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Cline Library Collection Management

Collection Management

Library collections and research content are integral to the learning environment at Northern Arizona University. In reviewing, adding, or cancelling content, Cline Library focuses on materials to support academic curricula as well as student and faculty research interests. Continuous evaluation of the collection is necessary to keep the collection relevant, cost-effective, and aligned with the library's budget for acquisitions. Decisions balance access and ownership considerations, including needs for immediate full-text access versus delivery from external sources.

Equitable access is an essential consideration when licensing online resources. The library strives to ensure that users have access to research content anytime and from anywhere.  Decisions to cancel or retain include a consideration of long-term inflation costs, not just annual subscription costs in a given year. The library supports efforts to promote and provide access to open scholarship and open educational resources in order to contribute to a more sustainable scholarly communication environment and promote affordability for students.

Cancellation Process

Due to skyrocketing subscription prices and a flat acquisitions budget, the Library has reduced or cancelled several e-resources, including journals and databases. Below we describe the process we have used for making these hard choices. If you have any questions about our decision process please do not hesitate to contact us with your comments or concerns. 

Process

We are completing a thorough review of all subscription-based materials. Our evaluation includes quantitative and qualitative data, such as: 

  • review of usage and circulation data
  • accreditation requirements
  • cost per use  
  • NAU faculty publication and citation analysis 
  • coverage and breadth of sources to support specific programs and curricular needs
  • overlap analysis and alternative resources or vendors 
  • feedback gathered from departments and individuals
  • awareness of research grants
  • awareness of program trends, including enrollment

Resources are recommended for cancellation for a combination of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Cost per use ratio
  • Overlap with other resources
  • Low average use across the past three years
  • High cost per online viewing or downloading of a journal article. In some cases, we pay hundreds of dollars per use.
  • Whether the journal is open access except for the most recent 12-24 months
  • Whether the journal is available simultaneously from one or several content providers

Linking to library content 

Whether you are using library resources for research or teaching, we want to make sure that your use is getting counted in our statistics. We suggest creating a permalink rather than using a generic web link, so that you are always linking to the content available through the library’s subscription. 

Directions for creating a permalink are available online through our How to link to library resources guide. If you need additional assistance, contact your librarian.

Provide feedback

Your feedback informs our decisions, and we need your help to learn whether a given title or resource is an active part of a department’s curriculum, or related to accreditation.

Even when we are not seeking feedback on a specific list of titles, we encourage faculty members, researchers and administrators to engage with their librarian and keep them up-to-date on their research priorities, concerns and shifting needs.