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This policy provides a statement of the general principles that underpin the selection, provision and management of, and access to, internal and external information resources by the University of Strathclyde Library. It covers Library general collections, archives and special collections, theses and university research outputs.
This policy is informed by the priorities identified in the University's Strategic Plan.
The Library will:
- deliver the information needs of the University’s national and international community to support and respond to teaching, learning and research, and to maximise the effective use of that information.
- preserve the institutional memory of the University.
- manage and enhance the collections through appropriate strategies for selection, acquisition, organisation, conservation, preservation, access and exploitation.
- provide and promote efficient access to all its information resources regardless of format or supplier.
- actively consult with academic departments and users to determine and support their information needs, including the consideration of resources for subjects that are under-represented in the Western intellectual tradition, such as particular political philosophies, knowledge systems, cultures, peoples and languages.
- collaborate with other institutions, locally, regionally and nationally, to develop joint strategies for acquisition and access to information, which deliver cost-effective provision.
- increase access through an electronic preference policy with regards to journals in particular, and other information resources as appropriate.
- regularly review the range of information resources to ensure they continue to deliver value for money.
- support the principles of open access publishing.
Selection of information resources
- Additions to the Library's collections are made through purchase, subscription, signposting, donation or exchange, according to agreed selection criteria and suppliers’ business models.
- Library staff will work in partnership with the University’s academic communities to ensure that collections are continually developed to meet curriculum requirements, support research activity, and reflect the diverse nature of 21st century scholarship and publishing. Material will be selected appropriate to the intellectual level required.
- Information resources selection is shared between Library and academic staff, with final decisions on the overall management of the budget remaining with the Library.
- Material may also be acquired which supports the wider needs of the institution, such as staff training and development.
- The Library will acquire material with a significant association to the University and in areas of known collection and research strengths.
- The Library will acquire University records of permanent administrative or historical value according to agreed selection criteria.
- The Library will collect materials in the formats most appropriate to the needs of users or specific disciplines, and will endeavour to support the principles of bibliodiversity.
- Students are strongly encouraged to purchase 'core' texts for their personal use and the Library will therefore purchase limited copies of reading list materials to ensure wider support for all taught courses.
- Members of academic staff are responsible for providing the Library with details of recommended readings for new and existing courses.
- The predominant language of most collections is English, but material may be acquired in any language should there be an academic requirement to do so (e.g. if an under-represented political philosophy or knowledge system is written in a language other than English).
- Cost, anticipated usage, and current subject collection profile will all form part of the selection criteria. Electronic resources will be subject to additional selection criteria, including functionality, technical platform requirements, access levels and licensing conditions. E-textbooks in particular (i.e. electronic books that are purchased on a one-copy-per-student basis, where each copy is “owned” by a named user) must represent good value for money when balanced against ongoing budget and access considerations. Extra selection criteria may also be applied to born digital and/or Open Access resources such as authoritativeness, objectivity and currency.
Acquisition of information resources
- The University provides an annual Library Grant which is apportioned to each Faculty by the University Librarian, in consultation with Deans and Faculty members of the Library Board.
- The Library’s apportionment of the Grant to each Faculty will take into account criteria including: student numbers, average prices and use of stock. The balance of book and journal expenditure will be agreed in relation to the requirements of the subject area.
- Faculties should spend 25% of their book allocation by mid-January and 70% by mid-April each year. Faculty Librarians will support the agreed timelines by selecting stock to ensure that these targets are met.
- Information resources for new courses, modules or research interests will be met from the existing Library allocation unless additional resources are identified and supported through the formal module proposal or bid documentation processes.
- Recommendations for new journal titles and other subscription materials will generally only be considered where an existing title of equal or greater worth is cancelled.
- Many information resources are purchased through consortia agreements which deliver maximum discounts and value for money. As these may involve multi-year contracts this can limit the Library’s ability to cancel existing titles.
- Some additional purchases are possible from limited recurrent or non-recurrent endowment funds, and from academic departmental funds.
- Donations are accepted at the discretion of the Library on the understanding that they may later be withdrawn in accordance with the Library’s Collection Development policy. The Library will decide where to locate any materials accepted.
- Both a print and a digital copy of theses resulting from the successful award of degrees by research must be submitted for deposit with the Library, in accordance with copyright regulations and University policy.
- The transfer/donation of University archives will follow agreed accession procedures. All such transfers/donations will be fully documented.
Maintenance and review of information resources
- Regular stock reviews are undertaken to ensure the collections remain relevant to University teaching, learning and research activities. Faculties review their subscriptions portfolio on an annual basis to ensure they continue to meet their teaching, learning and research needs and deliver value for money.
- Damaged, missing or lost items of stock which have a continued usage will be rebound or replaced, where funds permit. Digitisation may be used for some elements of the collection, to conserve originals and to extend access to their contents.
- The Library will ensure that Archives and Special Collections in all formats, both hard-copy and digital, are stored appropriately to ensure their security and long-term preservation.
- The Library will ensure that electronic information resources in its care are stored securely and that, where appropriate, plans are in place for data management and/or long-term preservation of these resources.
- Loan periods and location will be informed by known or anticipated usage.
- Lesser-used stock will be re-located to controlled access store areas.
- Stock that is no longer relevant to support the University’s teaching, learning and research activities may be withdrawn and either ethically disposed of or sold. This allows the Library to release space for new purchases in response to changing curriculum needs.
- The disposal of archive collections that no longer fit the Archives and Special Collections Collecting Policy will be managed responsibly in accordance with sectoral recommendations. Such collections will wherever possible be offered back to the donor or their heirs prior to disposal.
- Resources acquired to address under-represented political philosophies, knowledge systems, cultures, peoples and languages will be maintained and reviewed as outlined above. Special consideration, however, will be given to retaining such items should the review normally merit their disposal.
Discovery, signposting and exploitation of information resources
- The Library will provide access to its general collections to those who are eligible to join the Library, in accordance with membership rules and as permitted by licence arrangements.
- The Library will provide access to its Archives and Special Collections to all members of the Library and to members of the public. All users must comply with requirements for handling and working with these unique collections.
- The Library will provide appropriate resource discovery tools and catalogues to enhance access to its collections, adhering to standards for international interoperability with other services.
- The Library will ensure that information provided electronically is available to all authorised users from both on and off campus, within the terms of its licences and as permitted by the University’s user account management and authentication systems. Electronic resources without access restrictions (e.g. open access content) will be signposted by listing on SUPrimo, if deemed appropriate.
- The Library will provide access to information resources for the wider community of researchers, including alumni and retired members of staff. Where licence arrangements, user account management and authentication systems permit, this may also include electronic resources.
- Access to Library collections for contracted partner institutions will be supported in accordance with the partnership and licensing agreements.
- Most library stock is available for loan. For security or other reasons, however, some material, including all Archives and Special Collections (with the exception of some digital collections), is only available for consultation within the Library.
- The Library participates in a number of reciprocal agreements which, together with the inter-library loans service, enables access to materials held elsewhere when purchasing is not an effective option.
- To maximise support for, and use of, existing resources, a nominated Faculty Librarian/s will work in partnership with individual academic departments to ensure the effective management of collections and provide formal and informal training in their use.
- The Library is committed to supporting the principles of open access publishing. Open access information is a subset of born-digital information, access to which is online, free of charge and (in varying degrees) free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Open access resources typically permit users to download, copy, print, display, distribute, search, index, and link to the information; open access resources remain the intellectual property of their creators, who have attribution rights as well as control over the integrity of their work.
- The Library curates all research outputs that are deposited in, or made accessible through, the University’s open access repository.
- The Library manages access to and preservation of datasets deposited in the University’s open access repository, ensuring that they are shareable in line with the University’s RDM policy, and reusable in line with FAIR data policies
- The University Librarian reserves the right to adapt any part of this policy without consultation should emergency circumstances (e.g. fire/water damage, pandemic, financial crisis) dictate that it cannot be followed precisely.
The Library administers Article Processing Charges (APCs) on behalf of the University. As open access evolves we will manage the relationship between APCs and journal “Read & Publish” subscription prices to ensure that the balance is fair and equitable.
Associated Collection Policies
Policy implementation and review
The policy will be reviewed annually to ensure its continuing relevance to the strategic priorities of the institution.
Reviewed April 2021