Collection review Guidelines


The following criteria are guidelines used for the collection review of University of Sydney libraries.  Regular and ongoing collection reviews are necessary due to space pressures of growing collections.  It is recognized that some disciplines are more reliant on print collections so there two sets of criteria that apply to different libraries.

Academic staff will be consulted as part of any major review and will be given the opportunity to comment on the relocation of material from the open collections.  Collection reviews are carried out within the Library’s collection management principles.

Monographs

The University Library will retain a copy of each edition of every monographic title currently in the collection except for those volumes subject to the disposal criteria.  Volumes may be retained in the library on open shelves if:

Conservatorium, Fisher, Law, and the Sydney College of the Arts Libraries Badham, Camden, Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medical, Nursing and the SciTech Libraries
  • borrowed within the past 5 years
  • acquired within the past 5 years
  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff to stay on open access
  • borrowed within the past 3 years
  • acquired within the past 2 years
  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff to stay on open access

Volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 5 years
  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • obsolete content or edition

Volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 3 years or acquired in the past 2 years
  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • obsolete content or edition

Volumes that are not needed on the open shelves may be disposed of if:

  • duplicate editions are already in storage or another University of Sydney library
  • available and used predominantly in other stable formats (for example accessible in digital form)
  • in poor physical condition, unrepairable and unsuitable for retention

Usage will be determined on loan and inter-library loan records and staff knowledge.  In consultation with relevant stakeholders, the usage period may be varied to take into account the needs of particular disciplinary needs.
Damaged volumes will be replaced if copies are available within a reasonable timeframe and cost, and the use of the original copy justifies replacement.  Repair or rebinding of materials may be undertaken where appropriate.

Journals

The University has invested heavily in digital back sets of the key journals used by members of the University. These digital files duplicate many of the extensive print journal issues contained in the collection.  The policy relating to digital journals requires print versions to be retained if the digital version is not identical and if archival access, cannot be guaranteed.  Where it is possible to guarantee archival access and the online version is equivalent to the print version, the policy permits the disposal of print editions.
In the following guidelines, the time period for journals retained on the open shelves in the library is subject to negotiation. It is recognised that some titles require access to longer time spans due to poor indexation, the nature of the publication or other factors.  There is, however, a limit on the amount of shelving available.  Journal volumes may be retained on open shelves if:

Conservatorium, Fisher, Law, and the Sydney College of the Arts Libraries Badham, Camden, Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medical, Nursing and the SciTech Libraries
  • published in the past 10 years and still relevant to current University teaching and/or research
  • previously part of the reference collection
  • published in the past 5 years and still relevant to current University teaching and/or research
  • previously part of the reference collection

Journal volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • published more than 10 years ago
  • no longer relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • no current subscription
  • ceased publication
  • in poor physical condition but not held elsewhere in Australia or available online
  • published more than 5 years ago
  • no longer relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • no current subscription
  • ceased publication
  • in poor physical condition but not held elsewhere in Australia or available online

Journal volumes that are not needed on the open shelves may be disposed of if:

  • duplicates copies held in another University of Sydney library or in storage
  • held as digital versions with guaranteed archival access and available from another library that guarantees archival retention of the print version - titles not held elsewhere in Australia will be retained
  • of ephemeral scholarly value provided they are held by an Australian library that guarantees archival retention – this will mainly affect volumes received on copyright deposit
  • in poor physical condition
  • insubstantial and incomplete holdings and appropriate access can be assured through document delivery

1     Archival access means that in the event of the Library ceasing to subscribe to a title, the University will have ongoing access to the issues to which it previously subscribed.

Audio-Visual and Multimedia

Audio-visual and multimedia publications are interfiled with the monograph and journal collections.  Restricted access material R18 + and MA 15 + will be shelved on the open shelves in locked cases.  Content formerly published in audio-visual or multimedia format is increasingly available online and it is intended to replace redundant formats where feasible and warranted:
Items may be retained in the library on open shelves if:

Conservatorium, Fisher, Law, and the Sydney College of the Arts Libraries Badham, Camden, Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medical, Nursing and the SciTech Libraries
  • borrowed within the past 5 years
  • acquired within the past 5 years
  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff to stay on open access
  • borrowed within the past 3 years
  • acquired within the past 2 years
  • used predominantly in the library and recommended by academic staff to stay on open access

Journal volumes may be transferred to storage if:

  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 5 years
  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • obsolete content, edition or format
  • not borrowed or acquired in the past 3 years or acquired in the past 2 years
  • not relevant to the current teaching and/or research programmes
  • obsolete content, edition or format

Items not required on the open shelves may be disposed of if:

  • duplicate items already in storage or another University of Sydney library
  • available and used predominantly in other formats
  • in poor physical condition, unable to be replaced and/or unsuitable for retention
  • in a redundant format that renders the content inaccessible

Curriculum Resources Collection [Only Fisher]

The collection will be reviewed using the criteria applicable to monographs, journals, audio-visual/multimedia formats.  The collection will be shelved separately in proximity to the education sequence.

East Asian Collection [Only Fisher]

The collection will be reviewed using the criteria applicable to monographs, journals, audio-visual/multimedia formats.  Rare and vulnerable volumes including  string books will be located to Rare Books and Special Collections.  The collection is shelved separately at the end of the general collection.

Microforms [Only Fisher]

Microforms (microfilms, microfiche and microcards) were acquired by the Library primarily to provide access to copies of out-of-print publications and documents that could not be acquired in their original format.  Many of these acquisitions supported the research interests of members of the academic staff at a particular time and are no longer in demand, but they are sometimes the only copies held in Australia.  The Library also acquired microforms of newspapers and magazines to either replace the print versions or to provide access to the entire output of particular publications.  This category of publication is now increasingly available in digital format and this is the preferred means of access due to improved indexing and searching capabilities.
Microforms may be retained on open access or stored onsite if:

  • in frequent demand by researchers
  • supports current teaching/research
  • contain newspapers/magazines published in the last 10 years
  • acquired in the past 5 years

Microforms may be transferred to storage if:

  • available in digital format but archival access is not guaranteed
  • not in frequent demand for research or teaching

Microforms may be disposed of if:

  • are held as digital versions with guaranteed archival access and available from another library that guarantees archival retention.  Titles not held elsewhere in Australia will be retained.
  • incomplete and insubstantial holdings, and appropriate access can be assured through document delivery

Microforms in frequent demand including current Australian newspapers will be available from shelves located on level 1 of the Fisher Library.  Lower demand volumes will be available from closed access storage within the library or delivered from storage on request.

Legal Publications

All publications classified within the Dewey 340-349 range will be integrated into the Law Library collection.


Collection Review Guidelines printable version (PDF)