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Bibliographer's Manual

Table of Contents | I. Introduction | II. Collection Development at UCB | III. Bibliographers | IV. Functions & Activities | V. Appendix



IV. Functions & Activities

Selection of Serials



The cost of serials is the largest portion of the materials budget. For some disciplines, serials are the most important tools of research and communication. The policy of the Libraries is not to duplicate serials in more than one format. However, there can be exceptions. Most faculties prefer electronic format, but input from the departmental faculty is imperative when decisions are being made. Requests for new titles or cancellation of current titles must be approved by the Faculty Director, Collection Development. In Acquisitions, the person in charge of Serials Ordering and Electronic Management can provide information concerning cost, frequency, publisher, etc.


There are many factors to consider when purchasing (or cancelling) serials:

Price, including extra networking or other fees
Equipment needed
Method of access
License requirements (ILL, ADA, concurrent users, etc.)
Value to other disciplines
Upgrade costs
Fit with other resources/services
Curriculum/research relationship
Ease of use
Consortial possibilities

When there are no funds available for new serial titles, there may be some options for securing needed new journals:

  1. Working from a list of serial titles that are paid for by each discipline fund (again, see Appendix for a listing of these fund abbreviations), the bibliographer may be able to identify unused or outdated journals that could be cancelled. This could result in a monetary credit which can be used towards the purchase of new serial titles. It is suggested that the bibliographer work closely with the discipline faculty or the faculty liaison before cancelling a title. The Faculty Director, Collection Development, must approve all titles submitted for cancellation as well as credits awarded.

  2. The bibliographer may request that the Central Reference collection bibliographer either share the cost or purchase a title, especially if it is a bibliographic tool that would be used for access to other materials.

  3. If a journal is interdisciplinary, perhaps more than one bibliographer could contribute towards the cost.

  4. Sometimes, the Faculty Director, Collection Development, may have funds for one-time purchases, such as back files.
  5. A requested database could be a consortial purchase. Discuss such a request with the Electronics Resources Librarian.


Online serials which have free access can also be valuable sources for a discipline. A bibliographer may request that a free online journal have a record in Chinook if it would be of benefit to the department. Contact the staff member in Serials in charge of managing online records.