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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
ECONOMICS

Prepared by David McChesney, DATE: Fall 2001
DRAFT for review by the Economics Department

Purpose:

The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999, and the FY 2003 update, Library Collecting for a Digital Age: An FY 2003 Update to Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market.

Contents:

  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditures for Economics (2000/01)
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

The Economics Department offers graduate programs for work through the Ph.D. degree as well as an undergraduate major in economics.

Areas of focus within the department programs include:
Graduate Studies: Ph.D. and Masters students take core courses in Econometrics, History of Economic Thought, Mathematical Economics and Statistics, and Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory. Additionally, Ph.D. students take field courses in any of the following: (1) Industrial Organization, (2) International Economics, (3) Macroeconomics and Money, and (4) Public Economics. Students complete their program of study with field courses from the wide array offered by the department, including: Development Economics, Economic History, Environmental Economics, Health Economics, Labor Economics, Law and Economics, Productivity Analysis, Transitional Economics and Urban and Regional Economics.

Undergraduate Studies: Students majoring in Economics are expected to get a grounding in basic principles and methods of analysis in Economics. Working competence is expected in several specialized fields like industrial organization, law-and-economics, money and banking, international trade and finance, public finance, comparative economic systems, labor economics, health economics, urban and regional economics, and economic development. Occasionally, topical courses like economics of technology or international lending are offered. Majors can supplement their programs with courses in agricultural economics, business economics or economic geography.

Storrs faculty and enrollment (Fall 2000)

Faculty: 23
Undergraduates: 188 and increasing
Graduate Students M.A.: 21
Graduate Students Ph.D.: 62

Enrollment at the regional campuses is minimal. The courses offered are lower division undergraduate economics courses (Econ 111, 112 and occasionally a 200 level course). All except Stamford students have to come to Storrs to finish their Economics degree. Stamford campus offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

II. Collections Budget Expenditures for Economics (2000/01)

Total Allocation: $55,000.00
Typical breakdown: Journals, $45,500.00 ; Books: $9,500.00

Networked Services:
Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library's Networked Services budget (not reflected in the above figures) which primarily (or in some cases significantly) support research in Economics include: ECONLIT, ABI INFORM GLOBAL, Dow Jones Interactive, Academic Universe, JSTOR (For a more complete list consult the Economics Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/econ.htm).

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature
    Economics relies more heavily on journal literature than information produced in monographic form. Additionally, there will be an increasing need for electronic data that can be downloaded and manipulated with statistical software.
  2. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      Resources are selected based on their relevance to instruction and current research in the fields of economics taught in the department (see section I., Characteristics of the Community).

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs
        The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler to supply the bulk of new monographs. Books are received based on a profile that is broad in coverage for economics and notify slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest. Some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. Publishers who do not to discount to Yankee or produce less than five titles a year are not covered. In addition, catalogs from publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for other materials that might be added to the collections. Specific suggestions from library users, including students and faculty, are always given full consideration.

        Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals, software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. Dissertations must be specifically requested for purchased. Economics faculty has made a special request for on going acquisition of selected Handbooks in Economics by Elsevier for faculty and graduate student research in all relevant areas of Economics. These handbooks are expected to be useful for up to 5-10 years after publication.

      2. Journals
        Journals purchase will also focus on English language materials. Coverage from other countries and world areas in the vernacular will depend on intensity of University area study programs. New journal subscriptions in economics are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. We require special justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles. Also, addition of new titles will likely require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles. (See section Access Development, Acquisition Strategies: Electronic Journals for discussion of electronic journals).
      3. Other media
        Some modest collecting of videos to support the teaching needs of Economics has occurred in recent years. We will need to monitor expenditures in this area as they encroach on the monograph's budgets.
  3. Access Development

    In order to assist Economics researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan.

    1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic utilities
      The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to Economics (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective.

    2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

      User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.

      We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.

      We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.

      One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.

      Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, ".uconn.edu".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources
      The Economic Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for Economics including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: /subjectareas/econ.htm. The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites which should be listed.
    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan
      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

      For the period of June 1999 through February 2000 DD/ILL filled about 12,906 photocopy requests and 4646 book/monograph loan requests.

      Transactions for Economics faculty:
      Total for period 6/99-2/2000: 301 transactions.
      Breakdown: Journal requests, 61 faculty, 226 graduate students ; Monographs, 4 faculty, 10 graduate students.

    5. Consortium Agreements
      We can talk about the above-mentioned NERL agreements, as well as others in this section possibily??

IV. Emerging Choices


Digital Data
There will be an increasing need for electronic data that can be downloaded and manipulated with statistical software as faculty and graduate students concentrate their research on comparative studies between countries and groups of countries such as G7, OECD, and developing countries. The Library sees a need to move in this direction and will work with faculty and graduate students in Economics to identify, evaluate, and consider acquisition of these digital products. However, we will need to closely monitor expenditures on digital data so as not to encroach too deeply on the monographs budgets.

Electronic journals
In the field of Economics, which relies more heavily on journal literature, we will continue to rely heavily on document delivery. Networked indexing and abstracting sources such as ECONLIT, makes it easier for us to identify needed materials. We will need to also continue to monitor the journals budget. As we have already done in the recent past, we may need to continue to make choices to rely exclusively on electronic versions of some journals.

The future of collecting to support Economics in a changing information economy
The library anticipates both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services. We do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing our share of its limited resources. We hope for a continuation of our current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity; will play a role in budget decision-making.

The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

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