Collection Development Manual

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Library Collection Development Manual (CDM) provides guidelines for Library information resource management.


The purpose of the CDM is to:

  • outline the current principles and practices informing the selection, maintenance, access to, and deselection of information resources across all branch libraries
  • facilitate the development of QUT Library's collections in line with the University's strategic priorities
  • promote transparency and accountability by informing the wider QUT community, as well as colleagues from other libraries, about the management of the Library's information resources
  • facilitate co-operative collections management with other libraries and organisations
  • guide the curation of a collection that supports QUT's clients.


The CDM informs the Library staff involved in information resource management.


Award students: Students enrolled in QUT courses that lead to a degree, certificate or diploma.

Branch Libraries: QUT's three libraries: Gardens Point, Kelvin Grove, and Law.

Deselection: The regular removal of material from a collection to maintain the collection as active, relevant, and up to date. Deselection decisions consider the usage and intended scope of the collection, as well as financial and space constraints.

Information Access Team: The Library team responsible for facilitating access to and maximising the findability of the Library's information resources.

Information Resources Committee (IRC): The Library committee for planning and decision making on all selection, procurement, and management of the Library collections.

Liaison Librarians: Liaise between Faculties, Schools and Research Centres to ensure that the Library's collection meets the learning, teaching and research needs of the University.

Library Resource Services (LRS): Team responsible for the ordering, accessioning, digitisation of library information resources.

Manager, Library Resource Services (MLRS): Plans, leads, and manages the provision of, and access to, information resources to support the University's teaching, research, and service goals.

Manager, Library Service (MLS): Each Library (GP, KG and Law) has an MLS responsible for their campus Library, staff, services and resources.

Material: Books, journals, multimedia, maps, etc, in digital, print, or other formats.

Open Educational Resources (OERs): Educational materials which are licensed in ways that provide permissions for individuals and institutions to reuse, adapt and modify the materials.

QUT Bookshop Textbook Adoption Scheme: QUT Bookshop stocks prescribed textbooks, and some recommended books, for all units taught at QUT.

Re-housing: The relocation of physical material to the Library Store or another branch as circumstances require.

University Librarian (UL): Responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the QUT Library in support of the University's research, learning, and teaching priorities.


Role of the Library

The Library is committed to providing high quality, independent, client-focussed collections which support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University.

Selection and Acquisition

General Principles

  1. Selected resources meet the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University.
  2. The Library has an e-preferred collection management policy where feasible.
  3. Remote hosting (cloud) options for online resources are preferred over local hosting at QUT due to the benefits of efficiency and timely access to information.
  4. The Library avoids duplication of resources except in the case of high-use materials (textbooks).
  5. To maximise return on investment and to ensure that collections can be shared by all, School-based libraries are not supported.
  6. Where the collection does not meet the needs of clients the Library offers document delivery services.
  7. The Library regularly evaluates the collection, carrying out stocktake and deselection programs to ensure that its information resources continue to meet the University's current learning, teaching, and research requirements.
  8. Resources selected are in English, except for resources which support the teaching and learning of languages other than English.
  9. Liaison Librarians, in consultation with academics, propose new subscriptions for consideration by the Manager, Library Service and the Information Resources Committee.
  10. Current subscriptions are evaluated annually and may be deselected if usage is low and return on investment is poor.
  11. Gratis print subscriptions are endorsed by the appropriate Manager, Library Service.
  12. An appropriate balance between teaching and learning requirements, and research needs is maintained. Where possible, the Library supplements expenditure on its collections with funds provided from research infrastructure, bequests and endowments, and other forms of income.
  13. Given the finite space for physical collections, significant but lesser-used material is moved to the QUT Library Store. This material is available on demand.
  14. The QUT Digital Collections and the Law Library contain works of significant cultural and historical value, and therefore may not be subject to these General Principles.
  15. The Library is committed to ensuring that the personal information it holds is only used for authorised purposes and is protected according to recognised standards of information security.
  16. The Library is committed when collecting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion materials to prioritise works by authors from under-represented, minority, or marginalised groups. It recognises that items about the groups by non-group members may objectify the content.
  17. Works authored by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are retained if rare or local in nature, or of historic or social importance.

Library Resource Allocation

The Library Resource Allocation (LRA) funding model facilitates a standard level of base funding which enables adjustment in response to exchange rates, resource costs, and resource requirements. The LRA model allows the Library to maintain purchasing power and provide adequate information resources to meet the needs of the University community, in a financially sustainable manner.

The LRA is apportioned by the Library and managed by Library Resource Services and is approved early each year by the University Librarian. The budget period operates from January to December.

Core allocations are made for:

  • online and print subscriptions
  • one-off online and print purchases (e.g., books, multimedia)
  • document delivery.

Approximately 80% of the Library's acquisitions are published overseas, resulting in significant exposure to fluctuations in the currency market, particularly the US Dollar, the Euro, and the British Pound.

Online Access

The Library maximises access to online resources by:

  • preferencing IP address validation or user-based authentication methods whenever possible
  • negotiating licence and access conditions that permit all staff and award students access to the data in a timely manner and in a location of their choice (restricted online access may be considered where physical copies are not available)
  • ensuring the discoverability of its online resources via its web-scale discovery tool (Library Search) and by updating the links as required.

Note, students in non-award courses (e.g. professional and executive/continuing education/micro credentials courses such as QUTEx provides) have limited access to online resources.

Selection Process

Collection Package Purchases

Preference is given to large academic publishing packages, such as ScienceDirect, due to their value for money.

Client Acquisition Models

QUT Library supports the client driven acquisition of ebooks. The Library provides access to databases of academic ebooks where the acquisition of items is triggered through their use.

Individual Title Purchases

Individual titles are purchased through firm order.

By Request

In collaboration with academic staff, Liaison Librarians select material that supplements client-driven acquisition. Academic staff (and students) may contact their Liaison Librarian, or place requests via the Library's Feedback and Suggestions form, or email

QUT staff members requesting resources of which they are the creator and sole supplier, should seek their supervisor's accord as to the appropriateness of its use, and contact their Liaison Librarian to discuss any potential conflict of interest as per the MOPP Disclosure of interests - QUT Digital Workplace.


Donations should meet the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University. If any of the following apply, the donation will not be accepted:

  • The content is out of date (and the work has no historical value).
  • Later editions of the work are held.
  • The item is in poor condition.
  • For monographs, the title is already held in the collection in print or ebook format (additional copies may be accepted if the title is in high demand or is required at another branch).
  • For serial backsets, the issues are already held and/or the Library does not have a current subscription.
  • Shelf space is insufficient to accommodate the donated material.
  • The donor wishes to apply conditions (e.g. around use, housing, display or retention).

Scope of the Collections


If a title is available in both print and online format, the Library purchases the online version. The Library gives preference to the following types of ebooks:

  • web-based
  • covered by a site licence
  • purchased rather than leased.

Print is purchased for locations where access to the Internet is problematic, or where the requesting academic prefers print for quality, usability, or content reasons. Academics should contact their Liaison Librarian to make such requests.

Non-Book Physical Resources

The General Principles of selection and acquisition also apply to non-book physical resources.

These factors should be considered:

  • The licence agreement (if present) should permit adequate access.
  • In most cases, hardware to support the medium should be available within the Library or readily accessible to clients.
  • In most cases, hardware to support the medium should be commercially available and able to be purchased at a reasonable cost.
  • Formats appropriate for the local environment should be preferred.
  • In general, PC software is preferred to Apple Macintosh software.
  • Judgement is used when selecting material for which the technology has an uncertain lifespan, taking into consideration cost and potential use.


The Library gives preference to online access to journals over print format. Where possible, online journals are obtained under a site licence to allow access regardless of the client's location. Print titles are not duplicated across campuses unless justified by demand. Approval of new journals is determined by whether those resources support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University, and is subject to the availability of funds.

Open Access Journals

The Library makes Open Access journals discoverable through the Library Search which support the learning, teaching and research of the University.

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

The Library supports the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources. Published OERs are discoverable through the Library Search.


The Library licenses access to selected databases of aggregated online resources such as full-text journals, indexing and abstracting services, images, standards, and company and industry information. Usage is monitored on a regular basis. When usage shows a downward trend, Liaison Librarians, in conjunction with academics, review such resources for cancellation.


The Library collects and provides access to a wide range of multimedia for learning, teaching, and research purposes, where finances and licensing permit.

Television Programs

The Library gives preference to the use of commercial service providers such as EduTV, TV News, and ClickView for access to television programs and video-format content.

Online Resources - Licensed

The Library negotiates licensing agreements with data owners or providers. All agreements must be approved by the Manager, Library Resource Services, and signed on behalf of the University in accordance with university financial expenditure delegations. Site licences are preferred.

Reading Lists

The Library supports student outcomes by providing and supporting the use of Readings software (TALIS).

Unit coordinators create Reading Lists guided by their Liaison Librarian as required.

Required and recommended resources are made available via QUT Readings. QUT Readings includes content such as articles and ebook chapters, and selected past (QUT) examination papers.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Unit coordinators may make journal articles and book chapters available to their cohorts by adding these to QUT Readings. The following guidelines apply:

  • Preference is given to linking to existing licensed information resources rather than making a digital copy and storing locally.
  • When a licensed version or Open Access online version of the resource is not available, the QUT Readings team, where possible, provide a digitised version of the resource.
  • All copying must comply with the educational copying provisions of the Australian Copyright Act and the QUT MOPPper unit. The limits are:
    • Books: 1 chapter OR 10% (whichever is greater)
    • Hardcopy journals and newspapers: 1 article per issue OR 2 or more where on the same subject matter.

Past Examination Papers

The Library makes past exam papers from the previous five years available online (via QUT Readings) upon selective release by the Examinations Officer.

Course Reserve

High-demand material not suitable for addition to QUT Readings is housed in the Course Reserve Collection at each branch library, at the discretion of Liaison Librarians, and made available for short-term use to maximise access. The purchase and processing of this material is given the highest priority due to the intense demands made by clients at specific times.


The Library purchases prescribed and recommended textbooks, as identified through the QUT Bookshop Textbook Adoption Scheme, which is in turn informed by Faculties.

QUT Library does not provide set texts in quantities to meet all demand. Students with financial difficulties should be referred to QUT Equity.

The Library purchases all prescribed print texts in the ratio of 1 item to 50 students (1:50) to an initial ceiling of ten (10) copies per title edition across the QUT Library.

Recommended readings (whole book) are purchased in the ratio of 1 item to 100 students (1:100) up to an initial ceiling of three (3) copies per title edition across the QUT Library.

The Library will purchase etextbooks with concurrent access based on the above print textbook ratios, if permitted by the respective publishers and purchasing options:

  • <5 print copies = 1 (maximum of 2 concurrent-access) licence/s
  • 5-7 print copies = 2 (maximum of 3) concurrent-access licence/s
  • 8-10 print copies = maximum of 6 concurrent-access licence/s

Etextbooks with high turnaways will be assessed case-by-case, purchased to a maximum of 6 concurrent-access licence/s.

Textbook and recommended book orders are prioritised from the point of request to point of access.

QUT Authors

Works by QUT authors which meet the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University will be collected.

QUT ePrints

QUT ePrints is a digital repository of research outputs created by QUT staff and higher degree research (HDR) students. It includes HDR theses, peer reviewed journal articles, conference contributions, scholarly books, book chapters and non-traditional research outputs including reports and creative works. Wherever possible, an open access version of the full-text or equivalent is available. The purpose of the repository is to enhance the visibility, global reach, and impact of QUT research outputs.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Professional Doctorate (including Doctor of Creative Industries (DCI), and Doctor of Education) Masters by Research.


  • Honours theses
  • Masters by Coursework dissertations and project reports
  • Confidential material
  • Unpublished outputs for which an open access full-text or equivalent cannot be made available for download.

Law Library Collection

The Law Library collection is available to all QUT students and staff. The collection supports the learning, teaching, and research needs of staff and students from the School of Law. Print materials are retained in cases where their historical significance requires their preservation. For further information consult with the MLS, Law Library.

QUT Digital Collections

QUT Digital Collections brings together digitised and born-digital (i.e. digital resources with no physical equivalent) collections developed by, and donated to, QUT to support learning, teaching, research, cultural heritage and institutional use by the global community. The majority of items in the digital collections are open access, searchable via Google, and indexed via Trove and JSTOR. Collection growth occurs on a case-by-case basis, and collection offers are assessed as to the benefit to QUT and the wider community.


Where finances and licensing permit, access may be provided to datasets, such as numerical, statistical, and geospatial resources, as well as standards and patents.

Research Datasets

QUT Library provides an external research dataset service, which facilitates access to published datasets for researchers and HDR students for the purpose of QUT research. The Library negotiates open access if possible or may use Library Resource Allocation funds to purchase commercially available research datasets. Access to datasets is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

QUT's Research Data Finder is a registry of QUT published research datasets, with some records including access to the datasets themselves. Designed to promote the visibility of research data, Research Data Finder provides descriptions about shareable, reusable datasets available via open or mediated access. Datasets are either stored within the repository itself or hosted externally and linked to from the repository.


In accordance with its e-preferred collection management policy, the Library acquires online resources. The advantages of online formats, include:

  • 24/7 access
  • remote access
  • simultaneous multi-user access
  • download to portable devices
  • citation export management
  • enhanced searchability
  • multimedia
  • online note keeping
  • accessibility enhancements for screen-impaired clients
  • fast acquisition and availability response times
  • no wear and tear
  • minimised incidence of content loss.

Selected resources are purchased in print where necessary.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

  • APIs must be accessible to all members of the university.
  • APIs must be fully supported by the vendor.
  • Where these conditions are not met, or where the API is required for specialised research and/or its cost cannot reasonably be met by the Library Resource Allocation, research funds should be used.


QUT Library is committed to providing access to its collections. When selecting and implementing online information resources, the Library considers the needs of clients with disabilities, giving preference to more accessible formats/platforms.

Library Store

The QUT Library Store is where valued low use resources are stored. Low use physical resources from the campus libraries are moved to the QUT Library Store. They are identified through usage statistics. Resources are available on demand.


Collection Evaluation

QUT Library carries out collection evaluation to ensure that information resources are being utilised effectively and meeting the changing information needs of clients. Evaluation may occur in response to:

  • course accreditation requirements (to meet the requirements of professional organisations such as the Australian Psychological Society)
  • developing bids for additional funding
  • developing a deselection plan
  • Curriculum Development Proposals.

Key methodologies for evaluating monograph collections are outlined below:

  • Reports are generated in the library system to describe usage patterns.
  • Unit outlines are reviewed to identify key curriculum areas.
  • Benchmarking is conducted against published output and/or other collections.

Legacy Format Replacement

Material requiring technology that has become obsolete is deselected periodically from the collection; this may include retiring of the associated hardware. Liaison Librarians determine whether it is necessary to purchase replacement copies of titles in a preferred format in order to be compatible with updated hardware. Format shifting of material may be possible, using the provisions in the Copyright Act, in consultation with the University Copyright Officer.

QUT Authors

Works by QUT authors are retained while they meet the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University or are required for research assessment purposes.

Works by QUT authors are tagged at point of ordering to avoid their deselection.

QUT Published Works

Works published by QUT and its prior institutions are retained.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Materials

When deselecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials, care will be taken to ensure that items are available in other libraries.


The Library Stocktake maintains the quality and accessibility of collections for Library clients. The stocktake:

  • ensures that the Library catalogue is an accurate record of the holdings of materials
  • alerts the Library to materials missing from the collection, thus initiating a process for replacement of important and/or relevant items
  • alerts Library clients to items that may be missing from the collection
  • removes missing items from the Library catalogue.


Items that have been reported as missing are searched for once within a 7-day period to confirm their status as missing. Collection Access staff re-order items that satisfy the following criteria:

  • acquired within the current or previous year
  • have a last-loaned date within the current or previous year, and 3 or more total loans.

Collection Access staff re-order ebook versions of these items in the first instance unless the Library already has access to an ebook version. If an ebook is not available, a hard copy is ordered, in accordance with the General Principles of Selection and Acquisition.

All other missing items are referred to the Liaison Librarians, who determine whether or not to re-order.


Implementation and Review

The implementation and review of the CDM in line with QUT's strategic direction is overseen by the Manager, Library Resource Services and the Managers, Library Service. The University Librarian is the final arbiter of debate.

Library Staff

Critical to achieving the objectives of the CDM is the active involvement of all Library staff who undertake collection management and maintenance. Library staff perform their duties consistently within the policies outlined. The IRC may refer policy matters, including strategic exceptions, to the University Librarian.

Document Delivery

The Document Delivery service is designed to supplement the Library's own collections, particularly to support the research activity of the University.

Out of Print Books

It may be permissible under an exception in the Copyright Act to copy a whole book that it is out of print. Consult the University Copyright Officer.

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Policy

The Library purchases materials representing a wide variety of viewpoints. On occasion, some materials may be considered controversial. The acquisition of, or access to, such material does not imply the Library's approval or endorsement of the content.

The Library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material chosen or excluded on the basis of its stated Principles of selection and acquisition. No material is censored or removed on the grounds of disapproval of the author's political, social, moral, or other opinions.

Library collection management policies are guided by the ALIA Statement on Free Access to Information, and recommendations by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

CDM Review

The CDM is updated as necessary and reviewed on a rolling three-year cycle by the Manager, Library Resource Services and the Managers, Library Service, in conjunction with the IRC, to ensure that it continues to reflect (1) best practice in the management of library collections, and (2) the needs of the University.

Document Control

Version 1.5
Date of Issue: 9 February 2021
Last updated: 4 April 2024
Custodian: University Librarian