Collection Selection Considerations

Physical vs electronic

As the University expands classes on more campuses and online, the dominating format for the Library collections has steadily shifted from print to electronic to reach maximal users. All else being equal, electronic format with multiple simultaneous access is preferred to reach more users. Nonetheless, in certain fields of scholarship, the physical format, such as print books and DVD, may represent the primary publications.  In some cases, the print format could also be the most cost-effective or even the only viable option for acquisitions and user experience. Duplicates between physical and electronic shall be avoided unless for archival purposes. 

Physical Location

Physical format will be selected if no viable electronic equivalent is available and will default to one copy per title due to budgetary restraints. Duplicate copies may only be considered on case-by-case basis. The physical copy (occasionally copies) will be housed at the locations chosen by the UCF Libraries to serve the needs of relevant programs. The decisions on location are also driven by the integrity of intended uses of the body of publications, and therefore typically physical resources on the same theme are kept at one location, rather than split among multiple locations. The shelving capacity and other aspects of a library’s physical space may also influence location decision.  

Rights and Terms for Electronic Resources

Terms such as the number of simultaneously use, copy and download full text, permission for interlibrary loan, authentication, and data assessments shall all be considered and negotiated to maximize the benefits for user. The rights and terms for all license materials shall be reviewed and approved by the UCF authorized personnel and strictly adhered.  

Additional details can be found on the Electronic Resources Terms of Use.

One-time vs recurring

Although requiring ongoing financial commitments, recurring purchases tend benefit contents requiring frequent updates. Preservation and archiving shall be considered, too. Consult with the Acquisitions & Collection Services for final decisions.  

Immediate vs enduring

The collections should be built purposefully with the mission of lasting impact. UCF Libraries does not collect titles serving immediate individual advancement needs such as study guides, workbook, preparation for standard or professional exams or certificate. On the other hand, it is equally important to recognize the needs for timeliness and currency from STEM and other emerging and evolving disciplines.  


Restricted by budget and space, UCF Libraries does not actively collect current course textbooks, including those published intended for individual use. Electronic books with friendly digital right management (DRM) may be purchased and adopted as alternatives for classroom use. Print titles acquired by the Textbook Affordability & Student Success Librarian is not covered under this collection development policy. 

Open Access

UCF libraries advocates the open access movement, either by building digital collections and intuitional repository (details please visit the “Digital Collections”), or by systematically evaluating, selecting, and promoting the use of open resources, whether as alternatives or in addition to existing traditional resources. Electronic packages with Read+Publish options are carefully examined if budget permits. However, due to the financial constraints, article processing charges (APC) typically are not covered by the Libraries. 

Electronic Resources

  • Available to all UCF students and employees. The Libraries does not purchase resources with limited access to specific individual or programs. 
  • Accessible to all locations and Off Campus through the Libraries’ preferred authentication service. Currently the Libraries use OpenAthens to support authorization and access. The Libraries does not purchase resources that rely on Username and Password for authorization. 
  • Authorized use for UCF affiliates and/or additional if specified by the licensing agreements. Systemic or excessive downloading, searches or printing is prohibited. Usage and sharing must comply with Copyright, licensing agreement, and other applicable laws, regulations and policies in the U.S., Florida, and UCF. 
  • Content overlap and duplication are kept to minimum, to the extent of overlap with the current collection, whether in print or online.  
  • Perpetual access: The Libraries seeks to build a lasting collection and prefers to retain rights to access content in perpetuity, especially for online journals and books. Lack of perpetual access options may result in deciding against acquiring online content. 
  • Multi-campus demand: Online is preferred when the content serves programs at more than one of UCF’s locations. 
  • Simultaneous Users: Online journals and database are acquired with no limit on concurrent users wherever budget allows. Online books may be purchased with concurrent user restrictions for cost savings.  Content to be used as assigned readings is acquired with unlimited concurrent usage, if possible. 
  • Cost and funding considerations: 
  • FTE is often used by vendors and publishers to determine the price for institutional subscriptions; and therefore, the cost for UCF to license an electronic resource is far more than an individual subscription or that of a smaller college. Quotes may be obtained if deemed critical to assess the viability of acquisitions 
  • Resources with a recurring expense cannot be purchased using one-time funding, such as monograph funds for programs. Resources with annual cost increases of 5% and more are not sustainable. Fees for maintaining or accessing platforms should be avoided. Special funding sources can be used to acquire eResources. All such arrangements require the approval of the Head of Collection and Acquisitions Services. 
  • Trials are only arranged if potential funds are identified. Otherwise the Library will NOT set up the trials. 
  • Platform functionality: The platform and content should work with current operating systems and browsers, function well on mobile devices, and support widely used library standards, such as OpenURL. The functionality and usability of the platform is considered in acquisitions decisions.   
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