Collection development policy

Under review in 2022-2023

Our policy

The purpose of the collection is to create a dynamic scholarly foundation for advancing research, teaching, and learning at the University of Ottawa. It is recognized that there are diverse spaces and environments, both virtual and physical, where these activities occur, and that we need to deliver our collection resources wherever they are needed. We develop a balanced, current, and diverse collection in appropriate formats. We strive for a bilingual collection (English and French) to the greatest extent possible. Collection development activities are overseen by the Associate University Librarian (Collections) and the Collection managers in each Library. Materials are selected by the subject librarians with input from faculty and library representatives in the academic departments. Importantly, it is recognized that openly available resources of all types that meet our intellectual criteria are equally valuable to licensed or purchased resources in support of the university's research and teaching mission, and scholarship in general. These open access materials complement existing strategies and methods.

Librarians base their decisions on a close understanding of the needs of their community, and significant collaboration and dialogue with faculty, researchers, and students. Librarians develop subject expertise and consult selection tools such as authoritative academic lists, vendor and publisher systems, catalogues, reviews, citation lists and collection analysis tools.

The library has made a strong commitment to Open Access. Our institutional repository uO Research houses theses, articles, working papers, technical reports, conference papers, data sets in various digital formats, etc. Faculty, students, and other researchers are encouraged to submit their works for secure storage and greater visibility and impact of their works. Complementing this strategy, subject librarians assess openly available resources and documents on an ongoing basis, using their knowledge and expertise to make selection decisions. These resources are promoted and made discoverable through various channels as feasible, including the library website, the catalogue, and information literacy instruction.

The library has made a successful transition from print to electronic journals. The library is purchasing an increasing number of eBooks to support the needs of the university community. The library also collects many other types of material, such as research reports, bulletins, special papers, lecture notes, evidence-based tools and resources, conference proceedings, videos and films, government publications, maps and images, and numeric and geospatial data.

The library participates in numerous consortial agreements for the purchase of digital scholarly materials. The library is a member of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), the Conférence des Recteurs et Principaux des Universités du Quebec (CREPUQ), the Coalition of Academic Health Libraries in Ontario (COAHL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

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