Coordinating Committees

University of Wisconsin System Libraries
Guidelines for a Shared Electronic Collection

May 2002

The purpose of this document is to assist the CUWL CDC (Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries Collection Development Committee) in developing a shared electronic collection for UW System libraries using UW System funding.  This collection of electronic information resources is meant to help support the basic research needs and common curricula of UW campuses and to serve the needs of distributive learning.  It is a collection that is used actively for undergraduate and graduate instruction across UW System and is a primary resource within a particular field of instruction or research.  Selection of the resources is based on the rationale, principles and criteria listed below.

RATIONALE:

1.  To provide students, faculty and staff with barrier-free and timely access to a truly great public university library collection and to a growing global network of electronic information resources as stated in the vision of 1997 UW-System Libraries Strategic Plan.

2.  To foster the development of a shared collection of electronic resources as a vital part of an integrated independent resource for University research and teaching building upon the concept of  “one system, one library” as stated in the University of Wisconsin Libraries Strategic Directions for 2001-2003.

3.  To enhance cost efficient access to electronic information resources required to support teaching, learning, and research in the UW System.

4.  To provide additional leverage in system-wide contractual negotiations with vendors of shared resources.

5.  To streamline the campus-level decision-making process for contractual renewal of shared resources

6.  To facilitate the development of Distance Learning programs by providing access to basic electronic information resources system-wide.

7.  To increase the uniformity of interfaces used by UW System students and faculty.

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES:

1. To identify and provide certain basic, electronic resources, including electronic full-text journals, reference resources, government information and books to which all UW System libraries should have equitable and convenient access.

2. To provide ready access to information for students enrolled in distance learning courses offered by the UW System.

3. To facilitate the cost-effective acquisition and distribution of intellectual resources which lend themselves to shared access.

4.  To support innovative ideas.

SELECTION PROCESS:

Titles will be selected for initial subscription or for renewal based on the overall ranking of the ability of all evaluated products to support curricular needs within the available funding.  Titles will be recommended by a vote of the Collection Development Committee to the CUWL Directors. In order to qualify for central funding for initial purchase or for renewal, the selected title needs to have support from the majority of UW libraries, i.e., 8 votes.  (Each UW System campus has one vote, and UW Colleges constitutes one vote.)

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Primary Criterion:  It should meet general information needs as well as the specific needs of common programs at the study level (as defined in: American Library Association.  Collection Development Committee.  Guidelines for Collection Development.  Chicago, ALA:1979).

Additional Criteria to consider:

  • appropriate retrospective and/or current coverage
  • spread of disciplinary coverage among selected titles
  • duplication of content with other products
  • basic and advanced search capabilities
  • economies of scale reflected in price
  • local and remote access
  • ease of user interface
  • minimal support required of library staff
  • compatibility with current telecommunications and campus technological  infrastructure
  • adequate documentation, training and bibliographic services provided by vendor
  • stability of the product
  • flexibility and responsiveness of the vendor
  • high benefit but low cost threshold
  • availability of usage statistics from the vendor
  • inter-product links
  • evidence of progress by vendors to meet the accessibility needs of those with disabilities.

RENEWAL CRITERIA:

Evaluation for renewal will be based on the same rationale, principles and criteria as selection and may also include the following considerations:

  • demonstrated balance of use across system, preferably based on a minimum of 18 months of usage data from vendor or campus generated data
  • evidence of required use in UW System courses based on faculty surveys, reviews of course reading lists,  inclusion in electronic reserve requests, etc.
  • ability of the product to continue to best meet the information need for which it was originally selected
    appropriate pricing

DESELECTION CRITERIA:

Evaluation for deselection will be based on the same rationale, principles and criteria as selection as well as:

  • demonstrated imbalance of use across system, preferably based on a minimum of 18 months of usage data from vendor or campus generated data
  • no reflection of required use in UW System courses based on faculty surveys, reviews of course reading lists,  inclusion in electronic reserve requests, etc.
  • inability of the product to continue to best meet the information need for which it was originally selected
    unacceptable pricing models


CDC, November 3, 1999, Revised Spring 2002
CUWL approved November 9, 1999; approved revised statement on May 2, 2002