1. Introduction
  2. Selection Responsibility
  3. Selection Criteria
  4. Funding
  5. Evaluation of Electronic Resources
  6. Review and Revision of Guidelines
  7. Sources Consulted


      Electronic resources (e-resources) are defined as works that require local and remote computer access. These include, but are not limited to, electronic journals or collections of journals; online databases; electronic reference materials; electronic books or collections of books; and streaming media. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Ottenheimer Library acquires or licenses these resources to support the instructional and research activities of the university’s students, faculty, and staff.Collection Management Guidelines: Electronic Resources state principles that the library follows in the selection and acquisition of e-resources for which a cost is incurred. See Collection Management Guidelines: Free Internet Resources for principles that govern the selection of free e-resources

      The collection development librarian, library selectors, and the teaching faculty participate in the selection of electronic books. They may also make recommendations for the purchase of e-resources that require an ongoing and significant financial commitment. Final authority for the acquisition and licensing of these resources rests with the director of technical services and technology.

      Content is the primary selection criteria for e-resources, as it is for other library resources. However, in the case of e-resources, quality, pricing, technical support, and licensing receive additional consideration. Not every resource will meet all of the listed criteria, but the library selects those that have the majority of these characteristics.
      The preferred format for journals and newspapers is electronic; books may be purchased in print or electronic format. The library does not ordinarily purchase the same title in multiple formats.

      • Coverage and Quality
        The library selects e-resources that:

        • Add depth and breadth to the existing collection.
        • Offer access to full text when available.
        • Provide accurate, current, and continuously updated information.
        • Offer significant advantage over comparable print resource.
      • Access
        The library requires that e-resources selected:

        • Provide access through the library’s website.
        • Offer authentication by IP address, not passwords.
        • Satisfy compatibility requirements of the library’s proxy server.
        • Ensure confidentiality and privacy for library users.
        • Attempt to comply with ADA standards.
      • User-Friendliness
        The library prefers e-resources that:

        • Display a clear layout and design.
        • Provide web pages that are intuitive.
        • Allow the option to print, save, and email results and articles.
        • Provide tools to refine searches and retrieve relevant results.
        • Offer on-screen help and tutorials.
      • Pricing
        The library selects e-resources when:

        • Funds from the materials budget can sustain the cost for the foreseeable future.
        • Cost of the number of simultaneous users is appropriate to the projected use of the resource.
        • Purchase does not require a print subscription.
        • Cost includes permanent rights to the information even if the subscription is cancelled.
      • Technical Support
        The library prefers to purchase e-resources from vendors that:

        • Provide efficient and timely customer service and technical support.
        • Evaluate and upgrade platforms to reflect the changing environment of the Internet.
        • Make usage statistics readily available.
        • Provide bibliographic records or other metadata.
      • Licensing
        The university’s purchasing department reviews all license agreements for conformity to the State of Arkansas’s purchasing guidelines. In selecting e-resources, the library prefers those resources with license agreements that:

        • Mandate few or reasonable restrictions on the number of users or points of access.
        • Permit all library users, including members of the public, use of the resource.
        • Permit fair use, as defined by United States copyright law.
        • Offer provisions for printing, sharing, and downloading.
        • Allow interlibrary loan.
        • Exempt the library from liability for unauthorized use of resource as long as the library notifies users of restrictions.
        • Provide termination rights that are agreeable to each party.

    1. FUNDING
      Purchase of e-resources represents a significant and ongoing commitment of library funds.  To minimize the impact of purchasing these materials, the library takes advantage of discounts by participating in local, regional, and state consortia.

      Subscriptions to e-resources may be cancelled if:

      • Budget reductions make continuing the subscription difficult or impossible.
      • Usage statistics are consistently low over a period of time.
      • The same or similar content is found in another resource.

      Because of the changing and dynamic nature of e-resources, these guidelines will be reviewed every year.

    Columbia College, Chicago. E-Resources Collection Development Policy.
    Edith Garland Dupre Library. Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy.
    FAU Libraries. Collection Development Policy: Electronic Resources.

    Created December 2012