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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:

Prepared by Steve Batt, April 15, 2002
DRAFT: reviewed by the Journalism Department, April 2003


The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999.


  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

The Journalism department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers an undergraduate course of study preparing students for the journalism profession. The department consists of six full-time faculty and staff, and regularly employs as lecturers and lab instructors journalists working for Connecticut newspapers and television stations. Students are encouraged to, in addition to their journalism coursework, pursue a major in another department, such as political science or history. In May 2002, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences awarded 37 Bachelors degrees in Journalism; in the Fall of 2002, there were a total of 188 Journalism Majors enrolled at the University. In addition to Journalism majors, students pursuing other degrees often enroll in Journalism classes to fulfill undergraduate requirements for writing courses.

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

The budgets for materials in Communications Sciences and Journalism are combined, due to their closely related nature. The total budget allocated for both is approximately $22,500, and of this, 71% is spent on serials. Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Libraries’ Networked Services budget (not reflected in the above figures) which significantly support Journalism students and faculty include: Academic Universe, Dow Jones Interactive, InfoTrac, and AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive. For a more complete list consult the Journalism Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/Journalism.htm

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature

    Journalism faculty and students rely heavily on access to the thousands of online news sources available through research databases such as Academic Universe and Dow Jones Interactive. These services have become principal resources of news libraries containing full-text access to newspapers, wire services, and news transcripts. These resources serve as models for journalism students and are primary tools for teaching and research in the academic setting. Journalism faculty and students also rely on access to statistical sources, government documents, and law & legal materials to support reporting and writing exercises.

    Many journalism schools across the country are reviewing their curriculum considering broadening their programs to require such courses as qualitative and quantitative research methods, and developing dual degree programs with law, health care, religion, business and the arts as well as potentially adding a foreign language requirement. Resources critical to students and faculty in other disciplines will become increasingly important to journalism student and faculty if these interdisciplinary curricular changes take place.

  2. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      Journalism Department Head Maureen Croteau recently expressed her desire that the Library work to develop our collections of materials focusing on minorities and journalism: "One of our priorities is increasing awareness of minority journalists and issues having to do with covering minority communities. The word "minority" can apply to traditional minority U.S. groups, but also to covering anyone who is unlike the reporter. For example, how do reporters cover uneducated people, the poor (regardless of skin tone or ethnic background), people of various religious beliefs, the mentally ill, the aged, etc. We are also interested in historical issues having to do with minority news coverage -- how were issues covered (or not) in the past." A project is currently underway to identify and acquire materials.

      There will be an increased emphasis on broadcast journalism in the department. To support this area of focus, there may be an increased need for videotapes, DVD's, etc. to be used in conjunction with broadcast journalism classes. Examples of these types of materials could include recordings of famous broadcaster, or documentaries about the broadcast news media.

      The library will continue to support the curriculum and goals of the department as technology changes; for example, the image database AP Photo Archive is now used extensively in the basic and advanced Copy Editing classes.

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs

        The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler to supply the bulk of new monographs. Books are received based on a set profile; notify slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest. Some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. Publishers who do not discount to Yankee or produce less than five titles a year are not covered. In addition, catalogs from publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for other materials that might be added to the collections. Specific suggestions from library users, particularly students and faculty, are always given full consideration.

        Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals, software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. Dissertations must be specifically requested for purchased.

      2. Journals

        New journal subscriptions related to Journalism are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. The Library requires special justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles. Also, addition of new titles may require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles. (See section Access Development, Acquisition Strategies: Electronic Journals for discussion of electronic journals).

      3. Other Media

        The library regularly purchases videos and DVDs to be used in specific classes. These are generally ordered pursuant to requests from faculty for teaching purposes. Video shelf life is unknown, but with the advent and increasing accessibility of DVD technology, it may be considered to be increasingly limited.

  3. Access Development

    In order to assist Journalism faculty and students to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan.

    1. Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities

      The current array of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to Journalism (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective.

    2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

      User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.

      We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.

      We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.

      One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.

      Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, "".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources

      The Journalism Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: //research/bysubject/Journalism The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites which should be listed.

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning. Due, in part, to the small number of faculty and the nature of coursework, as well as our access to numerous online resources, Journalism faculty and students do not frequently use DD/ILL.

IV. Emerging Choices

As new technologies and resources become available to support teaching and research in Journalism such as electronic photo archives and new or expanded full-text news services, the Libraries will remain cognizant of the importance of these resources as core materials in the discipline and will consider purchase.

The future of collecting to support the Journalism Department in a changing information economy.

Both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services, are the pressing issues currently facing the Libraries. The Libraries do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing the Libraries' share of limited University resources. The Libraries hope for a continuation of the current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity have been and will continue to play a role in budget decision-making.

The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

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