The Library has an important role to play which is to provide an effective combination of print and electronic resources, and the integration of the use of these resources in support of teaching, learning and research at the University. The successful collection development will reflect academic priorities already established at the university level. The Library is committed to taking a leadership role in collaborating with academic departments in providing electronic resources to support instruction and research.


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for selection and deselection, review and approval, acquisition and preservation of electronic resources. By developing clear guidelines and processes, it will ensure that electronic resources within the Library are developed with due to consideration of cost, technical feasibility, licensing, access and preservation requirements, and constraints.


“Electronic resources” refer to those materials that require computer access, whether through a personal computer, mainframe, or handheld mobile devices. They may either be accessed remotely via the Internet or locally. This policy covers both free Internet resources and electronic resources subscribed or licensed by the Library from commercial sources, non-profit organizations, professional societies or any external institutions. Some of the most frequently encountered types are:

  • E-journals

  • E-books(E-textbook is out of the scope as it shall be included in textbook service. It is accessible by user code which is valid within a certain period.)

  • Full-text (aggregated) databases

  • Indexing and abstracting databases

  • Reference databases (biographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc.)

  • Numeric and statistical databases

  • E-images

  • E-audio/visual resources

This policy addresses the selection for acquisition or access of the common types above. With regards to the application software, it is within the portfolio of Academic IT Advisory Group.

Collection and Spending Priorities

The budget available for the purchase of library resource is allocated and approved before the start of financial year. No other funds are available with the library budget for library resources. This inevitably means that the Library is unable to purchase all of the materials that users would like to propose. On the other hand, no library could afford to be self-sufficient in the era of information overload.

With the context of current levels of budget, the emphasis is upon renewing and purchasing electronic resources to support University’s learning, teaching and research. Within this focus, the following priorities have been established:

  • Resources support study and teaching in primary areas of emphasis within the university curriculum;

  • Resources in subject areas of significance with the university curriculum;

  • Simulations or game-like resources when the primary intent of these simulations is educational and the material is focused on some aspect of university curriculum;

  • Resources that have been identified as being required to support new programs;

  • General reference works and bibliographic tools;

  • Sources of basic or core information in subject fields not represented in the university curriculum; and resources that support faculty and advanced student research.

Items exclusively requested by individuals are usually obtained via interlibrary loan. Moreover, academic staff and postgraduate students may use their authorized account to access the digital collections of the University of Liverpool Library. Academic staff may consider applying for funds from the University Research Development Fund (RDF) as well as many external funds to purchase specific resources targeted for individual research.

If an individual department requests for resources that are exclusively used for a narrow branch of a subject area within the department, the collaboration mode may apply in which the Library and the individual department need to share the cost of the purchase.   

For the detailed Library Digital Collection Development Strategy, please refer to: XJTLU Library Electronic Resources Collection Development and Management Policy.