Approval and Profile Plan Materials

The library acquires information resources on profiled and approval plans from library materials vendors YBP and Coutts. Materials are sent to the library from these vendors on the basis of mutually agreed upon profiles of the library’s information needs. Materials which do not conform to the library’s collection-related goals and policies are returned to the vendor.

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Author/Publishing Services and Fees

Altmetrics services – Commercial altmetric software and services can help track the impact of both traditionally-published or non-traditional published materials. Some online resources subscribed by the library provide embedded altmetric data.

Author publishing fees – The library does not pay publishing fees for authors, including those which may allow an author’s work to be published on an “open access” basis. The library encourages authors to publish in open access journals, or if this is not possible, to secure and retain their rights through use of a contract addendum such as that created by SPARC, which may allow deposit of an open access version of the publication in UMaine’s Digital Commons.

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) – DOIs are unique character strings that form persistent links to online publications. Most commercial publishers assign DOIs to their e-journal and e-book content when it is published online. Some citation styles require inclusion of a DOI, if one exists. Some altmetrics services track social media and other publication impact data through DOIs. In the University of Maine’s Digital Commons (, certain types of content (e.g. journals) are eligible for the Publishing Services program, which provides services such as DOIs, indexing help, and archiving for an additional annual fee. Library staff can provide Digital Commons journal editors with contact information for Digital Commons Publishing Services if they wish to purchase these added services.

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Blanket Order Plans and Association Memberships

The library has established blanket order and membership plans with a number of publishers and associations. Under these plans all materials published or issued by these publishers within pre-defined collections or parameters are automatically sent to the library. In most cases these materials are not returnable. However, only those materials which are appropriate to the library’s collection-related goals and policies are added to the library collection.

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Client Software

In general, the library does not acquire or license client application software programs for personal, mobile phones, classroom, course, or lab use. Examples include but are not limited to word processing, spreadsheet, bibliographic citation management, simulation, game, media playback, and student/teacher test or utility programs. Faculty and departments may complete the UMaine Classroom/Lab Software Request form to engage with IT about software licensing and management.

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Cooperative Collection-building

In order to fulfill its mission, the library participates in cooperative collection-building efforts with other libraries within the University of Maine System and within the state, at the discretion of the Dean of Libraries, the Head of Special Collections, and the Head of Collection Services. It also participates in cooperative buying consortiums (generally for electronic resources) which benefit all members in building better collections, through negotiated price discounts and access to a greater range of titles. However, the library’s collections (including donated gift materials and withdrawals), staff time, and services are not used to fulfill the collection missions of other institutions, such as foreign or domestic libraries that put out calls for new or discarded materials, unless approved by the Dean of Libraries.

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Dissertations and Theses

The University Archives collection in the library’s Special Collections Department houses doctoral dissertations written at the University of Maine, as well as theses required by University of Maine masters and honors programs. With the permission of the student and the Graduate School, the library adds digital copies of theses received, or scans print copies and makes these available in digital format, restricted to University of Maine authorized users.

The library annually reviews lists of new doctoral dissertations from other universities on the subjects of Maine and Atlantic Canada. Selected titles are acquired with Special Collections or Canadian Collection funds, and occasionally funds allocated to departments. The preferred format for such acquisitions is PDF files, so that the documents can be archived on library servers and made available online via URSUS to authorized users. The library does not usually acquire masters’ theses written at other institutions.

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Duplicate Copies

In order to maximize the breadth of subjects included in the collection and make the best use of limited funding, the library usually does not acquire duplicate or multiple copies of materials. The following exceptions are made:

1. Basic reference materials needed at the Fogler and Darling Center Libraries may be purchased in duplicate. Online format will be considered as appropriate.

2. Duplicate materials needed for the efficient operation of the library will be acquired and housed in appropriate library offices or departments. Online format will be considered as appropriate.

3. Duplicate materials received as gifts may be added to the collection at the discretion of the responsible librarians, often based on circulation statistics or status of the first copy (e.g. “library use only”) .

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The library participates in exchange programs as staff time permits. At present, the library receives a number of journals from other universities and associations in exchange for materials published and distributed by the University. In most cases University of Maine materials are sent to these exchange partners directly from other offices on campus. One exception to this is the library’s exchange with the National Library of Canada (NLC) whereby NLC supports a number of the library’s subscriptions to Canadian journals. In exchange, copies of titles issued by the University of Maine Press are sent to NLC by the library. Only those materials acquired through exchange which conform to the library’s collection development policies will be added to the collection.

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Foreign Language Materials

Priority is placed on acquiring materials in languages taught as part of the University’s curriculum and in those languages important to the literatures of the disciplines in which graduate programs are offered and those in which faculty are conducting research. The library does not restrict the acquisition of information resources by language.

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Interlibrary Loan-requested Material

Monographs requested on Interlibrary Loan by University of Maine students, staff, and faculty may be reviewed for purchase consideration by the librarian subject liaisons. (No personal data is available when reviewed.) Resources requested through the URSUS Requestor Function and MaineCat are not reviewed for purchase.

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Juvenile Materials

The library acquires juvenile fiction and non-fiction in support of the curriculum of the College of Education and Human Development. These juvenile materials are housed in the Learning Materials Collection, which has a separate collection policy. Juvenile materials related to the state are acquired for the non-circulating Maine Collection in Special Collections.

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Most media content (music, audio, video) is purchased on a title-by-title basis to support curricular needs. Films requested for purchase/lease must by listed on a syllabus and integral to the work of the course. When possible, the library will purchase a lower-cost option without public performance rights, which are not needed for use in the classroom setting. Orders for films should be accompanied by a syllabus and submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the course takes place.

Due to the high cost of library purchase/lease of many educational and documentary films, the library does not purchase/lease films or public performance rights for campus showings, film festivals, student events, or individual research projects. The library does not attempt to purchase/lease for a course new films that are still on a show circuit and not yet officially available to institutions.

The preferred format for individual film and video purchases over $100 is streaming, via one of the major vendors that provides film resources and accompanying management tools to libraries (e.g. Kanopy, Docuseek, Swank, Alexander Street Press, InfobaseLearning). Streaming format allows for 24/7 access by unlimited simultaneous users, and supports both online and face-to-face course offerings.

Less costly music, audio, and film resources are purchased on CD and DVD. If material is only available on audiocassette or VHS cassette, but required for a course, it will be acquired at the discretion of the Collection Services librarian. The library does not purchase or add gifts of LPs to its collection unless the content is appropriate to the Maine Collection and is unavailable on CD or DVD.

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Although paper or online formats are generally preferred, the library may acquire materials in microform under one or more of the following conditions:

  • The information resource is not available in paper or online
  • Cost considerations prohibit the acquisition of the paper or online form of the resource
  • Space considerations prohibit the acquisition of the paper form of the resource

Only those microformats compatible with library-owned hardware and storage facilities will be acquired.

The library currently acquires microfilm and microfiche. Titles which have not been previously acquired in microformat are acquired on microfiche. Titles not available in fiche format, or those previously acquired on film, will be acquired on film. Vesicular or diazo film and fiche will be acquired unless the resource is acquired for archival purposes. Only materials related to Maine and other Special Collections materials are considered archival and will be purchased on silver nitrate film.


The preferred format is first or second generation, or 4″ x 6 ” or 11mm x 15mm, positive microfiche. For text, a reduction rate of 24x is preferred. Higher magnifications, up to 48x, are acceptable for computer output microfiche, lists and other tables of data.


The preferred format is 35mm or 16mm positive film on 3″ diameter reels.

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Online Resources

Access to resources in online format makes them more widely available. Benefits include remote access from outside the library and from off-campus; 24/7 access; and, in some cases, access for an unlimited number of simultaneous users. Online resources may be purchased, subscribed, open access, or library-created. The library provides access to online resources as funding allows in all subject disciplines. Priority is given to those titles for which a substantial amount of use can be predicted.

Journals: In Fall 2008, the Faculty Senate approved the transition of journals from print to online-only format, in cases where post-cancellation archival access to the electronic journals is assured by the library’s participation in Portico or by publisher contracts.

Books: The library purchases most e-books on a case-by-case basis, since they may be more expensive than their print counterparts, or require a subscription rather than a one-time cost.

Indexes and databases: Important databases that provide indexing, abstracts, and/or full text content for journal and other literature are subscribed.

Archival materials: Fogler Library digitizes its own collections and provides a platform for the University of Maine faculty and units to do the same via the University of Maine’s Digital Commons institutional repository.

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Out-of-Print Materials

Out-of-print materials are purchased if readily available at a reasonable cost for the Maine and Canadian collections, as well as the general collection or Reserve. The library may choose to add links to free, stable, online versions of out-of-print books and serials if available, in order to increase user access and reduce expense.

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Replacements are acquired, as funding permits, for those materials that are missing from the collections, provided they are determined to have relevance to the curriculum and/or long term research importance. Materials which are damaged beyond repair and those which are reported lost by patrons are also considered for replacement as soon as they are so identified. Long-overdue materials and those which have been identified by staff and users as “Lost” or “On Search” are considered for replacement after several end-of-semester searches for them have been conducted.

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The library does not purchase reprints of resources currently available in the collection.

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Reserve Materials

Items requested for course Reserve that are already owned by the library are removed from the stacks and placed on reserve for the semester. If a title is not already owned, the library acquires one copy for Reserve, except for required textbooks. Cost of reserve materials is charged to the library budget allocation for the requesting faculty member’s department. The library expedites acquisition of Reserve materials. The library may elect to purchase an e-book rather than a print copy for reserve in order to improve access and eliminate non-returns of reserve materials.

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Retention of Materials

In general, the library does not discard materials that have been acquired for the collection. However, selective withdrawals or storage of collections may be advisable in certain circumstances. Final decisions on retention, withdrawal, or storage of materials in the collection are made by the head of the Collection Services Department, in consultation with librarians and faculty as appropriate. Decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • Anticipated long-term research value
  • Unnecessary duplicate copies
  • Stable online availability of purchased content
  • Availability of storage or shelving space
  • Physical condition

Materials for which a withdrawal decision has been made will be discarded. They will not be re-sold, donated to other libraries, or saved and given to individuals, departments, or other entities. Materials for which a storage decision has been made will continue to have bibliographic representation in URSUS, with updated location and status fields.

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Requests and suggestions for new journal and database subscriptions are encouraged and accepted from all librarians, faculty, staff and students. The library maintains a spreadsheet of all such requests, including cost estimates. However, the library initiates new subscriptions only during years when funding is added to the base budget for this purpose, or is available through other means within the existing budget. When such funding becomes available, titles that have been requested are considered for purchase.

New subscriptions may be initiated by the Collection Services Head during years when funding has not been appropriated for this purpose under special circumstances. New subscriptions may be added to the collection when journals split, merge or cease publication. In addition, subscriptions are initiated to journals about or published in Maine as the library becomes aware of them. Changes in pricing structures, consortia licensing, and association membership offers may also lead to the addition of new serials to the collection. Finally, upon request the library will consider subscriptions to journals edited by members of the University faculty, professional and administrative staff, if funding is available.

Subscriptions to online indexes and abstracts or full-text databases are considered on a title by title basis by the Collection Services Head in consultation with the Reference Department Head or the Science & Engineering Center Head, as appropriate.

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In general, the Library does not purchase course-required textbooks for the collection or for reserve. The library does not have adequate funding to purchase both textbooks and other materials such as research monographs, trade titles, etc. in most subject areas. Textbooks are usually used for a short period of time only by those students enrolled in a course, and frequent textbook updates and revisions require regular costly replacements. The library will place personal copies of textbooks on reserve at the owner’s risk, or catalog and place on reserve donated copies.

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Trials to Online Resources

The library may opt to trial selected online resources at the discretion of the Head of Collection Services and either the Reference or Science & Engineering Department head. Trials represent a substantial investment of staff time. The library does not add trials to its web site if either of the following circumstances apply: unsolicited publisher advertisement in the form of a free trial; patron request for a trial needed to complete their own research. The library may utilize trials in the following circumstances, among others: need to compare two or more similar databases in order to make a purchase or subscription decision; need to evaluate an important print resource that has been digitized in order to consider switching format of a subscription; need to review a database deemed critical to support of curriculum or research, regardless of immediate funding availability.

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For more information, please contact:
Deborah Rollins, Head, Collection Services
(207) 581-1659 or drollins [at] maine [dot] edu