Data Set Collection Development Policy

Adopted October 2011

Table of contents

For all areas not specifically addressed in this policy, please refer to the JMU Libraries Collection Development Policy:


Scope of Collections

This document outlines JMU Libraries' data set collection development, selection and management policies across libraries. Data sets generally describe aggregated statistical information, presented in tabular form, and able to be manipulated by end users. Data set sources include ongoing-expense subscription products as well as free Internet resources available on the web.


Collection Priorities & Intellectual Freedom

As with the general Collection Development Policy, the data set collection development policy reflects and supports the Libraries’ mission and the University’s goals. Wherever resources and academic needs allow, the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights also apply to collection activities.


Selection Responsibility

As with other library collections, the data set collection relies upon the subject expertise of liaison librarians. Data sets span multiple subject areas and, as such, JMU Libraries relies on the expertise of its liaison librarians to select appropriate data collections in consideration of disciplinary needs, vendor reliability, and quality of product available. Liaison librarians make their own selections and approve selections made by faculty of their academic departments.


Collecting Guidelines

Data set collections are typically accessible through web sites and database platforms housed outside of JMU Libraries. Selection and acquisition may be evaluated by the same collecting criteria established for other library materials in the general Collection Development Policy; however, the following qualifications are most important to consider: 


  • Quality of material (content, format and accessibility)
  • User level (appropriate to known academic needs)
  • Curriculum relevance (for teaching, supplementary learning, or “source material” research)
  • Authoritativeness
  • Currency (or continuing relevance, when not superseded by new materials)
  • Historical value (selectively applied to meet specific teaching or research needs)
  • Size & Support (bandwidth, hardware and software requirements)
  • Price
  • User demand


Collection Management

Liaison librarians are responsible for ongoing assessment of data set collections to ensure adequate and appropriate resources are available to support the curriculum.



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