Journal Collection Policy

Journal Collection Management Policy: Adding New Journal Subscriptions & Standing Orders

The Stewart Library’s journal collection is developed and maintained to support, in so far as existing resources allow, the instructional and research needs of the university community. Because subscriptions, either for journals or standing orders, require an ongoing commitment of funds, the selection and approval process needs to be consultive and collegial. The guidelines listed below outline the process for adding new subscriptions.

The subject librarian, in consultation with faculty, will review requests from her/his area for new journal titles, or requests to substitute a new title for a title the library currently subscribes to, but which has show low use, or is perceived to be of lesser value in meeting current instructional or research needs. Any new subscription, whether requested by a faculty member or a subject librarian, should be discussed with the Collection Management Team, either at a team meeting or by email. If the item requested is a reference source, it should also be discussed with the Head of Reference and the Reference Team, either at a team meeting or by email.


The purpose of discussing subscriptions and standing orders with the team is to:

  • Inform and educate team members about resources in the areas for which you collect.
  • Reach consensus on the commitment of ongoing funds.

Once there is consensus to add the new subscription or standing order, the request should be forwarded to the University Librarian. Assuming funds are available, the UL will approve the request, designate the account to which the item is to be charged, and forward the approved request to the Bibliographic Services Librarian for ordering.

While it is assumed that the new subscription or standing order will be ongoing, periodicals or other serial publications may be canceled for a number of reasons:

  • Fiscal considerations.
  • Change in or discontinuance of the program it supports.
  • Lower than anticipated use.
  • Recommendation of faculty members, departments, or subject librarian.
  • Content or format changes which make it inappropriate for inclusion in the collection.
  • Appearance of an alternative form of the publication or information becoming available and preferable.

Should the bibliographer, in consultation with the requesting faculty member and/or department, decide for any reason to cancel the title, the consultive process outlined above should be followed. Assuming there are not any compelling objections, the bibliographer will send an email to the Bibliographic Services Librarian requesting that the title be canceled.


Retention of Periodicals.

Periodicals which have been recommended for cancelation by faculty members or departments may be retained at the discretion of the librarians if available data or reference experience indicates that it is a “core” title that needs to be retained.

(Reviewed & Revised 2003)