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Collection Development Policy


Collection Development refers to the selection, analysis, purchase, and licensing of resources, for discovery/accessibility in electronic or print, for the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Library’s collections.

Division of Duties

Collection development decisions are made by the library’s Collection Development Committee (CD-C). The committee is chaired by the Head of Resource Management (RM) and Discovery Services. Committee members include the RM Department staff, the Executive Director, as well as librarians and staff from the Research and Instruction, McGovern Historical Center and Circulation/ILL departments.

A Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) meets in March and August to provide budget review and feedback to the CD-C. This committee is chaired by the Head of Resource Management and is comprised of faculty leaders from the library’s governing institutions, along with the Executive Director and librarians from the TMC Library.

The Head of Resource Management schedules CD-C meetings via Zoom, usually held twice per fiscal year. Otherwise, the committee discusses collection development, product renewal and pricing decisions via email on an as-needed basis. The CD-C reviews all resources, whether current or potential, to make recommendations for renewal, new purchase, subscription or cancellation.

The Head of Resource Management provides members with up-to-date lists of all the library’s resources (online journals, E-books and databases), as well as usage statistics, pricing, license, renewal and selection metrics as needed. The committee is provided analyses on new product suggestions throughout the fiscal year.

Vendor demonstrations are arranged for new resources of strong interest. A vendor demonstration does not guarantee acquisition of the resource.

It is the responsibility of the Head of Resource Management, the Executive Director, and the Chief Financial Officer to ensure that total collections expenses and capitalized collections do not exceed the Board-approved budget. Additional revenue must be available to offset any increase in expenditures.

Faculty and Student Input

The Resource Management and Research and Instruction Departments solicit feedback on resources from affiliated users at the TMC Library’s academic institutions. Resource suggestions are acquired via email, webforms, classes, and invitations to vendor demonstrations.

Decision Process

Faculty and student recommendations for new resources are vetted and approved by the CD-C per adherence to the library’s Collection Development Guidelines and budget availability. The Library maintains a list of suggested resources harvested from chat, email, and submissions to our New Resource Request form.

The Resource Advisory Committee considers recommendations on purchasing and cancellation decisions, and shares those with the CD-C. The CD-C makes purchasing and cancellation decisions during the fiscal year, on an as-needed basis. An end-of-year collection review is conducted in August. Budget availability is confirmed with the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. If a recommendation is approved for acquisition, the requesting patron will be notified by email.

New Resource Request/Collection Development Guidelines

  • Selection Criteria
    • Need: Relevance of online materials to the needs of the Texas Medical Center’s (TMC) educational, research, and clinical programs is of primary importance. Turnaway statistics will be considered as a metric to assess need.
    • Accessibility: Links to electronic resources must be readily discoverable, and platforms must support authentication via Open Athens. Exceptions may be made for society publishers whose platforms cannot support federated authentication.
    • Cost: Must meet the parameters of each fiscal year Collections Budget.
    • Quality: Determined by criteria such as reputation of the publisher, authors, editors, degree of scholarship and research impact.
    • Interlibrary Loan: The Library will consider ILL needs and copyright costs when selecting resources.
    • Depth of existing collection: All attempts are made to provide content for all academic programs supported by the Library, including niche disciplines.
    • AAHSL Benchmarking: Comparison with resources and tools currently offered by other AASHL libraries.
    • Scope & content: Emphasis on research, education and clinical-level materials in medicine, the health sciences and related subject areas. Out of scope content will not be considered for purchase.
    • Language: Materials acquired are primarily in the English language, although programs focused on Spanish medical content will be purchased as needed.
    • Currency: Preference is given to items which report new and revised information, to maintain an up-to-date collection.
  • Consortia Memberships:

    The Library participates in four consortia for purchase of electronic resources:

    • University of Texas System Digital Library (UTSDL) –Currently the Library subscribes or purchases most of its electronic resources (journals/databases/ebooks) via an agreement with the UTSDL. Through the purchasing power of the UT System, this partnership of 16 member libraries, along with UTDSL-negotiated price caps on annual increases, allows the TMC Library to provide its users access to an expansive range of resources.
    • SCAMeL (South Central Academic Medical Libraries) – This consortium which includes 21 academic medical libraries in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As a SCAMeL member, the Library can subscribe to resources at a lower price, to extend its buying power.
    • Texas Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (THSLC): Comprised of the TMC Library, UT-MD Anderson, UT Moody Medical Branch, UT School of Dentistry and UT School of Public Health. Individual members are appointed by each library’s director. The THSLC Library Analyst chairs monthly meetings to discuss issues surrounding resources, access, new acquisitions, discovery and library services. May include vendor demonstrations of new or updated products. Cost is currently shared according to the FTE count of each library’s constituency. The TMC Library’s allocation is usually 64%/year.
    • TexShare: This program comes through the Texas State Library. Via participation in TexShare the Library gains access to a suite of databases at a greatly reduced cost.
  • Collections Selection Overview
    • Standing Orders:

      The library acquires a minimal amount of print materials through its Standing Orders (SO). Currently there are 12 print titles on standing order with YBP GOBI. Some SO print titles are necessary for basic reference assistance. Other titles are part of a series, generally research-level monographs. Print series will continue to be converted to online only when available.

      Certain print titles will be perpetually retained as a standing order (e.g., new editions of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine) because of their known value to library users and their reputation in their respective subject areas.

      Electronic Journals, EBooks, Databases::

      When funds are available for in-scope print books or ebooks, the Resource Management department places “firm” orders for these titles.  Electronic or print orders will continue to be honored when applicable.

  • Donation Policy for Print Materials:

      Journals: The library does not typically accept print journal donations. However, our McGovern Historical Center (MHC) may sometimes consider print journals they deem as historically valuable.

      Books: The library will accept donations of newly published materials by TMC authors. Books deemed to have enduring historical value will be reviewed and accepted as needed. For more detailed information on making donations, please see the MHC Gift Policy and email their staff at:

      If appropriate, these titles will be housed as special collections. The library reserves the right to discard any materials it cannot use. We cannot assign value to donated materials.

      Approved, December 20, 2023

      Joanne V. Romano, Head of Resource Management and Discovery Services

      Approved, December 20, 2023

      Katie Prentice, Executive Director

      Distribution:  CD Committee and Public Services