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.
Text and Data Sets
SMU Libraries will acquire text and data mining sets selectively, with the primary goals being to support faculty research and dissertation- and thesis-level work by graduate students. Priority will be given to the acquisition of data sets to which SMU retains permanent rights. For course work and exploratory research, we recommend starting with resources that provide a web-based interface for exploration, such as the HathiTrust Research Center and JSTOR Data for Research.
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.
Faculty may request visual media to support their courses, including documentaries and feature films. The library subscribes to streaming video services, some of which require a request from a SMU faculty member before library staff can make the film available to the campus community. Faculty who wish to make films available from the Kanopy streaming service or the Digital Campus streaming service should contact their liaison librarian or fill out the request form that is available in those interfaces.
If a film is considered essential to a course, it may be necessary to acquire it in a physical format, such as DVD or Blu-ray, for the library to ensure its ability to support the course in the future. Rights holders can remove content from streaming services at any time, and content is regularly removed from all of our streaming services.
When acquiring physical media, the DVD format is preferred over Blu-ray, and the VHS format is no longer supported by the libraries. Blu-ray can be acquired as needed, if it is determined to be necessary by teaching faculty. Due to the limited availability of playback equipment, DVDs and Blu-rays coded for a foreign region will only be purchased when no local-region or region-free versions are available, and only as determined to be necessary by the faculty. The libraries will acquire films in the requested formats, but SMU’s Office of Information Technology oversees all classroom technology. Faculty should work with OIT in advance of any planned classroom screening to determine whether the room is equipped to show the film.
The Hamon Arts 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.
The SMU Libraries support the goal of making research and scholarship accessible to a broad audience, both inside and outside the academy. Recognizing that opportunities to support open access to scholarship are varied, we will prioritize the following kinds of initiatives for support with the Libraries acquisitions budget:
• Open access projects that align with our General Collection Development Policy
• Support of university, local, and regional presses
• Support of initiatives that have long-term preservation plans, discovery mechanisms such as MARC records, and appropriate editorial oversight
• Support for projects and services that do not overlap with those already provided by SMU and its Libraries
• Support for initiatives that are administered through consortia of which the library or university are members.
We will monitor the Libraries’ investment in open access, to ensure the continuing alignment of the project or publisher with SMU Libraries’ collection development policy and strategic plan, and that the content is findable and usable.