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How do I develop an appropriate collection development policy?

Take action

  • Think about what kind of materials and content you and your stakeholders want in your IR.
  • Develop a 'vision' of the IR and then select to meet the parameters of that vision.
  • Read other IR collection development policies.


  • Digital Commons – Repository Collection and Development [Link]

"The materials here deal specifically with practical considerations and advice on building the collections in your repository."

  • Digital Commons – Copyright, Permissions, and Author's Rights [Link]

"Navigating the world of copyright and permissions can be a big challenge to IR collection development. Collected here are some valuable resources on copyright, recommendations for tracking permissions, and information on educating authors about authors’ rights."


  • Wilczek, Eliot. "Selecting for Institutional Repositories: Developing a Vision."  YouTube, 0:50, July 1, 2012.  Posted by CDCGUNC.  February 18, 2013. [Link]


  • Barton, M.R. and Waters, M.M. Chapter Four: Legal and Regulatory Environment and Policy Development, in “Creating an institutional repository: LEADIRS Workbook.” LEADIRS (Learning about Digital Institutional Repositories). Boston: MIT Libraries, 2004, pp. 89-116. [Link]

"This section addresses a variety of legal and intellectual property issues you may encounter as you develop an online institutional repository. These materials will guide you through the relevant intellectual property rights issues (IPR) and point you to resources to help develop policies for running your institution’s service. Our goal is to suggest issues you may need to consider and to offer policy guidelines based on best practices of library and university staff who are currently running institutional repositories. We also refer you to recent legislation on intellectual property rights issues."

  • Carolina Digital Repository Collection Development Statement [Link]

"This statement describes what streams of content are appropriate for deposit into the CDR. This document does not cover content or subject relevance. Curatorial units within Wilson Special Collections Library and the collections staff in the other libraries across campus are responsible for determining what content is in scope for selecting and acquiring based on subject relevance and archival value."

  • Claremont Colleges Digital Library policy [Link]

"The primary collection responsibility for the CCDL is to develop electronic content that serves and is freely available to the Claremont Colleges community. Collections will be built using content produced by digitizing analog content or collecting existing digital content for research and/or teaching by the Claremont Colleges community. "

  • Salt Lake Community College IR policy draft [Link]

"The SLCC Institutional Repository has been established to collect, digitize, maintain, and provide access to the intellectual and creative output of the College.  As such, the Institutional Repository provides the ways and means to preserve and present the scholarly and creative work of faculty and students and to make it available to the College community and the world at large.  The IR also provides a means of accessing the history of the College through its digitized rendering of such materials as administrative documents, reports, student newspapers and literary publications, photographs, filmed events, etc."

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