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VIVA: Collection Development Principles

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

This guide has variable layouts and houses the majority of the "sub" pages for VIVA's website.

VIVA Collection Development Principles and Selection Criteria

Statement of Principles

VIVA subscribes to the following key principles:

  1. VIVA seeks to provide students, faculty, staff and on site clients of all consortium members with convenient access to the information resources needed to support institutional missions, including learning, research, extension services and other evolving programmatic initiatives.
  2. VIVA procures materials for all publicly supported institutions of higher education in Virginia and provides the opportunity for private colleges and universities in the Commonwealth to purchase or subscribe to VIVA resources.
  3. VIVA supports equal access to information resources for all VIVA institutions: universities, comprehensives and community colleges.
  4. VIVA aims to facilitate the cost effective acquisition, distribution and use of electronic information resources which lend themselves to shared access and to facilitate more effective sharing of locally based resources.
  5. Information resources appearing in a variety of formats will need to be physically available locally for the indefinite future.
  6. Subject to Steering Committee approval, VIVA procures resources collectively with VIVA funds as well as enabling individual institutions to acquire resources with local or pooled funds. Resources consist of either totally new items or enhanced versions of existing print resources.
  7. The VIVA collection is an evolving one that is subject to periodic review and change.
  8. VIVA aims to maintain an archive of highly utilized, core general interest and discipline specific resources. Thus it purchases, rather than leases, some resources so that they will be available permanently.
  9. VIVA endorses the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Statement of Current Perspective and Preferred Practices for the Selection and Purchase of Electronic Information adopted March 1998 and Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-based Indexed, Abstracted, and Full Text Resources.

Selection Objectives

Consistent with the above principles, VIVA seeks to procure and make available information resources meeting the following objectives:

  • Meet the basic needs of a broad range of higher education clientele by providing a mix of general full text (and/or image, numerical data, etc.) and bibliographic electronic resources, as well as locally digitized materials having an emphasis on Virginia.
  • Provide specialized discipline specific resources to meet widely demonstrated demand.
  • Offer resources with significant added value over other traditional formats, for example, offering more extensive content, more timely availability, better access and functionality, or more rapid or remote delivery.
  • Preserve and expand access to unique or at risk resources.
  • Identify general and subject specific titles to which all libraries should have access through either electronic acquisition or statewide interlibrary loan.
  • Support the electronic publishing efforts of scientific and scholarly societies and universities which seek to provide faster and more cost effective access to information.
  • Explore creative and flexible approaches to budgeting for materials, including sharing costs between VIVA and the individual institutions.
  • Retain the organizational and technical flexibility necessary to respond to a fast-changing marketplace

Selection Criteria

The Collections Committee applies the following criteria, among others, when selecting electronic resources:

  • User Audience: The intended audience for the product should be readily identifiable.
  • Integrity of content: Full text databases should include the complete full text including notes and references and either the full image or the text plus graphics of the original is preferable to full text alone.
  • Stability of content: Databases should be selected based on their proven stability of content and item linking information.
  • Updates: Updates to content should be timely and appropriate.
  • User continuity: When more than one database can fulfill the same goal (are in most respects similar), an effort should be made to maintain some continuity for users of both content and search interface.
  • Avoidance of duplication: In order to stretch limited resources as far as possible, there should be an effort to avoid paying for unnecessary duplication of content.
  • Stability of Access: Access should be as close to continuous (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) as possible. Response time should meet industry standards of acceptability. Vendors should be willing and able to respond to access problems which occur during the contract period and make appropriate adjustments to maintain good service, including to renegotiate the number of ports needed if initial numbers are inadequate.
  • Basic and Advanced search capabilities: The search interface should enable easy and effective searching by both inexperienced and proficient researchers.
  • Local holdings information: An important criterion in choosing bibliographic databases should be the ability to identify which titles are held at the local library.
  • Electronic linkages: Databases should allow for linkages between indexed sources such as journal titles and locally held or consortium electronic full text
  • Compatibility: The selected electronic collections must be accessible within the technological environment of all the state-supported campuses. Vendors should allow for remote authentication and for local loading of databases.
  • Fair Use: Licensing agreements should preserve all rights to traditional academic "fair use" practices including copying, downloading or emailing and document delivery.
  • Ability to monitor effectiveness: Vendors should provide on a continuing and timely basis the ability to maintain user statistics and technical data which is needed for evaluation of electronic products.
  • Product modification or customization: Where necessary, an attempt should be made to negotiate with vendors to shape both the content database packages and the user interface to more closely meet the requirements of consortium users.
  • Price: While price is not the most important selection issue, every effort should be made to reduce the unit costs for all institutions in order to be able to show a substantial cost benefit to the state.
  • License of content: A perpetual license to the content is preferred and should be transferable.
  • Adherence to current technical standards: Resources should be obtained which comply with present and emerging standards

Approved by Committee 1/15/1999