equipment, Classic author or title, first editions, and Augusta University author copy and other criteria. (See Appendix C)


Collection Development and Assessment in Health Sciences Libraries. D. T. Richards and D. Eakin. Current Practice in Health Sciences Librarianship series. Medical Library Association, 1997.

Collection Development and Management for Electronic, Audiovisual, and Print Resources in Health Sciences Libraries, MLA DocKit, Second edition revised. Medical Library Association, c.2002.

Collection Development Policies and Procedures, 3rd edition. Elizabeth Futas, ed. Oryx Press, 1995.

Full Library Policies Part 2. University of Wisconsin - Stout Library Learning Center, Collection Development Policy. Western Kentucky University Libraries, Collection Development Statement

Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, 2nd edition. Collection Management and Development Guides, No. 7. Joanne S. Anderson, editor. American Library Association, 1996.

Guidelines for Libraries Serving Dental Education Programs, Part 4. Acquisition, Organization, and Maintenance of Collections. Medical Library Associations Guidelines & Standards.


Appendix A
Collections Development Steering Committee

Director of Libraries, ex officio
Academic Council faculty representative
Associate Director
Chair, Content Management (chair)
Serials Librarian
Chair, Education and Information Services
Clinical Information Librarian
AHEC Learning Resources Coordinator

Appendix B
Consortia Memberships

GETSM - a Georgia University System consortium of five Research institutions: University of Georgia, Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University and the Augusta University.
GALILEO - the statewide consortium of Georgia University System university libraries.
SOLINET - the Southeastern Library Network serves libraries and their communities, and is the southeastern affiliate of OCLC.
CONBLS - Consortium of Biomedical Libraries of the South, which includes 18 academic health centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee.
NNLM/SEA - National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Appendix C
Weeding Criteria

Augusta University authors
Monographs with special color photos or illustrations
Monographs with photos of older equipment
Monographs on history or that have a chapter/s on history of a particular subject, field, technique, therapy, etc.
Monographs on genetics (should be carefully reviewed)
Monographs concerning controversial social subjects (i.e. euthanasia, abortion, homosexuality and AIDS, human experimentation, women's rights, etc.), and especially items that particularly illuminate the social history of the time
Monographs on unusual or unique subject matter or diseases/conditions that have historical significance (i.e. Legionnaires Disease, TB, polio, smallpox. etc.)
Monographs that have had frequent circulation (by various criteria)
Some classic texts as “snapshots in time
First editions
Classic authors in the field (i.e. Theodore Reik)
Items from periods of time known to be significant in that field

Items with Georgia authors
Books that are part of a series or volume set (i.e. Progress in Brain Research). These need to be searched in catalog to ascertain if we have others in the series and to determine if subject matter warrants retention.

Items that are worn and in poor condition (pages falling out, spine broken, etc)
Elderly texts that have been updated in our collection (8-10 years or older),
serial editions of textbooks
Monographs older than 8-10 years for which there is newer, better material in the collection unless the seminal work is significant
Duplicates; choose the best condition