For the purposes of this policy, the word “books” refers to monographs and serials in both print and electronic formats.
Books are acquired in one of four ways:
- Automatically: the Library automatically receives all publications from selected publishers in selected subject areas. Automatic purchases include series on Standing Order.
- Liaison Selection: Liaisons choose materials that support teaching research in their subject areas.
- Faculty or Researcher Request: Liaisons purchase materials requested by library users.
- Demand Driven Acquisitions: This category consists of E-books accessible to users, but which the library does not own until a significant amount of usage activates a purchase.
A dollar amount is budgeted annually for books in each academic discipline. Library Liaisons will make purchases for the collections using the specific fund assigned to their disciplines, and will receive monthly reports of expenditures.
Library liaisons will determine which book format (print or e-book) is most appropriate for the collection on a case by case basis. Some disciplines may have a clear preference for one over the other, though most will prefer a mixture of both. The library may duplicate titles in two formats if specifically requested by a faculty member, or in cases where demand for a title is unusually high.
Supplemental materials such as CDs, CD-ROMs and maps are shelved with the book unless size precludes it.
The libraries make every effort to collect the works of SMU professors, and also of Alumni, as appropriate.
The library does not collect textbooks, workbooks, or consumable print materials.
The Library does not subscribe to journals or collect other serials in multiple formats.
Electronic is the preferred format for journals with some exceptions based on curricular or archival needs. Journals may be subscribed to individually, included as part of a large journal package, or received as part of a membership. Long-term support of the curriculum is the most important concern when considering new journal subscriptions.
JSTOR is considered a stable electronic journal repository, the stability of other electronic repositories will be judged on a case by case basis.
The library does not collect or catalog off-prints, reprints, or photocopies of journal articles.
Electronic resources must meet the same criteria that other formats must meet to be added to the collection: i.e., the data or information must support an identifiable current or future research or curricular need of the University community. In addition, electronic resources are not considered a viable alternative to print resources if they in any way impede access or impose additional costs on the patron.
Any independent data sets must include documentation which describes their internal format and meaning, and which can assist in the recovery of the data should changes to the University computing environment render it unreadable in the future.
Liaisons will also accept requests from faculty in their assigned departments for visual media to support their courses, including feature films. The library subscribes to a number of media streaming services, and liaisons should check these services for requested titles before ordering media in other formats. The DVD format is preferred over Blu-Ray, and the VHS format is no longer supported by the libraries.
The Hamon library preserves sound recordings in all formats, with Compact disc being the preferred collecting format. The library also subscribes to music streaming services.
Manuscripts and other Unpublished Works:
All unpublished works are housed in Special Collections.