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Policies: Acquisitions and Development Policy


Edited by

Lisa Beinhoff, Ph.D., M.L.S., Managing Director of Libraries
Corina Bustillos, M.S.L.S., Associate Director
Lillian Carl, M.S.L.S., Associate Director


August 15, 2016


This manual is based upon Scope and Coverage Manual of the National Library of Medicine. 1977 (PB 271 252) and the existing Acquisitions and Collections Development Policy of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center. 2007. Written by Richard Wood and Joseph Blackburn, which was in place when TTUHSC El Paso became a freestanding university in 2015.

This scope and coverage manual constitutes the acquisitions policy of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) libraries and has been prepared to provide the staff of the TTUHSC El Paso libraries with guidelines for selecting both print and non-print materials for the collections. This policy is meant to help the librarians to determine which of the items received will become part of the permanent collection.

Definition of Terms

  1. Literature is defined to include information not only in the form of the written or printed word, but also such non-print information formats.
  2. Health Professions shall include persons engaged in the administration of health activities, the provision of health services or in research, teaching or education concerned with the advancement of medicine or other sciences related to health or improvement of the public health. (36 Federal Register 3895)
  3. Biomedical shall mean the development of knowledge, interventions and technology used by health care professionals.
  4. Scope shall mean the bounds of the subject areas within which the TTUHSC El Paso libraries collect.
  5. Coverage shall mean the extent of completeness of the collection and the subject areas that are in scope.
  6. Collect shall mean to acquire for inclusion in the literature holdings of the TTUHSC El Paso libraries.

The prime responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the Librarians. However, expertise from many sources will be sought and used. Faculty may be consulted when, in the opinion of the library staff, a particular item is highly selective. Advice of a knowledgeable individual may be sought when guidelines for weeding need to be established. Consultants should be regular library users, be knowledgeable about current and past literature in their field, and have good communications with other members of the department, so that opinions given reflect the combined needs of the department. Publishers' catalogs and other promotional material are circulated to the library staff so that input from this source will be assured. Adding or deleting serial titles will be the joint responsibility of the Director, the librarians, and faculty in consultation.

The subject areas in which the TTUHSC El Paso libraries collect may be summarized as follows:


Basic medical sciences: genetics, anatomy, embryology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, parasitology, toxicology, parasitology, and pathology.
General human medicine.
Public health and preventative medicine.
Practice of Medicine
Diseases: infectious, nutritional, metabolic, immunologic, poisoning, caused by physical agents.
Body systems: musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, hemic, lymphatic, gastrointestinal, urogenital, endocrine, and nervous systems.
Medical specialties: psychiatry, radiology, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, dermatology, pediatrics, otorhinolaryngology, optometry, and geriatrics.
Hospital and clinical services and management.
Practice of allied health sciences.
Biomedical Science


Aviation and space medicine Animal physiology
Basic veterinary medicine Biometry
Botany of poisonous plants Cytology
Dental and oral surgery Demography/Epidemiology General genetics and heredity
Health sciences in library and information sciences History of medicine
Medical informatics


Economics General
Biology General
Botany General
Education General
Science Human
Human engineering
Molecular biology
Religion and medicine
Special education
Veterinary public health


Levels of coverage are:

  1. A comprehensive collection will be maintained in Core Subjects:
  2. A test preparation collection will be maintained for the USMLE, the NCLEX, and other specialized medical certification exams:
  3. A research collection will be maintained in the Related Subjects to support graduate level research; dissertations, theses, major scholarly works, technical publications, and reference tools.
  4. A reference collection will be maintained in the Peripheral Subjects. This basic collection will provide a broad outline of current knowledge of these subjects and will consist of a limited number of scholarly works in selected languages and selected major technical publications and reference tools in English.


The TTUHSC El Paso libraries are the major bibliographic resources for the schools of medicine, nursing, allied health, and graduate biomedical sciences in the El Paso area. They function collectively as resource libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Regional Medical Library Program (NNLM). The subject areas which the library collects are as follows:

Core Subjects

Allied health
Basic medical sciences Bioethics
Body systems
Clinical laboratory science Dentistry
General medicine
Health care delivery
Hospital administration Medical specialties Medical technology Nursing
Occupational therapy Physical therapy
Practice of medicine
Public health


QH 426 - 470 (LC) Genetics
QS 1-132 Anatomy
QS 504 - 532 Histology
QS 604 - 681 Embryology
QT 104 - 245 Human Physiology and Hygiene
QT 250 – 275 Leisure Activities. Sports. Sports Medicine
QU Biochemistry. Cell Biology and Genetics
QV Pharmacology
QW 1-300 Microbiology
QW 501-949 Immunology
QX Parasitology
QY Clinical Laboratory Pathology
QZ Pathology
W General Medicine. Health Professions
WA Public Health
WB Practice of Medicine
WC Communicable Diseases
WD 100 - 175 Nutrition Disorders
WD 200 - 226 Metabolic Diseases
WD 300 - 380 Immunologic and Collagen Diseases. Hypersensitivity
WD 400 - 430 Animal Poisons
WD 500 - 530 Plant Poisons
WD 600 - 670 Disorders and Injuries of Environmental Origin
WE Musculoskeletal System
WF Respiratory System
WG Cardiovascular System
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems
WI Digestive System
WJ Urogenital System
WK Endocrine System
WL Nervous System
WM Psychiatry
WN Radiology. Diagnostic Imaging
WO Surgery
WP Gynecology
WQ Obstetrics
WR Dermatology
WS Pediatrics
WT Geriatrics. Chronic Disease
WU Dentistry. Oral Surgery
WV Otolaryngology
WW Ophthalmology
WY Nursing
WZ History of Medicine. Medicine Miscellany
19th Century Schedule

*NLM Classification 2016 (Last updated 28 April 2016)

Scholarly literature in any other subject field may be collected if a reasonable proportion of its contents are relevant to the needs of the Health Sciences Centers. Any reference tools which are non-biomedical in scope and are necessary for public service and for carrying out the other library functions are acquired upon recommendation of the reference staff, campus associate directors and/or various academic departments.


The following notes attempt to explain why certain core subjects are collected and to what extent. The notes are intended to be used to clarify the scope of collecting in other levels excluding the core and to define any deviation from the policies for the research and reference collection levels.

Core Subjects

  1. Allied Health.

    The Library attempts to provide some support to each of the programs in allied health. Much of the background material for these programs falls within the core subjects covered by the Library. Emphasis remains on current material. Currently there are programs in the following areas:

    1. Biomedical communications
    2. Emergency medical service
    3. Clinical laboratory science and management
    4. Communication disorders
    5. Occupational therapy
    6. Physical therapy
  2. Chiropractic. Homeopathy. Osteopathy.

    Materials selected will include only publications of a substantial nature and which provide detailed description or analysis of the therapeutic system, or the history of its use. Only current texts are kept.

  3. Genetics, Human.

    The emphasis is on materials related to the improvement of health or prevention of disease.

  4. Geriatrics. Gerontology.

    The Library collects materials in the following areas which are related to aging:

    1. Biological aspects of aging as an integral part of the development process. Aging at all levels: molecular, cellular, organ systems, individual.
    2. Clinical aspects of aging. Degenerative diseases. Changing response to therapeutic intervention and nutritive requirements due to age.
    3. Psychosocial aspects of aging Intellectual functions, memory and learning, visual-motor coordination, syntheses of sensory information, verbal and non-verbal behavior, sleep patterns, etc. Psychological disorders, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.
    4. Health services. Administration and allocation of services to the elderly and chronically ill.
  5. History of the Health Sciences

    Recently published works on the history of health and the biomedical sciences. Persons in the biomedical sciences, biographies of prominent persons in the biomedical and health sciences, bibliographies and journals are acquired in English only. Rare books in scope are purchased, funds permitting. Facsimiles of old or rare medical works are purchased if in the general scope. Materials which are pertinent to West Texas medical history, or, in some instances, Texas medical history are acquired.

  6. Hospital Administration.

    Current authoritative materials on hospital administration are collected including; architectural planning; organization and management; clinical departments and emergency services; safety and disaster programs; hospital jurisprudence; medical personnel and records management.

  7. Nutrition.

    Basic texts in nutrition, nutritional disorders, dietetics, basic research and food composition as well as international studies of nutritional status in individual populations and epidemiology are collected. Materials on food production (agricultural methods) and food supply are not collected.

  8. Optometry.

    Materials in this area are not collected except on a very minimal level.

  9. Public Health.

    While most of the material is at the research level in public health, other subjects within this broader category are collected at various levels depending upon demand and development of programs.

  10. Anthropology.

    With the exception of the following special topics, the libraries of the health sciences do not collect in this area:

    1. Physical anthropology.
    2. Folk-medicine. Medical folklore and the medical practices of primitive or ethnic groups are collected upon request by the faculty in support of specific courses.
  11. Chemistry.
    1. Inorganic and physical chemistry.
    2. Organic chemistry.
    3. Biochemistry.
    4. Food chemistry. When related to nutrition, development, weight control and physiological processes, materials in this area are collected.
  12. Education.
    1. Medical, nursing and allied health.
    2. Special education. Education of the mentally retarded, autistic children, persons with impaired speech, hearing or vision or those with learning disabilities are covered if related to the medical professions. Works directed to educators or dealing primarily with teaching methods are acquired at a very minimal level.
    3. Educational technology. It is difficult to select what will be useful to those in the HSC on educational methods and evaluation. Materials in these areas are selected upon recommendation by the faculty, although materials directly related to medical or health related fields are usually acquired.
    4. Health education. Works dealing with methods of communication or content of health information for the public are acquired selectively, with preference for those materials which are substantial, of authoritative authorship or sponsored by a professional organization. Samples are obtained, when possible, for review before selection.
  13. Genetics. Heredity. Evolution.

    The emphasis here is on the relation of genetics to human health. General genetics texts are acquired sparingly at the reference collection level. The following subjects are collected:

    1. Medical genetics.
    2. Genetics as related to inheritance of diseases, metabolic disorders, birth defects.
    3. Genetic counseling.
    4. Genetics of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
    5. Genetic effects of drugs and chemicals.
    6. Genetic effects of radiation.
    7. Biochemical genetics, if applicable to biochemistry.

    The following subjects are not collected:

    1. Plant or plant disease genetics.
    2. Genetics of social or water bacteria or microbes.
    3. Genetics of any organism or animal if restricted to that species and without application to human genetics.
    4. Population genetics.
    5. Application of genetics to improvement of agriculture, viniculture, industry or animal husbandry.
  14. Law.

    The libraries of the health sciences collect materials on medical jurisprudence and forensic medicine when they are directed primarily to the physician or other health professional.

  15. Management.

    The materials collected in this subject area consist of current items on management, particularly as related to personnel administration, budgeting, and management systems or methods. This collection is primarily for the use of the library staff, but the clientele of the library should be considered when making selection decisions.

  16. Library and Information Science.

    Every effort is made to collect the latest materials (e.g. monographs, journals, and reports) in this area primarily for the library faculty and staff. Particular attention is paid to materials related to special libraries, science and medical libraries, information science, automation, and library administration.

  17. Mathematics. Statistics. Computer Science.

    Efforts are made to get the advice of faculty and staff in these areas before purchasing. Materials which relate directly to biomedical or social science problems are collected specifically at the research level.

  18. Physics.

    General handbooks, encyclopedias and other materials are collected for the reference collection at a minimal level. If the specific fields are closely related to medicine, additional monographs and other materials will be collected very selectively (. e.g. optics, sound, acoustics, radiation, bio-physics).

  19. Psychology.

    This subject engenders a very extensive literature and selection is based upon whether [1] the materials add to the understanding of normal and pathologic human behavior, or [2] disorders. Subject areas which might be added upon review are general psychology, psychopathology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, drug and alcohol abuse.

  20. Sociology. Economics.

    Where sociology as a discipline is directly related to health care and practice, materials in all formats are purchased. Publications which deal specifically with the socio-economic factors of health status or the delivery of health care are of sufficient importance for the libraries to acquire.

  21. Zoology. Veterinary Medicine.

    Materials in this area are purchased only to support research and the vivarium.

Limitations to Coverage

Limitations to coverage of the biomedical literature are treatment of the subject, form/type, language and geographic guidelines.

Treatment of the Subject

TTUHSC libraries of the health sciences are committed to collect scholarly biomedical literature comprehensively in those areas which are necessary to support programs of TTUHSC programs. This literature may be published in journals, other serials publications, monographs, government documents, or in non-print formats. The libraries attempt to collect that literature which:

  1. report observations or experiments in the biomedical sciences,
  2. review recent progress of state-of-the-art in various areas of investigation,
  3. critically evaluate observations or theoriess,
  4. analyze legal, economic, political, or social developments having broad and lasting effects on biomedicine,
  5. synthesize ideas and observations from diverse sources which may result in the exposition of original concepts.

Form/Type of Material

TTUHSC Libraries of the Health Sciences collect the following types of literature on a top priority basis:

  1. primary research and clinical journals and monographs in the biomedical sciences,
  2. major journals and monographs relating to the practice of medicine,
  3. state-of-the-art reviews of a subject area in general or of that subject in a specific country,
  4. scientific publications of major academics, learned societies, professional organizations, research, and educational institutions,
  5. government publications concerning legislation of programs which will have long-term impact on health, health care delivery, and/or biomedical research,
  6. Other substantive educational materials (both in print and non-print formats specifically designed for personnel in the health sciences.


Language of a publication limits coverage in all the subject areas.

Geographic Limits

Health-related materials issued by the departments of the following governmental bodies are collected on a selective basis:

U.S. Federal government
U.S. State governments
U.S. territorial governments
U.S. quasi-governmental agencies
foreign national governments
International organizations
Governments of selected domestic and foreign metropolitan areas


Abridged Editions
Abridged editions of textbooks and other biomedical publications are not collected. Excepted are published legislative summaries, major publications in core subjects which have a unique title, works printed before 1801 and, in some cases, Americana (WZ 270).

Abstracting and Indexing Services
As many of major abstracting and indexing services are now on-line, purchasing and retaining are based on availability of online access.

Subject bibliographies which are derived solely from PubMed are not collected with the exception of the NLM literature searches and recurring bibliographies.

Biographies and Autobiographies
Biographies and autobiographies which are not of significant influence in the medical field or of significant monetary value are not collected.

Bulletins and Transactions of Faculties
These publications are not collected unless publication contain substantive signed articles.

No formal effort is made to collect catalogs of medical schools. The following are not collected:

Book catalogs of medical libraries (except history collections).
Individually issued catalogs of drugs.

Congresses, Conferences, Symposia, etc.
These publications are not collected unless material has superior significance to TTUHSC El Paso.

Directories of Members
Membership directories, in general, are not collected, with the exception of the local health related societies. Directories that are simply a list of the names of members and lack other information are not collected.

Directories of Organizations
U.S. publications are not collected below the state level with the exception of local organizations related to health care. Canadian and other foreign directories are collected on a selective basis and then only at the national level.

Examination Series
Examination series written in a foreign language or for foreign certification are not collected.

Fictional works, are not collected. Works written by TTUHSC El Paso faculty or about the health care profession may be considered.

Government Regulations
Regulations issued by government bodies, with the exception of the State of Texas, are not collected.

Health Education and Patient Education Materials
General health education materials are not collected, however locally produced materials are considered.

Publications which are prepared by recognized leaders in health professions, by institutions of outstanding reputation, or under U. S. Federal Government contract are collected selectively, and then only on the advise of the health professional whose subject is in question.

Hospital Journals
Hospital (in-house) journals are not systematically collected. Individual regional campus libraries may collect pertinent literature for those hospitals they serve if they add strength to the overall collection.

Imprint Variants

Materials that are published in two or more places in the same language are collected in a single imprint with the U.S. edition preferred. However, if the title, preface, or textual content of the works differ, and if the subject is in scope, both imprints are collected. Excepted works are those printed before 1801 and Americana (WZ 270).

Journals (see Journals: Selection Guidelines

Juvenile Literature
This type of literature is not collected unless it is produced by TTUHSC El Paso.

Legislative Documents
These are collected on a very selective basis in the core subjects, and are retained in report form only.

Loose-leaf Publications
General textbooks in loose-leaf format are not collected except when specifically requested for the Reference Collection or otherwise made available online.

Operating manuals for use with a specific company's equipment are not collected.

Maps, Graphs, Posters, and Charts
Maps, and other visual guides are not collected unless they are locally significant.

Newsletters and Newspapers
Newsletters and Newspapers are not retained as part of the collection.

Personal Narratives (see also Biographies and Autobiographies)

Photographic Collections
Publications which consist of a collection of photographs with identifying captions and lack comprehensive textual material are not collected. Exceptions: those of local interest are collected selectively.

Popular Works
Popular "how to" materials are not collected.

Press Releases
Press releases are not collected unless they pertain to TTUHSC El Paso.

Progress Reports
Progress reports which are actually annual administrative or research reports are collected on a very selective basis. Preliminary reports are not collected.

Promotional Materials
Commercial product and service advertising materials and literature used in fund raising appeals are not collected.

Published Abstracts
As a general rule these are not acquired by the library; however, if published abstracts come as part of a journal subscription, they are kept with the completed volume if not available online.

Radio and Television Scripts
These are not collected.

Materials which are not collected:

Reprints of a single journal article.
Reprint collections of the writings of members of a particular institution/organization are not, as a general rule, collected. Monographs which consist primarily of reprints of journal articles are not collected.

Only statistics that pertain to health, vital, and population statistics are collected. All other statistics not within the scope of health are not collected.

Syllabi and Course Outlines
These publications are collected only if produced within TTUHSC El Paso.

Textbooks are not collected unless they are an integral portion of curriculum.

Translations of English works into foreign languages are not generally collected. Exception: a work of a local author. Translations of single journal articles are not collected.

Unpublished Materials
Only TTUHSC El Paso materials from the general collection are: papers presented at congresses/symposia, manuscripts, student reports, typewritten (original or copies) texts of speeches, and typewritten bibliographies are collected. Unpublished case histories and current medical records are not collected.


  1. Relevance to Library Objectives and Relationship to Total Collection.
    The major support is given to those programs in teaching, research and clinics which are the emphasis of the schools of TTUHSC. Special needs for programs which affect only a small number of individuals are considered, but support cannot be as comprehensive. Programs which lie outside of TTUHSC El Paso (users of the libraries but not supporters of those libraries financially) have either secondary priority or are not considered.

  2. Bibliographic Accessibility.
    If a journal has been published for some time, it is necessary to ascertain whether it is indexed in widely-used and available indexes. If a journal is too new to be in an index, and if it is not possible to make an educated guess that it will be, it should be deferred (unless specifically requested by a faculty consultant). Those publications which have no cumulated indexes and do not appear in the major indexing tools are questionable and should receive low priority in selection.

  3. Expressed Need.
    Titles for which a definite need has been shown either through requests to support major teaching and research programs, by multiple recommendations, or interlibrary loan requests, should be given top priority for purchase regardless of other factors. (Note: follow copyright law.)

  4. Quality of Publication.
    It quality cannot be pre-determined either from the publisher's reputation or other available information, a sample should be requested. These samples should be placed in a prominent place so that experts in the field can review them and give an estimation of potential value and use.

  5. Cost.
    All relevant titles should be selected regardless of price; however, those whose annual subscription rates are usually high should be given additional consideration. If possible, a consultant in the appropriate subject area should review the journal and give an estimation of potential use.

  6. Local Availability.
    Whenever possible, the libraries seek to obtain those journals which are of vital interest to the programs of TTUHSC on their local campuses.

  7. Language and Country of Origin.
    Priority is given to U.S. titles and English-language journals. Multilanguage journals with strong international editorial and review boards also are considered. Other titles in other languages are only acquired when the demand is very strong.

  8. Special Types of Publications.
    1. Newsletters, house organs, and ephemeral publications are not collected with the exception of:
      1. Those issued locally and of interest to the archives.
      2. Publications from national health organizations with broad political or social influence beyond their own membership (e.g. A.M.A., L.N.).
    2. State medical journals on a selective basis are acquired as they are often retrieved on Medline and for their use as reference tools. Cost (some are free) should not be a consideration.
    3. Library and information science publications are acquired upon recommendation of the library faculty.
    4. Cumulative indexes are acquired only for heavily used journals and only if they cover long periods of time, usually 10 year.


Usually, journals which are considered important enough for an initial purchase are added to the collection permanently. The exceptions are as follows:

  1. Publications which are primarily for the purpose of current news and have no collective This does not apply to local publications which may be kept for the archives.
  2. Added copies of heavily used journals are withdrawn after 10
  3. Some annual literature reviews may be designated for withdrawal after 15 years (e.g. yearbook series, recent progress in, ).


Because the financial commitment to a journal title is far greater than to a monograph title, the selection of a specific title is more critical. At the time of decision to purchase a title, several items are taken into consideration in purchasing the back files:

  1. No title is purchased in back files beyond Gifts that go beyond these dates are retained based on need and space.
  2. In most cases, the subject matter and its relevancy to research are deciding factors as well as cost and
  3. In all cases, where the journal title is less than five years old, the first and subsequent volumes are purchased, funds being


The libraries maintain a constant and thorough evaluation of their journal collections. Current subscriptions are evaluated according to the following criteria which is similar to monograph selection criteria:

  1. Relevance of subject to on-going or anticipated programs at TTUHSC.
  2. Accessibility through indexes, databases and current awareness bibliographic tools.
  3. If it can be determined, actual use of the journal.
  4. Quality.
  5. Language and country of origin.
  6. Cost.
  7. Evaluation by faculty.
  8. Frequency of interlibrary loan requests for a specific title during a specific period of time


Materials collected are in support of actual programs of TTUHSC. The goal of collecting these materials is to support the needs of our faculties and students. The most significant criterion for selection is an anticipated multiple usage.

The selection on non-print materials is the joint responsibility of the Associate Directors at the regional campus libraries, the Assistant Director for Public Services, and the Senior Associate Director for Technical Services.

Non-print materials are selected in accordance with the libraries general collection development policy. The collection includes, but is not restricted to:

  1. Motion pictures
  2. 35 mm slides
  3. Audiocassettes
  4. Filmstrips
  5. Videocassettes
  6. Personal Computer Software
  7. Laser disks
  8. Realia

All materials must conform to the following criteria: be favorably reviewed by peer professionals, or approved by local faculty or health professionals, or,

  1. Purchased from a select list of producers who have demonstrated consistent quality of program content and production quality.

Whenever possible, those items not reviewed in national sources will be previewed before purchasing.


  1. Special Collections
    The following collection may contain archival, rare book, and artifacts which retain historical, or material value conducive to the El Paso Region. These items are non-circulating, but may be place on display.
  2. Reference Collections.
    This is a non-circulating collection which exists in order that ready-reference, factual, and index materials may be found quickly by users and librarians alike.
    1. Factual data.
      1. Encyclopedias. Only the most current editions are kept in the Reference Collection.
      2. Handbooks. ( e.g. Diagnostic procedures )
      3. Drug sources.
      4. Statistical sources.
      5. Dictionaries. Only the most current editions are kept in the Reference Collection.
      6. Indexes, abstracts, and bibliographies.
      7. Writing style sources.
      8. Hospital accreditation manuals
  3. Reserve Collections
    1. Examination series. e.g. (USMLE Step 1, 2, & 3, MKSAP, Pretest series per specialty 
    2. Texas Medical Jurisprudence. Most current edition.
    3. Textbooks recommended by faculty for curriculum purposes.
    4. TTUHSC El Paso Salary Roster.
  4. Digital & Audio Collection

    Depending on the available format material may circulate under the discretion of the librarian


The TTUHSC Libraries have extensive holdings in electronic books and journals, which may be viewed and copied by our faculty, staff, and students, regardless of their location. Generally, in cases wherein we have subscribed to an electronic journal already extant in our hard copy journals collections, we eliminate all but one paper copy of the title. Obvious exceptions to this rule are such titles as JAMA, NEJM, etc. In the case of electronic books, no attempt is made to reduce or eliminate hard copies. The library system will not engage in licensing practices which limit use to one physical campus or site, or which do not permit the broadcast of the electronic product via proxy server.

WEEDING (see also Appendices A and B

The following are general guidelines for the monographic collections. Policies for specific subjects and collections such as reference and AV, and the evaluation of journals are discussed in sections devoted to each of those topics.

  1. Comprehensive level collections. Special collections which attempt to be comprehensive within their specified limitations are not weeded, except for duplication or deterioration.
  2. Research level collections. Most of the core subjects are collected at the research level, and are weeded selectively.
    1. Specialized monographs, major symposia and histories, and titles listed as classics in Garrison and Morton are retained indefinitely. If substantial use data are available, some weeding may be done.
    2. Texts. Authoritative texts published in numerous editions over a period of years are weeded selectively, as new editions become available. As a rule of thumb, the library keeps the first edition, and representative later editions at approximately ten-year intervals. The latest two editions of recent titles are kept. Multiple copies of all but the latest editions are weeded. Lesser texts which have become outdated are weeded if there is no data supporting current use in the past five years.
  3. Peripheral level collections. No attempt is made to keep older monographs in these collections. Superseded texts and materials which have showed no evidence of use in the past five years are weeded.
  4. Weeding procedures. The collection should be evaluated every five years. Depending upon the data available showing use, the mechanism for weeding will be formulated. Consultants should be used for specific subjects, and titles to be withdrawn should be checked against Garrison and Morton. Possibly as a guarantee against future duplication of effort, any title which has been judges of historical value should have its shelf list annotated as follows: Do not withdraw. R view (date, sources - G & M consulted, etc.).


Whenever possible, for the sake of public relations, gifts should be accepted and donors encouraged to make further contributions, always with the understanding that the material becomes the permanent property of the library and may be disposed of in the manner most beneficial to the library. Large collections of little value should not be accepted due to the cost of transportation and evaluation. No collection which must be kept intact or housed in a specific location will be accepted. Exception: a substantial number of very rare materials on a specific subject. An appropriate acknowledgement, listing the gift(s) by title(s) will always be sent to the donor. The appraisal of a gift to the library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor as is the cost of the appraisal. To protect both its donor and itself, the library, as an interested party, should not appraise gifts made to it. The library will assist in providing the names of appraisers, provide information such as auction records and dealers' catalogs, and administrative and processing services which would assist the appraiser in making an accurate evaluation. The acceptance of a gift which has been appraised by a third, and disinterested party, does not in any way imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the library.*

*Adapted from ACRI, statement of appraisal of gifts.


  1. Monographs.

    Multiple copies for reserve will be purchased at the rate of one (1) copy for each twenty (20) students, with a maximum of three (3) copies. While the bulk of the acquisitions budget is directed at the purchase of unique titles, heavy use of some titles dictates that multiple copies be purchased for a large number of potential users, the students.

  2. Journals.

    With very few exceptions, multiple copies of journals will not be acquired.


  1. Texas Tech University Library.

    Some efforts are made toward cooperation in the acquisition of materials so that unnecessary duplication does not occur; bearing in mind that TTU and TTUHSC are totally separate institutions. The Libraries of the Health Sciences serve all faculty and graduate students of TTU on the same basis as those of TTUHSC. However, requests for specific purchases from TTU students and faculty are referred to TTU if out of scope of the Libraries of the Health Sciences. Also, access to electronic journals and monographs are determined by license with the copyright owner. As a rule, these licenses forbid access to our electronic collections outside of the IP range of the institution, thus denying access to TTU faculty and students.

  2. Regional Medical Library Program (NNLM/SCR).

    The Regional Medical Library Program, a component of the National Library of Medicine's Biomedical Communications Network, facilitates the sharing of resources among medical libraries in the U.S. The libraries of the health sciences collectively form one of the 15 resource libraries in the South Central Regional Medical Library Program (Region 5, NNLM/SCR: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). The library furthers this cooperation by recording its holdings in regional and national union lists.

    Through its membership in the South Central Academic Medical Library Consortium (SCAMeL) the library cooperates in several library programs, including the SCAMeL Union List of Serials.

    Obscure or historical publications or materials of limited use but of importance for individual research are usually available at the National Library of Medicine or in other major collections in the United States. The existence of several interlibrary loan networks provides the library with limitless access to information.


General caveats and information:

  1. Journals are ordered in the late summer, early Fall to begin in January of the next year. The libraries do not, as a rule, begin journal subscriptions in the middle of a calendar year because of the difficulty in obtaining issues from the start of that year. Most biomedical journals are not published in large quantities or "runs", making it almost impossible to obtain back issues.
  2. Journal selection/deselection must begin in late Spring/early summer and be completed by the libraries in early September.
  3. By State law, the libraries may not pay for a journal subscription more than 45 days prior to the start of that journal's next annual volume issuance. Thus, although we may receive an invoice to pay for journals during October or early November, actual payment for those journals is made between Thanksgiving and New Years of each year.
  4. Journal publishers do not usually give us the actual cost of a journal title until late December, or later. It is increasingly the case that publishers do not tell us the actual cost of a journal until well into the New Year: sometimes May or June. For this reason, journal purchases are made according to the best pricing information for journals that we have in September. These purchases are, therefore, generally made by informed guesswork. This is also the reason book and audiovisual purchases must lag behind the purchase of our journals. We must be certain that sufficient funds are in place within our budget to pay for journals first.
  5. Most journal publishers will not permit cancellations after the initial ordering in September.
  6. For almost a decade, journal prices for the biomedical literature have been subject to an annual inflation rate of between 9.5% and 11%. Thus, the same list of journals in our collections which cost about $1,100,000 last year will cost about $1,210,000 next year.
  7. Electronic journals are no less expensive than paper journals. In many cases, they are more expensive. Most of our electronic journals are free because we have purchased a paper subscription. We have been permitted to reduce multiple subscriptions in our system, convert them to a paper copy at one of our four sites, and an electronic version for all sites. One new trend on the rise is for the publisher to exact an additional charge for the electronic version. Our current strategy is to have one paper subscription somewhere in the system to assure ourselves of an archival back file. A more frightening trend now emerging is a pay-per-view/print strategy which is being employed by some electronic publishers. Fees of $25.00 or more per article paid by credit card are one feature of this strategy.

Journals may be selected in several ways for inclusion in the Libraries' collections, including:

  1. A determination is made that a needed title is required to support a program (either new or existing), and that its absence from the collections would constitute a failure on the part of the library system to support the program in Our support of programs must also be prioritized, with those programs having a direct curricular and educational impact receiving the highest priority. In years of scarce funds, it is sometimes impossible to add all titles required for a program. In such cases, librarians ask that the requesting entity provide us with a prioritized list of potential added titles. We then add those that we can, postponing further additions until the next fiscal year.
  2. A request for the addition of a title from a library patron is always considered seriously. Titles thus requested are examined by the librarians to determine whether sufficient interlibrary loans have been requested by our patrons for the title in the last year or so. Such ILLs should be from more than one or two requestors. Titles are also examined to determine if they are indexed in MEDLINE/INDEX MEDICUS. While not an exclusive rule-out to the addition of a title, its non-presence in the list of titles indexed by MEDLINE/INDEX MEDICUS generally means that the title is not worth our acquisition. Often, new titles are slow to be indexed by MEDLINE/INDEX MEDICUS, and the process of a title's inclusion may take a couple of In such cases, it is wise to revisit the acquisition issue after a year or two.
  3. Recommendations for additions may be based upon standard lists of quality journals, such as impact factor listings or the Brandon-Hill List. Lists such as these are useful in assisting librarians in making decisions for certain acquisitions

Journal deselect ion presents a different set of problems. Deselect ion is done with great reluctance because of the difficulty in finding missing issues, should we wish to restart a subscription. Fortunately, we have not had to deselect journals for the past five or so years, except for duplicate subscriptions, thanks to increases in our resource budget and the dramatic rise in our electronic journals (currently, more than 2,300 titles). Deselection is done only after a careful study of decision options has been made, including:

  1. Cost/usage. Librarians routinely look at the number of times a title is If there is a pattern of really low usage coupled with really high cost, a journal may be considered a prime candidate for deselection.
  2. If a title is held in more than one TTUHSC library, and is available electronically, it may be considered for deselection. Obviously, such titles as NEJM and JAMA are exceptions to this rule, but, as costs continue to rise, such may not be the case in the future. Currently, TTUHSC Libraries have a bit of room to maneuver, as we still have quite a few duplicate and multiple subscriptions which may be deleted in a crisis situation. As these multiple subscriptions are phased out, we will one day either be forced to increase our commitment to the journal literature (thereby reducing available funds for books and audiovisuals), or engage in deselection of journal titles (both paper and electronic) in order to stay within budget.
  3. Prioritized deselection. Should the need to engage in broad-based deselection ever present itself, the library will distribute lists of our journal holdings (arranged by discipline) to the department chairs of all schools. Chairs will then be asked to deselect titles from within their respective disciplines. Such lists were in fact prepared last year. There was no need to distribute them because of new recurrent resource funding to our budget.

Rationale for TTUHSC Libraries'
Policy on Library Weeding

The State of Texas makes it rather difficult to discard or otherwise dispose of library materials, because of its definition of books, audiovisuals (and bound journals) as capitalized property of the state. To attempt to sell or permanently remove library materials such as these from a state agency library constitutes "alienation of state property." Given the facts that library space is finite and library acquisitions are ongoing, the logical conclusion is that, at some point, a weeding of holdings must be accomplished.

Typically, materials to be weeded are selected because 1) they have become too damaged to continue to be maintained within our collections; 2) they have been superseded by new or more recent editions; 3) they are at least ten years old and have a poor record of utilization by our users over the past five years. Any materials deemed to have historical value are not weeded. Because of their relative lack of space, the TTUHSC El Paso libraries shall not maintain large historic collections.

Where possible and practical, usually in the case of materials which don't quite fit the criteria above, faculty input to deselection may be sought. The seeking of such input is totally at the discretion of the librarian charged with the weeding. The librarians’ hold faculty appointments in the School of Medicine. By training and experience they are competent to weed the collections.

Disposal of items thus weeded is also accomplished at the discretion of the librarian. Materials shall be stamped DISCARDED or WITHDRAWN; they may then be thrown away or placed in an open area for others to pick up. In no case shall such items be sold. In all instances, such items must be removed from the integrated catalog of the library prior to their disposal.

XHTML conversion by Joseph Blackburn, M.A., M.S. August 10, 2007

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