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Policies and documents

Information Resources Management and Access Policy

Information Learning Services (ILS) provides collections of information resources relevant to learning, teaching and research in the University.

Our aim is to manage the collections dynamically in response to user need and requirements. Policy for managing the collections is aligned to ILS's Strategic Plan 2015-2020.

This document clarifies the policy underpinning the management of library collections for the benefit of University staff, students and other users of the collections.

1. Selection and Acquisition

1.1 Selection

The selection of material is undertaken in partnership with the Schools. Each School has a designated Academic Liaison Librarian (or librarians) who ensures that the collection is relevant to the current and anticipated teaching and research needs of their programmes. Each School must ensure that they supply their Academic Liaison Librarian with full and accurate information regarding their requirements.

Purchase suggestions are welcome from all members of the University. However constraints on budget and format may require further discussion between the School and Academic Liaison Librarian before purchases can be made.

ILS selects material in the most appropriate format. However, the preferred format is electronic and this will be purchased wherever possible. When choosing a format, ILS will take into account issues of accessibility, quality, perpetual access, cost and suitability.

ILS has the strategic aim of providing 70% of essential reading on reading lists in electronic format by 2020.

1.2 Acquisition

ILS purchases material in the most appropriate and cost-effective way to support teaching, learning and research:

Material to support taught courses

ILS purchases material to support taught courses according to principles set out in our Reading Resources Strategy. Further details of this strategy are available on the ILS web pages.

ILS strategy favours the purchase of electronic formats. Wherever possible, digital content will be purchased in a format that allows concurrent user access; the purchase of single user license items will be permitted but the constraints of such licences should be recognised when planning modules. Ideally, single user license items should not be selected for Essential Reading; however, this should be discussed with your Academic Liaison Librarian.

In order for material to be supplied in a timely manner, academic staff should provide Information Learning Services with updated reading lists well in advance of the start of a module and no later than 8 weeks prior to the start of teaching.

When planning a new programme or module, Academic Liaison Librarians should be consulted as early as possible. Reading lists for programme or module validation should be submitted via Your Reading Lists. Academic staff should contact their Academic Liaison to ensure that they have access to Your Reading Lists and editing rights for their lists.


ILS policy is to acquire electronic access to journals, rather than print. Many electronic journals are purchased as part of bundles or packages as these generally represent the best value for money. Journal usage is monitored and subscriptions are reviewed on a regular basis.

Journal subscriptions generally run from January to December each year. Therefore, any decisions to acquire or cancel titles need to be taken well in advance. When planning a new programme or module, Schools should take into account the length of time required before a subscription can commence and the timing of the University’s Business Planning cycle. Full details of access to all current journal titles are available on Journals A-Z on the Student pages. Alternatively, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Research Material

Where possible, ILS will purchase material to complement existing collections. However the Interlibrary Loans service will be the preferred source for material that is required for individual research.

ILS will collect, publish and preserve the University’s research outputs by maintaining RaY, the institutional open-access repository.

Inter-Library Loan service

The Inter-Library Loan service supplements ILS by borrowing material from other libraries, or obtaining copies of journal articles.

ILS provides unlimited and free, at point of request, Interlibrary Loans to University members. However, there is a limit of 20 active ILLs on a user’s library account at any one time.


ILS has benefited from donations of individual items and collections in the past. We welcome donations which are related to current and continuing teaching programmes or enhance key research areas. We normally request potential donors to supply lists of items to ILS. If donations are accepted, ILS reserves the right to determine location and other considerations related to use or disposal. Donations which do not meet the principles of the Information Resource and Management Policy will not be accepted. ILS will not accept items/collections on a loan basis.

2. Information Resource Management

Course materials

Under the Reading Resources Strategy, ILS will purchase online access to, or sufficient copies of, all items considered to be Essential Reading. One copy of each item considered to be Further Reading will be purchased where budget constraints permit. Any items which are considered to be a Set Text will not be purchased by ILS and students should be asked to purchase copies.

Where no electronic version of a reading list item is available, staff may place a scanning request in compliance with current copyright legislation.

Usage and availability of stock will be maximised through use of the Quick Access Texts collection, varying loan periods, the reservations system and multicopy purchase (including electronic books). One copy of each print title regarded as Essential Reading will be held for reference use only in Quick Access Texts.

Stock editing

Stock editing is an essential part of ILS’s Information Resource Management and Access Policy. Stock is reviewed on a regular and ongoing basis to ensure that space in the Fountains Learning Centre is managed effectively. The removal of underused, out of date and superseded items from the shelves provides space for new and relevant material.


ILS will ensure that items added to the collections are protected. Materials will be secured using RFID and paperback items will be protected with reinforced covers. Damaged items may be repaired or replaced depending on cost-effectiveness and user need.

Theses and dissertations

Theses submitted under York St John University regulations should be submitted to the Research Degree Submission Moodle site in electronic format as a PDF document, in accordance with the requirements set out in the University's Research Degree Documents. ILS will upload e-theses to the institutional repository (RaY) following approval by the Board of Examiners.

Students submitting a thesis under Leeds University regulations should adhere to the regulations set out in the respective documents.

Dissertations completed as part of undergraduate or taught masters are not held by ILS.

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