SPEC Kit 316: Evaluating E-resources  ·  27
A Contract Specialist reviews all license terms and issues. Selectors and groups usually do not work with licenses.
Faculty and students may also participate in evaluation.
Individual subject selectors have the major responsibility for identifying relevant resources, although the Coordinator
of General Collections and/or the Associate University Librarian for Collections and Services usually take the lead in
identifying major e-resources that cover a wide subject spectrum, e. g., publisher e-journal backfiles offers, omnibus
e-book packages, or on-going acquisitions such as new components of JSTOR. The library also responds to offers from
the consortia to which it belongs. While individual selectors can purchase any e-resource that their specific budgets
can cover, expensive e-products typically are submitted to the Electronic Resources Selection Committee (ERSC) for
collective evaluation and recommendations to fund. Finally, a Collection Development Council makes the actual funding
decisions, essentially based on the recommendations of the ERSC, and the Council uses a central funds to pay for them.
Not all individuals/groups checked above participate in all evaluations. The process is “flexible” to a degree.
Selectors recommend purchases over a certain price. A collection committee deliberates on a number of proposals and
makes determination based on need and budget. Chief Collection Officer reserves right to acquire larger, multi-discipline
resources on occasion.
Serials/ERM Librarians assist in the evaluation process by contributing support data such as pricing and usage.
Technical Services Librarian monitors licensing and effectiveness of package.
Technical specifications are reviewed by the Information Technology Division. Licensing terms are reviewed by the
Electronic Resources Coordinator.
The AUL Collections or University Librarian make decisions for the most expensive resources: ScienceDirect, etc.
The Collection Development officer makes final decisions with relevant bibliographers and may consult with the
Bibliographers Advisory Committee on large, multidisciplinary packages.
The electronic resources coordinator evaluates technical compatibility with library network features, and license terms.
The protocol is pretty casual. Usually if a selector doesn’t express interest in a resource, an evaluation will not occur.
We primarily try to meet faculty needs and interests as part of our selection criteria. We try to queue things up for a few
times each calendar year so that we can prioritize.
Until the current fiscal year, we had an e-resources working group who evaluated and recommended purchases
from a central fund for digital resources. That group was disbanded and this function adopted by another collection
management group with some overlapping membership.
We have not had an “e-resource evaluation team” for many years. This is probably unfortunate.
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