Collection Development Policy: Databases

Database subscriptions represent a sizeable percentage of the overall RMU Library Materials Budget and RMU Library Operating Budget, and the ability to license database content for online access to thousands of journals is essential for both student and faculty information needs.

Because of the large expense required for each database acquired and the ongoing, and increasing, budget commitment that a database expenditure presents, requests for database acquisitions, while honored whenever possible, are handled differently than requests for individual monographs or other singular purchase items. Current subscriptions are evaluated closely at the conclusion of the academic year. When a requested subscription is to be added, generally a current subscription will be reviewed for cancellation so that the newly requested subscription can be added during the following year. 

Ongoing Commitments: Subscription-Based Resources or Resources with Continuing Access Fees

With all subscription-based collection resources or purchases with annual access fees, the RMU Library analyzes usage statistics and continuing need when examining current subscriptions and considering potential subscriptions. 

Additional criteria considered include

  • Curriculum needs; faculty requests
  • Accessibility: supports IP authentication and EZ-Proxy access; Open-URL compliant
  • Usability: user-friendliness, compatibility with multiple browsers, multiple operating systems; does not require downloading of special software
  • Discoverability of content
  • Uniqueness; filling a previously unfilled curriculum or research niche
  • Number of potential users
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • Availability of price increase caps in licensing agreements
  • Vendor reliability, responsiveness