E-Resources Collection Development Policy - December 2014 Revision

I. Introduction

The policy supplements the Columbia College Chicago Library’s Collection Development Policy. Electronic resources are defined as licensed or purchased information resources delivered electronically.

Due to the ongoing financial commitment associated with electronic resources subscriptions, the Electronic Resources Committee (in consultation with appropriate library personnel) is charged with making balanced purchase decisions based on institutional needs. A major goal of acquiring electronic resources is the provision of access both on and off campus in the most sustainable manner possible.

II. Selection

Resources will be licensed or purchased in electronic format if it provides greater accessibility to information over other formats at a manageable cost. Other factors in selecting resources in electronic format include availability in the academic library market, and image content.

  1. Formats
    • Full text article and/or book databases
    • Full text reference databases
    • Graphics and multimedia
    • Audio and Video
    • Data (e.g. demographic, geographic, financial, statistical)
    • Citation/abstract databases
  2. Access
    • Delivery via the web
    • Authentication by IP address (rather than passwords or logins)
    • Compatibility with Library proxy server and software
  3. User-friendliness
    • Availability of help and/or tutorials
    • Basic and guided/advanced searching
    • Helpful error messages (i.e., error message indicates specific problem(s) and provides possible alternatives)
    • Ability to print, save, and email results and/or articles
  4. Cost
    • Cost-effectiveness (including the availability and cost of updates and backfiles when appropriate)
    • Ability to sustain cost for the foreseeable future
    • Potential usage and/or uniqueness of information justifies cost
  5. Vendor
    • Provides responsive customer service and technical support
    • Availability and quality of training programs
    • Reputation and business record
    • Documentation is thorough and clear
    • License agreements that keep the interests of the user in mind, do not impede research, and are enforceable
  6. Technology
    • Allows for local customizations via system administration access for the Library
    • Product is compatible with standard web browsers
    • Usage statistics are readily available in a user-friendly format (preferably COUNTER** and SUSHI compliant).

III. Decision Making Process

In addition to the general criteria for deselection, a subscription to an electronic resource may be cancelled if:

  1. Usage statistics are consistently low over a significant period of time
  2. Product is no longer cost-effective
  3. Vendor fails to hold up their end of the agreement and/or provides poor service
  4. Product’s content is found to duplicate content in another database
  5. A superior product becomes available that includes a more useable search interface, provides greater and more reliable access at a reasonable cost, or meets other key criteria not being met by current database provider