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Approved by the Governing Board on April 29, 2002



As established in sections 1 and 4, 1 a) of the Regulations of the Library Service, this unit is responsible for the acquisition and care of all of the University's bibliographic and documentary collection, with the exception of documents belonging to the University's General Archive, regardless of their format, where they are stored, and which budget item they were charged to when acquired.

All of these bibliographic and documentary holdings comprise the bibliographic and documentary patrimony of Comillas Pontifical University and as inventory they must be included in the Library Service Catalog.

Taking the above into account, any type of monograph (book), periodical (journals and others), or any other type of document (videos, conference proceedings, etc.) that is obtained through acquisition, exchange or donation made by any section, department, institute, center or person pertaining to the University must be cataloged by the Library Service.

Bibliographic resources whose acquisition is funded by research projects with cost centers other than the Library's ones will also form part of the University's Library's collections and as such must be managed through the Acquisitions Unit of the Library Service and included in the Catalog. Restrictions on the use of these documents may be established up to the end of the research project or for other reasons, so long as they are justified.

Likewise, the Library Service must be informed of any documents generated within the University itself that might be of interest to the university community for teaching and research purposes so that they can be added to the Catalog, on condition that they do not contain confidential material.

Maintaining the bibliographic and documentary heritage

Any material that is capable of forming part of the University's bibliographic and documentary holdings must be included in the Library Service's catalog. If it is to be newly acquired, this will be arranged by the Acquisitions Unit of the Library Service. Bibliographic and documentary holdings that are not available for loan or consultation owing to their confidential nature or other factors determining their use must also be included for inventory purposes.

With regards to the Library Service, this must have a collections management policy in place that is focused on meeting the University's aims: To this end, the Director of the Library Service, advised by the Service Committee, will draw up an annual investment and acquisitions plan in accordance with the needs of the different faculties, schools, and institutes and in accordance with the budget projections. This plan will be presented to the Governing Board for approval.

  • Books

    The collection must, as a minimum, provide the basic bibliography for students and teaching staff and the necessary documentary holdings to cover research work. Any other document required for the purposes of managing or providing information for the centers will be acquired by the Library Service and listed in its Catalog.

    Faculties and Schools shall provide information to the Library Service on the recommended reading lists for each module with sufficient notice for them to be available during the academic year.

    The categories for the collections that must be considered in relation to the different types of user include:

    • Basic holdings for basic learning and training (manuals, basic bibliography, journals, general literature, etc.).
    • General and specialized reference and consultation materials (directories, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, catalogs …).
    • Basic holdings for academic staff, specifically for teaching.
    • Research collections.
    • Collections supporting the management of the University.
    • Other holdings of interest for the University that add specific value to the collection.
  • Periodicals (journals)

    All periodical publications (journals) received at the University, either through purchase, exchange, or donation, must appear in the Library Service Catalog and must be available for consultation by the whole university community.

    All subscriptions will be taken out in the name of the institution. Personal subscriptions will not be accepted.

    Any subscription to a new title or cancellation of an existing subscription must be adequately justified by the center, department, or institute proposing it. Annual subscriptions will be renewed automatically, unless cancellation is expressly indicated.

    The following criteria for rationalization will be taken into account in the periodicals section.

    • Avoiding unnecessary duplication
    • Maintaining subscriptions for a minimum of five years
    • Availability of the titles in other nearby centers or in photo-documentation centers
    • Assessing general relevance, impact, use, and demand

Loose sections of journals will not be bought. Interlibrary loans will be used to obtain specific articles.

  • Donations

    The Library Service reserves the right to refuse to accept bibliographic material donated by institutions or individuals, taking into consideration the interest and usefulness of these holdings for the Library and its users. In order to decide on the interest of these holdings, relevant information will be requested about the works that are offered as a donation.

    The Library Service will decide on the location, use, and final fate of the donated material in accordance with the general policy for organizing holdings.

    Donations of bibliographic material will, in general, be accepted with no conditions of any type imposed by the person or institution making the donation, unless with the specific agreement of the parties.

Acquiring documents

All members of the university community may request the acquisition of documentary and bibliographical resources. Consequently, any user of the Library Service may suggest the purchase of bibliographic and documentary holdings. In the case of students, suggestions must be approved by a lecturer.

Final responsibility for selecting the collection lies with the director of the Library Service. The director of the Library Service may request guidance from other academic staff on the advisability of accepting particular requests in particular those who are members of the Library Service Committee.

  • Selection criteria

    The criteria that the Library Service will use to authorize acquisitions of bibliographic holdings are listed here for information purposes.

    1. Thematic content: A decision will be made about whether they are of essential, auxiliary, or of tangential importance to the University's study and research programs. A decision will also be made as to whether they form part of the programs' fundamental, specialized, or marginal areas.
    2. Quality: A decision will be made on whether the authors and works are of fundamental importance for a subject, whether they provide new theories, knowledge, or focuses, and whether they are general works, specialist works or works of dissemination.
    3. Predicted use: This will be evaluated as an important but non-exclusive criterion in the selection of a book. Consideration will be given to whether they are basic consultation works for the curricula as well as whether they are documents of general interest for consultation on subjects that are not specific to particular curricula and research programs. Likewise, consideration will be given to whether their consultation is transitory or lasting.
    4. Suitability for the collection: Consideration will be given to whether the work is appropriate for developing a balanced and consistent collection, taking into account whether it forms part of its core, whether it develops specific areas, or whether it fills existing gaps. Likewise, consideration will be given to the level of coverage of the subject (students, researchers …) as well as whether they belong to pre-existing priority collections.) an
    5. Bibliographic values: The quality and level of specialization of the publishing house, sponsoring body, and type of publication (reports, working papers, unpublished theses …) will be taken into account.
    6. Language of publication Consideration will be given to the language of publication in accordance with the extent of development of a specific subject in that language, as well as the knowledge and use of that language by the university community.
    7. Budgetary availability: Budgetary availability in the subject area to which the request relates will be considered in order to ensure a balance between the different areas.
  • Procedure for making acquisitions requests

    All requests for bibliographic material are to be made through the Acquisitions Unit of the Library Service. Direct purchases may not be made by any members of the university community, regardless of the budget item to which the acquisition is charged. The following procedure must be followed:

    1. To request the purchase of bibliographic and documentary sources, the appropriately completed standard form (see ANNEX I) must be sent to the Library Service.
    2. The following information must be provided on these forms that are available from the Library Service or through its website:
      • Details of the person suggesting the document
      • The following information about the material requested is required:
        • Author(s), in the case of monographs
        • Title of the monograph or the periodical (journals)
        • Publisher
        • Year
        • Edition
        • ISBN/ISSN
      • Number of copies wanted. If more than one, an explanation must be given.
      • Reasons for the request.
    3. Once the purchase request has been received, to avoid unnecessary duplications, and before processing the requests, checks will be made to ensure that the requested document is not already part of the Library Service's holdings.
    4. A single copy will be acquired in all cases except when the acquisition of more than one has been justified and approved.
    5. Once approval has been given by the director of the Library Service, the process of acquisition will begin.
    6. The Acquisitions Unit will inform the interested party of requests that are not approved by the director of the Library Service, explaining the reasons for this decision.
    7. The Acquisitions Unit will process the requests using the most appropriate supplier depending on the subject and type of materials selected.
    8. The Acquisitions Unit will inform the applicant of receipt of the document and any incident relating to the request for an acquisition.

If acquisition of the document is charged to any cost center other than the Library, the person in charge of said cost center must authorize the corresponding purchase request (see ANNEX I). In these cases, the procedure to follow is also the same as is mentioned above but authorization by the director of the Library Service will be virtually automatic as the need for the acquisition will normally be justified by the availability of the specific budget for it.

Only in certain extraordinary and justified cases will authorization be given for the interested party to purchase the bibliographic holding directly. To do so, and before making the acquisition, the person responsible for the purchase must contact the head of the Acquisitions Unit who will provide notification of the process that must be followed to make the purchase. The University will accept no retrospective responsibility for purchases made without following the established procedure. Such materials will be returned to the person who acquired it or to the supplier that sent it.

Standard form for requesting the purchase of bibliographical and documentary materials.