Subject Collection Development Guidelines

JMU Libraries supports the School of Communication Studies (SCOM) with a collection that supports research and instruction in this diverse, diffuse and rapidly-changing discipline.  The SCOM collection is designed to support the basic BS or BA in General Communication, but most students in the major choose a from one of seven concentrations; Conflict Analysis and Intervention, Advocacy Studies, Cultural Communication, Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Relations.  JMU students may also minor Communication Studies.  Due to the ubiquitous nature of human communication, mongraph collections in this area represent the field itself (largely housed in LC Class – P90), but  communication topics (including those represented by the SCOM concentrations) are spread across LC classes, a variety of journal literature, documentary films, and a variety of popular culture collections.  Acquisitions and collection management of SCOM materials supports JMU Libraries’ university-wide mission of fostering environments that allow users to connect with ideas and information.  This collection also supports several large and active extra-curricular groups that operate in the SCOM major, including Debate and Forensics. 

Also of note for the SCOM collection is the occasion overlap between SCOM topics and other JMU Libraries’ collections; most notably this occurs with the School of Media Arts and Design (SMAD),  Business/Marketing, and Psychology, but the field can cross into almost any discipline.  The table below represents a majority (but not all) of LC ranges where SCOM funds are most often allocated. 

Monographic Collection Areas

Subject Area

LC Class Range



Communication & Communication Mass Media

P85-96 & HM258

Communication in Medicine


Conflict Management


Dispute Resolution


Intercultural Communication


Interpersonal Relations

HM1106-1171, BF637, P94



Public Speaking, forensics, debate


Survey Research


Symbols and Signs


Business Communication


Communication in Management & Industrial (Org. Comm)


Free Speech


Freedom of Expression


Political Campaigns & the media

JA85-, JF2112, P95-

Public Affairs - Public Relations




Rhetoric, Argumentation, Persuasion




Semiotics/Non-Verbal Communication


Family Communication


Environmental Communication

GE25-, S944-


Other Material Types
In addition to monographic collections, SCOM library support requires a substantial and current journal collection, film, and reference collections. 

Guidelines / Scope of Collection

Materials are considered for their subject, curriculum relevance, authoritativeness, currency, and price. User requests and appropriateness for the entire collection are also key criteria for consideration. These are general guidelines. Specific guidelines may be added as the subject requires.  Primary formats are print and electronic. Other formats are purchased selectively to support the SCOM curriculum. Materials are acquired primarily from the United States and English-language materials are purchased almost exclusively.


The responsibility of acquiring and managing SCOM collections primarily resides with the Communication Studies liaison librarian.  Liaison librarians work in collaboration with the SCOM faculty library representative and the department chair.  Collection management activities are monitored and administered by JMU Libraries' Collection Development Committee, with expenditures authorized by the Dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies.


Updated May 9, 2012 by Kathy Clarke.


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