Collection Guidelines - Subscription Reviews

The Library maintains a large number of e-journal, e-book and database subscriptions.  Subscriptions make up a large portion of the Library's information resources budget each year so it is critical that they are reviewed for ongoing relevance to the teaching, learning and research priorities of the University.

The transition from print to electronic subscriptions has involved extensive reviews of a broad range of subscription content in recent years.

Pre-renewal reviews

All subscriptions are reviewed before the renewal is confirmed. Most subscription periods are 12 months but some subscription contracts may involve a multi-year period.

The pre-renewal review normally includes:

  • Review of the past year's usage statistics with investigation of any usage anomalies
  • Review of the renewal price with investigation on any pricing changes above the norm
  • Confirmation of the ongoing usefulness of the resource to the School or Faculty
  • Review of any alternative products that may be available
  • Any issues with access that impede effective use of the resource

The Collection Advisory Group confirms or recommends renewals based on the above assessment.

Periodic reviews

Periodic reviews are also undertaken of different categories of subscriptions such as reviews by School, by content type, by format etc.  Decisions to undertake a periodic review may result from a school or faculty request, accreditation reviews, evidence of low usage statistics, evidence of a change in teaching or research focus, emerging new products, emerging new formats etc.

Some reviews in recent years have covered print subscriptions, microform subscriptions, aggregator e-journal packages, print reference subscriptions, School of Engineering subscriptions.

See also Deselection (weeding) guidelines.