Friday, December 13, 2013

Guide for Librarians

What are the considerations of libraries in acquiring or developing proprietary databases materials?

Developing library digital resources has many similarities to traditional collection development, though at the same time there were some notable differences ( Lee, 2002).
Knowing this fact, we must be aware of the different things to consider in choosing proprietary databases in order to build a strong and quality database collection. The following are the things that we must consider in assessing and acquiring database:

  1. Formulating a collection development policy. This needs to cover many things, but at its root there should be a clear count of where the institution currently is in terms of holdings, and where it whishes to be.
  2. Establishing a budget. There must be enough allocated budget if an institution wants to subscribe or acquire proprietary databases. When you are establishing a budget, or putting in for an annual renewal, the following concerns should be taken into accounts:

    1. Maintaining the status quo. If you already have a set of electronic products available, the main part of the budget request must be to maintain these subscriptions, or to match these recurrent cots.
    2. Essential purchase. It is clear that at times some titles will appear that are “must have” purchase. This should be costed into the annual budget.
    3. Targeting desiderata. It is important to maintain through out the year a desiderata list of titles that you would like to purchase for which funds are not yet available at present.
    4. Price increase. Budgets will have to take into accounts price rises.
    5. Unforseen purchase. To add to this there is the problem of the sudden appearance of products during the financial year which immediately fall into the category of must have purchases. (contingency funds must be considered)
    6. Special consideration. Databases will present some specific problems when it comes to assembling a budget. This tends to arise from three main factors:
·        Their link to subscriptions, which can cause particular difficulties.
·        The fact that many databases are at present free but may in the future have to be paid for.
·        The large amount of money some publishers charge for the bulk deals.

  1. Awareness of the Database. There appear to be three main sources of information relating to new database:

i.         Publicity flyers from publishers
ii.       Word of mouth, i.e. e-mail list, meetings and websites
iii.      Notifications by readers and colleagues
      4. Assessment trials and evaluation. Perform an initial assessment of the product 
          to see if it meets basic criteria.

References: What are proprietary database. Retrieved on December 05, 2013, from   

Lee, S.D. (2002). Building an electronic resource collection: a practical guide. Great Britain: MPG Book Ltd.

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