Collection Development Policy


The OHSU Library collection promotes excellence in the teaching, research, clinical care and outreach programs of Oregon Health & Science University by providing information that reflects the current state of knowledge and practice in the health, biomedical, and selected engineering sciences.

This Policy identifies the subjects, formats and quality of materials that best serve the faculty, staff and students of OHSU. It considers the needs of researchers, health care practitioners, students, hospitals, libraries and citizens of Oregon.

The Marquam Hill Health Sciences Library includes the dental collection formerly housed at the School of Dentistry. The Isabel McDonald Library of the Oregon National Primate Center (ONPRC) is located on the OHSU West Campus.

The Main Library houses medical, nursing, dental science, and allied health materials, as well as the history of dentistry collection and a multidisciplinary collection of materials on child development and developmental disabilities. The History of Medicine and Pacific Northwest Archives collections are located in the Auditorium Building. The Isabel McDonald Library holds current and historical works on primatology.  Storage facilities located on the Marquam Hill Campus contain historical materials from the collections.

Funding for acquisitions is derived from the Libraries' collection budget and through shared arrangements within the University and with external partners.

Collection Development Committee

The Collection Development Committee, (CDC), is charged with determining selection criteria of library materials that will best serve the needs of the OHSU community and ensure the optimal expenditure of collection funding.

The Committee performs an annual review of journal subscriptions, adjusts policies on acquisition, and solicits faculty advisement on collection needs. The Committee participates with regional consortia in resource sharing activities.

The Committee participates with regional consortia in resource sharing activities. The CDC is comprised of the Collection Development Librarian as Chair, and representatives from the Acquisitions, Access Services Department, Research and Reference Department, Systems and Cataloging, Isabel MacDonald Library, and other representative(s), as appointed.

  • E-book subcommittee is comprised of representatives from Acquisitions, Research and Reference, and Systems and Cataloging Departments. The Chair of the Collection Development Committee leads subcommittee.
  • Serials Team is comprised of representatives from Access Services, Electronic Collections, Print serials and Collection Development. The Chair of the Collection Development Committee leads this team.
  • Database subcommittee is the Research and Reference Department.

Collection Assessment

 The Main Library is a medium-sized academic health sciences library. Its collection has been assessed as a research level collection as defined by The Pacific Northwest Conspectus.

"Research Level. A collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is retained for historical research."

Selection Criteria

  • Subjects:
  • Subject areass and focus appropriate for research, instructional and clinical support of OHSU community.
  • Subject areas and focus to promote public health.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to suggest materials to purchase or subject areas in which to collect.
  • Scope:
  • Journals, monographs and electronic resources reporting research and advances in basic sciences, relevant engineering disciplines, medicine, nursing and dentistry.
  • Texts and reference works.
  • English language publications.
  • Older materials, if requested by faculty or staff, or, if the information is of historical or lasting reference value.
  • Need:
  • Journals requested by members of OHSU community.
  • ISI Citation report listing journals authored and cited by OHSU faculty.
  • Projected coverage for new or existing program(s).
  • Interlibrary loan and in-house print and electronic usage reports.
  • Indexed:
  • Indexed in online science and biomedical bibliographic databases.
  • Quality:
  • Credentials of the author or editor.
  • Publication's professional society affiliation.
  • Currency of references.
  • Quality of graphics.
  • Formats:
  • Electronic and print journals, monographs, texts and reference works.
  • Multimedia materials supported by the Library's audiovisual and computer hardware.
  • Annual reports, fiction, microforms and models are excluded.
  • License:
  • The Library will negotiate and comply with vendor licensing agreements for electronic resources.
  • The Library will promote compliance with licensing agreements among its users and among its staff.
  • Necessary details for this negotiation and compliance include consideration of the following:
    1. Definition of Authorized Users as full and part time faculty, students and staff affiliated with OHSU plus walk-in users physically present in the campus libraries.
    2. Off-campus access for Authorized users.
    3. Interlibrary loan rights.
    4. Search, copy, print and download and capabilities.
    5. Archival rights or perpetual access.
    6. Usage statistics.
  • Maintenance in print and electronic format:
  • Titles with very high full text downloads (over 30,000 per year).
  • Gift titles in the Struble Library collection.
  • Online only serials:
  • The electronic journal platform should be excellent, providing full-text and PDF format with high reliability.
  • The license needs to contain archival and interlibrary loan rights.
  • Usage statistics are required.
  • Free electronic journals

Management of free or open access electronic journals has been outsourced to EBSCO A to Z. Free electronic journals will only be added to the catalog with full or brief cataloging if they are part of one of the following collections:

  1. PubMed Central (Marc)
  2. BioMed Central (Marc)
  3. Free Access Journals Highwire Press (Brief ERM record)
  4. DOAJ (Brief ERM record)
  5. FreeMedicalJournals (Brief ERM record)
  6. Geneva Foundation Free Medical Journals (Brief ERM record)
  7. FreeFullText (Brief ERM record)
  • Electronic books:
  • E-books will be purchased if use of the print monographs is high, the print monograph has annual iterations (i.e. Lange series), or remote access is important.
  • E-books will be purchased when the electronic format improves search capabilities, provides more current updates or contains supplemental information not available in the print format.
  • E-book packages will be evaluated based on content of the titles.
  • Some duplicate purchase of e-books is allowed to provide access to Oregon Health Professionals and OHSU faculty, staff and students.
  • Availability of use statistics preferred.
  • Availability of funding
  • Recognition that development of new programs requires institutional commitment of new monies for support.
  • Reciprocal borrowing arrangements with:
  • Oregon Cascade Alliance members.
  • State of Oregon Libraries.
  • Portland Veteran's Affairs Medical Center Library.
  • Details on borrowing arrangements can be found at the Library's Web page on "Reciprocal agreements".
  • Cooperative Collection Development with:
  • Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of public and private institutions of higher education in the Northwest.
  • Oregon University System (OUS).


Subject Coverage from Main and ONPRC Libraries


Allied Health Family Medicine Nuclear Medicine
Alternative Medicine Gastroenterology Nursing
Anesthesiology Gerontology and Geriatrics Nutrition
Bacteriology Gynecology Obstetrics
Biochemistry Health Care Delivery Occupational Health
Bioethics Health Education Oncology
Biomedical Engineering Health Informatics Ophthalmology
Biomedical Statistics Health Professions Orthopedics
Biophysics Hematology Otorhinolaryngology
Biotechnology Histology Pain Management
Cardiovascular System History of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing Parasitology
Chronic Disease Hospital Administration Pediatrics
Clinical Pathology Human Anatomy Pharmacology
Communicable diseases Immunology Pharmacy
Computer Science Internal Medicine Physical Therapy
Consumer Health Managed Care Physiology
Critical Care Management in Science and Technology Preventive Medicine
Dental Hygiene Medical Genetics Primatology
Dentistry Medical Technology Psychology
Dermatology Medicine, Comparative Psychiatry
Developmental Disabilities Metabolic Diseases Public Health
Diagnostic Imaging Microbiology Radiology
Electrical Engineering Molecular Biology Rehabilitation Medicine
Embryology Nephrology Respiratory Medicine
Emergency Medicine Nervous System Rheumatology
Endocrinology Neurology Statistics
Environmental Engineering Neuropsychology Surgery
Epidemiology Urogenital System
Evidence-based Healthcare Veterinary Medicine


For information on the Library's donation policy, please see the following document, Books and Journals Donations Policy

Information on sponsoring a journal or database can be found at the Library's Web page, "Collections Sponsorship."


To keep the collection current and to maintain adequate shelf space for new acquisitions, out-of date, outworn, or damaged copies of materials will be weeded routinely. Material of historical, archival or reference value will be retained.  

Cooperative Resource Sharing Programs

The Library participates in resource sharing arrangements with other institutions and organizations to foster comprehensive coverage of core health sciences areas and minimize duplication. A description of current arrangements can be found at the Library's Web page, "Cooperative Resource Sharing."

Links to OHSU special collections