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UMGC Library Electronic Resources Collection Development Plan


The UMGC Library ("the Library") provides access to electronic resources (research databases) to current UMGC students, faculty, and staff. Development of the electronic resources collection is concentrated on higher education, online education, technology, and instructional and adult/continuing education issues, as governed by the Library’s mission of providing extensive online academic and scholarly resources not otherwise accessible for free online as well as user-centered services.

  • Mission for electronic resources collection development
    Strategically move toward the future of library content by providing access to both free open access content and selected licensed research databases needed to support the curriculum while also containing costs and allowing the least restrictive DRM access possible.
  • Types of electronic resources collected
    Electronic resources refer to materials that require computer access, including both desktop, laptop, and mobile devices, and that are typically accessed via the Internet.  Electronic resources include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Databases
    • E-Journals
    • Ebooks
    • Open access resources
    • Image Collections
    • Streaming audio and video
  • Collecting levels
    UMGC collects electronic resources to support the curriculum needs of the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology, as well as of the university worldwide.

Guiding strategies

The Library centralizes our electronic resources collection development strategic planning in order to more effectively coordinate and organize evaluation, operations, and procurement, utilizing the following guidelines.

  • Continually evaluate licensed research databases to contain cost increases, working closely with the Schools and academic programs to set priorities and actively manage resources.
  • Analyze usage patterns to monitor the use of resources to inform decisions about ongoing needs and discontinuation of resources as warranted.
  • Prioritize the incorporation of open access resources and indexes into search interfaces and subject guides.
  • Further develop internal electronic resources management processes and tools for maximum efficiency in managing resources.
  • Leverage consortial partnerships/participation and vendor negotiations to the fullest extent to ensure ongoing sustainability.

Guiding principles

  • Identification of new and upgraded electronic resources
    UMGC may identify electronic resources for acquisition through any or all of the following means.
    • University System of Maryland & Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) consortial recommendations
    • Faculty, student, Library staff, and UMGC staff recommendations
    • Professional interaction (conferences, listservs)
    • Library-related publications
    • Vendor notifications
    • Library reference interactions with students and faculty
    • Library instruction
    • UMGC proposals for new programs
  • Selection criteria for all electronic resources
    The following minimum selection criteria are utilized for current, upgraded, and new electronic resources.
    • What is the availability of full text?
    • Is the electronic resources Find It and/or OneSearch enabled?
    • Does the interface provide ease of searching?
    • What is unique about the interface?
    • What are the disciplines supported?
    • For current subscriptions, what is the impact of dropping?
    • What are other factors?
    • What are the subjects covered?

Open access collection development

The Library engages in open access electronic resources collection development in the following ways.

  • The Library partners and collaborates closely with Learning Design & Solutions, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology, and other stakeholders in the development of open educational resources (OERs) and course material.
  • The Library curates OERs, including journals, scholarly articles, books, and other electronic proprietary and open access resources.
  • The Library identifies subject-specific and general-purpose OER collections to include in each of our online Subject Guides.
  • The Library disseminates knowledge about OERs by providing educational resources and pursuing other initiatives in collaboration with Faculty Development and other departments.

Analysis of electronic resources – current, upgraded, and new

The Library will analyze available statistics from the discovery system, SFX, EZproxy, and vendor statistics, as applicable, in order to determine usage over time.

Procedures for identification, evaluation, and selection of current and new electronic resources

The following procedures are guidelines for the evaluation of new or upgraded electronic resources.

  • Participants
    Library staff and UMGC collegiate faculty and staff participate in the process.
  • Timeline
    Information is gathered each calendar year and evaluation at the Library annual evaluation meeting(s) in the early spring.
  • Process
    Library staff meet once or twice each year to fully review suggested new or upgraded and current electronic resources. The electronic resources staff provide trial, pricing, and fact sheets during the evaluation process for new electronic and updated information for current electronic resources, as needed. Library liaisons may also reach out to program chairs and other faculty/administrators for their input.

Licensing procedures

The following license procedures are guidelines when negotiating and executing new and amended license agreements for electronic resources.

  • USM procurement guidelines, according to purchase order terms and conditions.
  • ADA compliance guidelines, as provided by the University System of Maryland (USM) in April 2017.
  • Negotiating cost over a one-year or longer term.
  • Negotiating the term of an agreement to leverage the advantages of annual inflation and other annual costs, as applicable.
  • Negotiating the most available access to electronic resources.
  • Review the practicality of enforcing terms and conditions during negotiations and how to apply after the agreement is executed..
  • The electronic resources staff will do a due diligence of the agreement terms and conditions, and post the appropriate terms and conditions on the Library site, as required.
  • The electronic resources staff will ask the Library staff for assessments of the terms and conditions, as required.

Preservation and maintenance

The Library electronic resources and access staff seek to preserve and maintain access to electronic resources, as provided by vendors for current subscriptions, by timely following and resolving issues and monitoring changes to interfaces.


The Library staff strive to maintain secure authentication to electronic resources subscriptions, as required by UMGC processes and procedures and vendor terms and conditions in license agreements.