Health Sciences Library Collection Development Policy: 2014

Vision, Mission, Values
The Health Science Library (HSL) of the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) University Libraries (UL), has the following mission, vision and values:

The University Libraries is recognized nationally for its excellence in library service to the UMKC and Kansas City community as the entry point of discovery and creativity to UMKC students and faculty.

The University Libraries is an essential partner in empowering intellectual discovery, facilitating scholarship and creative activity, and preserving intellectual and cultural records.

• We value and respect the individual
• We value working together
• We value the creation and preservation of information
• We value the power of sharing knowledge

The purpose of this collection development policy is to inform the clients of the Health Sciences Library (HSL) about the collection resources available to them. (The Director of the Health Sciences Libraries is subject liaison with the School of Medicine and Pharmacy and the Instructional Reference Librarian is liaison with the School of Nursing). This information includes the subject areas covered, the breadth and scope of the coverage, the type of materials collected, and selection criteria of materials.

The Collection Development Policy is prepared by the Director for the Health Sciences Library with the Instructional Reference Librarian and the Head, Collection Development. This policy supersedes all previous collection development policies developed for the Health Sciences Library.

Clients Served
HSL collects only materials to support the students, faculty, and staff at UMKC's Schools Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. This includes support for all the programs and degrees offered at the Schools, for both on- and off-campus students and faculty. Degree programs supported at the School of Medicine are the combined Baccalaureate/M.D., the M.D., the M.S. for Anesthesiologist Assistants, and the M.S. in Bioinformatics. Degree/certification programs supported at the School of Nursing are: the B.S.N., the R.N to B.S.N., the M.S.N., the Ph.D., the Post-M.S.N., Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) and the Post-Master’s Nurse Educator Certificate Program. Degree programs supported at the School of Pharmacy are the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the PharmD.

Due to the nature of the schools supported by HSL, some materials purchased for the above programs may be housed at the Miller Nichols Library, on UMKC's Volker campus. These decisions are made by the Director of the Health Sciences Libraries in consultation with the Director, Collection and Access Management (CAM) and the Head, Collection Development.

The Health Sciences Library is open the following hours:
Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.;
Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.;
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
Sunday, 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The most current schedule, including Holidays and other days the library will be closed, can be found at the HSL's Website, at

There is no policy allowing physical access to the Library outside these hours, except for residents using HSL for patient care emergencies. (Please see To the extent possible, the University Libraries are building a "digital library" of information resources that can be accessed at all hours, from any location.

Information on what is available in the collection can be found electronically via MERLIN. MERLIN is the online library system and online public catalog for UMKC and the other libraries in the University of Missouri library system. In addition, MERLIN provides a gateway to electronic resources, including over 200 electronic databases, including MEDLINE, CINAHL, Biological Abstracts, AltHealthWatch, PubMed and Scopus. This access is open to UMKC primary clientele (students, faculty, staff) not only on-campus, but off-campus as well, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, via the Single Sign-On account. See or for more information.

Because of severe space limitations, HSL journals published prior to 1980 are housed in the University of Missouri Library Depository, in Colombia, Missouri. Some less used materials from the Dental Library are also housed there. The Interlibrary Loan Service at HSL can secure these items. See for items from HSL. See to request dental items.

The Health Sciences Library collection came originally from the Jackson County Medical Society's Library when it closed. Also, the library collection from General Hospital (now Truman Medical Center – Hospital Hill) was added in 1972 when the School of Medicine was founded. In addition, other collections, including resources from the American Nursing Association and the Nursing Historical Association, have all contributed to the Health Sciences Library's collection.

The Dean of the University Libraries has the ultimate responsibility for setting the overall collection budgets for HSL, guided by input from the Director, CAM, the Head, Collection Development, the Director for the Health Sciences Libraries, and other dean-appointed budget committees. Amounts are established for the subject areas covered by the programs of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. Funding for most databases and other full-text resources come from consortium purchases made by the University of Missouri Libraries System.

Subject Areas in Which the Library Collects
HSL collects only the most basics resources (general texts, handbooks, journals, etc.) in the following areas:
QS Human Anatomy
QT Physiology
QU Biochemistry
QV Pharmacology
QW Microbiology and Immunology
QX Parasitology
QY Clinical Pathology
QZ Pathology
W Health Professions
WA Public Health
WB Practice of Medicine
WC Communicable Diseases
WD 100 Nutrition Disorders
WD 200 Metabolic Diseases
WD 300 Immunologic and Collagen Diseases
WE Musculoskeletal System
WF Respiratory System     WG Cardiovascular System
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems
WI Digestive System
WJ Urogenital System
WK Endocrine System
WL Nervous System
WM Psychiatry
WN Radiology. Diagnostic Imaging
WO Surgery
WP Gynecology
WQ Obstetrics
WR Dermatology
WT Geriatrics. Chronic Disease
WV Otolaryngology
WW Ophthalmology
WY Nursing
WZ History of Medicine     

Developing the collection
The subject areas most important to the collection are the clinical aspects of the following subjects:
Human Anatomy
Microbiology and Immunology
Clinical Pathology
Practice of Medicine
Communicable Diseases
Immunologic and Collagen Diseases
Respiratory System
Hemic and Lymphatic Systems
Digestive System
Urogenital System
Endocrine System

Subject areas collected to a lesser degree are:
Health Professions
Public Health
Nutrition Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Musculoskeletal System
Cardiovascular System
Nervous System
Radiology. Diagnostic Imaging
Geriatrics. Chronic Disease

Subject areas in which the library does not collect at all:
History of Medicine

The materials are almost exclusively English or translations into English.

Publications from the United States and to a lesser extent Great Britain are geographic focus of Health Sciences collection.
The focus is on current healthcare practice and access to current materials.

Types of Material
All formats are included except lecture notes, equipment manuals, and reprints of articles, preprints, pamphlets, elementary textbooks, and juvenile materials.  Reference Text books are a collection priority. Encyclopedias and other tertiary materials will be purchased less often.  Only at faculty request will microform or audio-visuals be purchased.

Types of materials not collected/excluded are manuscripts, rare/special materials, items considered art, diagnostic film or tape, and limited amounts of models and realia. (The Perry Gift Fund, an endowment account for HSL, will purchase models and realia for placement in the School of Medicine’s Medical Education Media Center.
Current strengths and weaknesses of collection
The strength of the collections at the Health Sciences and Dental Libraries are the clinical resources.  Subject areas strength is in Practice of Medicine, Communicable Diseases, Immunologic Diseases, Respiratory System, Hemic and Lymphatic Systems, Endocrine System, Dentistry and Nursing. Strictly research materials are a weakness. In terms of subject areas, psychiatry and pediatrics are also a weakness.

Other resources
Other University Libraries collections that are related to the medical and health sciences are: Biological Sciences, Education, Psychology, Business, Sociology, U.S. Government Documents.

Selection Principles
Current funding levels limit the number of purchases that can be made each year. Other University units may designate funds to supplement HSL's acquisitions. Final authority of purchases rests with the Director of the Health Sciences Libraries working with the Head, CAM and the Head, Collection Development, with input from the UL librarians and staff.

HSL collects monographs (print only and electronic), journals (both print and electronic), indexes (both print and online); databases (both full-text and bibliographic) and government publications (print, and when available, electronic links to full-text in MERLIN). Subject content is the main selection factor; format will be determined based on desired access, available technology, or space considerations.
Due to space and funding restrictions, duplications are not warranted for any item in the collection. Duplication for increased access is possible (for example, to purchase both the print and electronic version of a book) but this will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Priority is given to those items to support curriculum, and only for those programs listed in the "Clients Served" section of this policy. Emphasis is given to clinical resources. Items on the standard lists (for example, the AACP’s Basic Resources for Pharmacy Education) are given highest priority for selection.

HSL purchases only current materials; no historical mission is funded at HSL. Theses and dissertations from other schools are typically not purchased. (As these resources are available from commercial services, individuals can purchase these independently).
The University Libraries at UMKC welcome donations of books and other materials which are appropriate for the libraries’ collections. Books and other materials which are not appropriate for the libraries’ collections are not accepted.

Members of the community who wish to donate books or other materials to the libraries should contact one of the following individuals:
* General donations – Steve Alleman, Head of Collections (816-235-1580)
* Special collections – Stuart Hinds, Director of Special Collections (816-235-5712)
* Health Sciences – Peggy Mullaly-Quijas, Director of Health Sciences Libraries (816-235-1871)
* Dental – Marie Thompson, Head of Dental Library (816-235-2063)
The library is not allowed to appraise donations. Donors should refer to IRS Publication 526, "Charitable Contributions," and IRS Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property," for information about claiming donations on their taxes. Any donation that they intend to value at $5000 or more must be appraised by a qualified appraiser.

The Libraries encourages faculty, staff, and students to request materials for the Library's collections. UMKC clientele may use the Electronic Library Purchase to request materials to be purchased for HSL and DL. Faculty are encouraged to make requests through his or her school's Library Committee, if such an entity exists.
Below are some of the main questions guiding selection of materials for the Health Sciences Library:

  • Monographs
    • Authority
      • Is the author qualified to be writing in this area?
      • What else has the author/editor written?
      • Is the author/editor a recognized expert in the field?
      • Is the book current?
      • Is the publisher known?
      • Is the publisher respected for its books?
    • Format
      • Is print or electronic format best for this title?
        • If print,
          • Will the book sit on the shelf properly?
          • Is it bound well?
          • Is the printing readable throughout?
          • Is the paper of good quality?
          • Are the illustrations, radiographs and other representations readable?
        • If electronic,
          • Can University-wide access be negotiated? (Preferred choice)
          • Is access allowed remotely?
          • Is it password protected, or does IP addresses dictate access?
          • Also, the same criteria for print.
    • Bibliographic Aids
      • Is there a good table of contents?
      • Is there a good index?
      • Is it referenced and are the references complete and properly drafted?
      • Are the charts and graphs valuable?
    • Scope
      • To whom is the book directed and do we serve them?
      • Is the coverage appropriate for this collection?
      • Is the book scholarly, technical or popular?
  • Serials
    • Bibliographic integrity
      • Is the publisher known to produce good journals?
      • Who are the editors? From which institutions?
      • Who sponsors the publication?
    • Price?
    • Scope
      • Is the subject within HSL/DL collecting guidelines?
      • To how many other titles in this discipline does the Library subscribe?
      • Is it in English?
      • Will it be used by many people?
    • Bibliographic quality
      • Are the articles refereed?
      • Are the articles referenced and are the references in proper format and inclusive?
      • Is the journal self-indexed?
    • Library criteria
      • Is print or electronic format best for this title? Please see Special Criteria for Journals in Electronic Format, at the end of this document.
      • If electronic,
        • Can University-wide access be negotiated? (Preferred choice)
        • Is access allowed remotely?
        • Is it password protected, or does IP addresses dictate access?
        • If the paper copy of the title is owned, is there an additional charge for access to the online copy? Preferred: electronic only subscription without print.
        • Are there unusual licensing or use rules attached to the subscription, such as password limitations or single workstation limits?
      • If print,
        • Are there unusual rules required for libraries, such as restricted interlibrary loan or photocopying?
        • Is it formatted to be accommodated on library shelving?
        • Can it be bound easily?
        • What other institution holds this title in the metro-Kansas City area?
        • Which indexing and abstracting tools include this title?
        • What is the interlibrary loan activity/copyright status of this title?


Other Considerations
Federal and state government publications are received, as appropriate, from the Miller Nichols Library (a selective depository for federal and state publications) and the UMKC Law School Library. This represents a very limited number of items. Decision for government publications is by the Director for the Health Sciences Libraries and the Government Documents Librarian.

Online and full-text databases may be purchased via a consortium arrangement. Selection is dependent on many factors, including need across the entire University of Missouri system. Title recommendations should be sent to the Director of the Health Sciences Libraries for forwarding to the Head, Collections Development, who will coordinate UMKC requests for MERLIN consortial funding.


Cooperative Relations with Other Libraries and Facilities
The MOBIUS Union Catalog includes the holdings found in a consortium of academic libraries and some public libraries in the state of Missouri designed to allow direct patron-initiated borrowing from member library collections. The MERLIN Union Catalog contains records for items held by the four campuses of the University of Missouri. Via MERLIN, searches may be entered for the MOBIUS catalog and requests can be transmitted for monographs from any institution listed.
For journal articles not found at HSL, Interlibrary Loan Services are available. For HSL, please go to
The Libraries belongs to two cooperative groups for facilitating interlibrary loan requests. The first is a local group, the Health Sciences Library Network of Kansas City ( The second is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. See

The Health Sciences Library has a cooperative arrangement with University of Kansas Medical Center's Dykes Library that allows faculty members in good standing at UMKC borrowing privileges at the Dykes Library. A letter to use this privilege is issued by the Office of the Director of Health Sciences Libraries.

In addition to the KUMC Dykes Library, materials at the Clendenning Library for the History of Medicine may be consulted onsite.

Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology, an independent research library, is located across from the UMKC Miller Nichols Library on the Volker campus. The Linda Hall collection includes books, government materials, maps, scholarly journals, and patents information. Beginning in January 2001, the Linda Hall Library will loan books directly to students and faculty of member institutions in the Kansas City Courtesy Card Program, administered by the UMKC Libraries. Other materials may be consulted onsite.

Referrals for onsite use may be made to collections such as the School of Pharmacy Drug Information Center.

Collection Evaluation
The HSL Core Text collection, a non-circulating collection of the major texts in medicine, is evaluated yearly, with recommendations for purchase made by support staff and librarians to the Director of Health Sciences Libraries. The other HSL collections are evaluated yearly by the Director of Health Sciences Libraries, using the best professional knowledge and available data, including ILL statistics and usages statistics available from MERLIN.

Preservation Activity
Only minimal physical preservation activity takes place at the libraries. If an item cannot easily be rebound, it is referred to the Technical Services Division for advice on how to proceed. Only high use items will be considered for these actions. In some cases, replacing an item may be the appropriate action.

Due to extremely limited space, review of the monograph collection is undertaken regularly throughout the year. At HSL, potential items for deselection are those that have been in the collection for over ten years and that have not been checked out for over five years. Consideration for in-house use will be made as those statistics are compiled. Final decision on deselection are made by the Director of Health Sciences Libraries.

Other collections in the Kansas City area with materials in this discipline
Dykes Library at the KU Medical Center (The University of Kansas) at

Members of the Health Sciences Library Network of Kansas City (HSLNKC). See

Review of Policy

This policy will be reviewed tri-annually or as needed to ensure the policy is serving the mission of the University and is in accordance with the policies of the University Libraries. Reviewers will be the Director of Health Sciences Libraries, the Instructional Reference Librarians, Director, CAM and the Head, Collection Development, based on the professional judgment of those librarians.

This document was compiled by
Peggy Mullaly-Quijas, Ph.D.
Director for Health Sciences Libraries
December, 2009
Revised December 2014

-    Anyone from the general public or from other institutions can come into the library, look at books and journals, photocopy materials, search databases, and obtain help from the library staff while in the library.
-    The ILL department at HSL does not charge any other library unless that library charges HSL. Extra charges for rush fax may apply.
-    For $30 per hour (two hour minimum) the HSL staff will pull and copy articles from the collection for faculty at UMKC. Regular photocopying charges will be assessed on top of the $60.00.
-    Microfilm printing is .17/page.
-    The KU Library reciprocal letter is extend to regular faculty only(contract renewing faculty) not residents or fellows. For assistance, please call the Health Sciences Library (816) 235-1880.

Policy on Collecting Journals in Electronic Format
As publishers continue to develop electronic publishing capabilities, an increasing number of journals are available in electronic format, either as an alternative or a counterpart to the print version.  Some journals are now only available electronically.  Feedback from faculty and students indicates that research needs for journal literature are changing.  Users have a strong preference for the accessibility and convenience provided by electronic journals.  As a result of these factors, the Libraries’ collection of electronic journals has grown dramatically in recent years.

The reason for this growth is that electronic journals have certain built-in advantages over print journals:

  • They are available anytime and anywhere.  Through the combined use of IP-authentication and proxy servers, access to electronic journal content is available 24 hours a day and anywhere our users have a computer with an internet connection.  This is especially important with the increase in distance education and other online course offerings.
  • The content can be read by multiple users simultaneously, the volumes are never off the shelf, and the pages are never torn out.
  • Electronic journals may provide increased functionality: embedded hyperlinks, the ability to search the content more easily, additional multimedia content, the ability to download and save articles or to cut-and-paste passages, etc.
  • More electronic journals are now posting articles before the equivalent print issues are published and distributed.
  • Electronic journals do not take up valuable storage space, and they do not require library staff time to check in, physically process and bind, claim, or shelve and re-shelve.
  • Statistics on the usage of electronic journals are more easily available than statistics for print journals, allowing more informed decisions to be made about which titles should be subscribed to.
  • Cost efficiencies offered by electronic journal packages allow the Libraries to provide more journal content to users than ever before.

A substantial portion of the Libraries’ materials budget is already allocated to electronic resources. 

Owning as many subscriptions as possible in electronic format will also allow us to reallocate the costs related to the maintenance of print journals to the delivery of a greater range of content to our users. 

As budgets change from year to year and inflationary increases spiral upwards, it is important that the Libraries seek cost effective strategies for funding annual subscription costs.  As such, it is policy of the Libraries to subscribe to journals in one format only and to avoid duplicating content and subscription costs.  Content that may be duplicated in full-text databases where journal articles are aggregated through a single search interface is a different matter, as the coverage in those databases changes frequently and they may not provide access to the entirety of the journals they index.

This policy is intended to guide the evaluation and acquisition of the electronic versions of journals, and it applies to selecting new subscriptions and provides criteria for the potential cancellation of the print version in favor of the electronic version, focusing primarily on format and access issues.  In general it is the policy of the Libraries that the electronic version of a journal is preferable to that same journal’s print version, provided that the print version does not provide substantial advantages in terms of content, format, or access, as outlined below.  Subject specialists are expected to communicate and work closely with academic departments regarding user needs when evaluating journal formats and new acquisitions.  Any exceptions to this policy will be made on a case by case basis by the Head, Collection Development in consultation with the subject specialist.

Examples of criteria that might argue for beginning or retaining a subscription in print are as follows:

  • Some of these criteria can be evaluated by examining the electronic version of the journal, and by visiting the vendor’s website.  Other information will reside in the license, which should be reviewed by Serial Acquisitions before a final decision is made.
  • Content: If the electronic journal does not contain the full scholarly content of the print equivalent (for instance,  not only research articles, but also content such as supplements, if included with the print journal subscription, letters, calls for papers and other professional announcements, editorials, job openings, and book reviews).
  • Function: If the title is especially high profile or is heavily used in print format; if research practices or methodologies in a particular discipline dictate the ongoing importance of the use of the print format; if the print journal functions better as a browsing journal or current awareness source (perhaps due to poor interface design in the electronic version); or if the print has significant artifact or aesthetic value.
  • Timeliness: If the full content of each issue is available online only after a significant delay after its publication of the print.
  • Format: If the electronic journal does not provide PDF files or an equivalent full-image format identical to the print edition.
  • Image and Graphics Quality: If the quality of illustrative materials (photographs, tables, figures, artistic renderings, etc.) is not of a standard sufficient to meet intended use or if they are not of the same quality as images in the print edition.
  • Vendor Reliability: If the speed of loading/accessing content does not meet Libraries’ users’ expectations.  Server downtime should be minimal, and vendors should notify the Libraries in advance of scheduled changes and anticipated downtime.
  • IP Access: If access to the electronic version is not provided via campus-wide IP authentication.  Resources that require users to login with a username and password will be carefully evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Printing and Downloading Capability: If all content is not printable and downloadable.
  • Stability: If there is not a reasonable guarantee of the stability of the electronic journal.  Since stability in aggregated databases cannot be guaranteed, such databases will not be considered a substitute for print journals.  Electronic journals must be subscribed to from the publisher or equivalent.
  • Pricing: If the electronic format is not cost effective.
  • Perpetual access: If there is no guarantee of perpetual access to paid-for content if we subsequently cancel the electronic journal.   Such access must be in the same manner (or equivalent) as provided when we subscribed.  Leasing of an electronic journal is generally not sufficient to allow for the cancellation of the print equivalent.
  • Archiving: If the vendor does not pledge to provide archiving of the electronic content, either in its own archive, via a third-party initiative such as Portico or CLOCKSS, or through other mechanisms outlined in the license.
  • Licensing Terms of Use: 
    • If it does not allow off-campus use by authorized users and walk-in use by visitors;
    • If it is overly restrictive regarding simultaneous users;
    • If there are restrictions regarding interlibrary loan, e-reserves, and fair use of content; or
    • If it does not allow cancellation of the print.

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