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Collection Development Trials Best Practices

Last Updated: 10/12/07

As a trial of an electronic resource involves considerable staff time to set up and evaluate, all items to be considered for a trial should be reviewed as thoroughly as possible by the appropriate subject librarians(s) before the request is submitted to the Head of Collection Development.

The review should address at least the criteria below, and include a URL for further information:

  1. Significance of the electronic resource to the field(s).
  2. Quality of the electronic resource in relation to comparable electronic resources (both those we own as well as others).
  3. Coverage of the electronic resource, including a source list if appropriate, and how that compares to related electronic resources (both those we own as well as others).  Technical Services may be able to supply this information.  Subject librarians should check with Head of technical Services.
  4. Duplication of the electronic resource with both those we possess as well as other comparable electronic resources.
  5. Appropriateness of the electronic resource to the Libraries’  Electronic Resources Policy  (see:
  6. Cost of the electronic resource.
  7. How the electronic resource will be paid for.
  8. Print and/or electronic resources that could be cancelled to purchase this electronic resource.   However,  cancellations must be approved by all interested parties before it can be considered a cost savings.
  9. Other relevant information.

For more information, please send an email message to the Director of Collection Development.

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