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Supporting Research.

Supporting AFBI.

Resource Development and Management Policy


1. Introduction


This information outlines the AFBI Resource Development and Management Policy in relation to Library resources. It includes general guidelines on their selection, management and rationalisation in support of research.


2. General Policy


The goal of the Library Service is “to provide access to high quality information services and resources.”


Library resources include primary and secondary material in print and electronic formats.


The acquisition of material and the management of the Library’s collections are informed by, and prioritised according to, AFBI’s research strategies. The Library does not aim to cover all areas of knowledge.


A key element of the policy is the balance between local provision and remote access. In essence this translates into local provision of material required to support teaching programmes, with support for research achieved through supplementing what is available locally with remotely accessible resources, either on an electronic or Inter-Library-Loan basis.


3. Principles


Certain principles underpin the overall policy:


  • Resources are provided as a collective resource for the whole user
  • Information resources in all formats are
  • The Library service is committed to providing equitable access to all users, including those with special
  • The policy is designed to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of
  • Resource development and management involves in working with the AFBI
  • The provision of all resources covered by this policy is constrained by prevailing


4. Budget Allocation


Library Services, including the purchase of books and journals and subscription to electronic information services, are funded from the AFBI contract allocation.


5. Resource Selection


5.1 Books


There is constant pressure on the book budget and staff seek value for money and best use of resources at all times – e.g. staff consider projected levels of use and durability required, as well as relative cost, before deciding between paperback and hardback editions.



5.2 Print material


Library Services will endeavour to purchase other items recommended by staff, where such additions will:


  • encourage the study a wide range of relevant material; and
  • assist staff in keeping up-to-date with developments in their subjects and in pursuing research


5.3 E-books


The Library now holds collections of electronic books and the same principles of collection development apply to this as to any other format of material.

Electronic books are collected/subscribed to in direct support of the research needs of the AFBI community.


5.4 Donations


A separate Donations Policy has been drawn up and is available on the Library website at:,456235,en.pdf


5.5 Replacements


Items that are lost or seriously damaged, will be replaced, provided funds are available and provided the item is still in print and is required to support the research interests of AFBI .


5.6 Journals in printed and electronic formats


Journals represent an expensive and ongoing commitment. Therefore, the journals budget and subscription lists are reviewed in collaboration with the AFBI Library committee on an annual basis. Because of the ongoing pressure on the journals budget, existing titles will normally need to be cancelled to allow for the purchase of new titles.


Journals are increasingly available in electronic format either as individual titles, as part of database services or publisher deals. Electronic access offers significant advantages to users and while it can be a costly alternative to print, it is now the format of choice of the Library Service and reflects the information delivery preference of the majority of our users. When a new electronic subscription is placed, a print subscription will only be retained in exceptional circumstances.


New delivery methods and pricing models for electronic journals are kept constantly under review by Library staff.


5.7 Electronic Information Services


Secondary sources of information such as abstracting and indexing services are now widely available in electronic format. However, primary sources such as reference works, statistics and official publications are also increasingly available.


The Library Service aims to provide direct access to a range of appropriate databases to support the major disciplines within AFBI. Librarians keep abreast of database developments and initiate consideration of new electronic sources in consultation with appropriate AFBI staff. They also conduct trials and demonstrations and bring forward recommendations for purchase.


Library Services aims to provide direct access to appropriate multidisciplinary electronic information services (e.g. Web of Science).


Where services exist in different formats or are available in different versions from different suppliers Library services will aim to select the best option on the basis of cost, ease of use, access and currency.


Whenever practicable, Library services will aim to provide full-text access to electronic services, where appropriate and economic.


In general, Library services will consider for cancellation, paper versions of services where electronic equivalents are provided. Paper equivalents will not normally be maintained unless the subscription „packageā€Ÿ includes both versions at favourable cost. In such cases, the Library may opt for non delivery of print in order to defray the ongoing cost of storing and managing this format if it is not specifically required.


The Library will monitor the use of all electronic information services and employ usage data to review continuing provision.


5.7 Official Publications


Official publications include those of government and inter-governmental bodies (e.g. the EU, UN). The McClay Library collects most British and Irish Parliamentary Papers and also ensures that a selection of British and Irish non-parliamentary publications is collected.


The publications of other inter-governmental organisations form part of subject collections and their purchase is approved by the relevant Subject Librarian.



Under the terms of HMSO Copyright Guidance Note no.11 (The National Published Archive — Legal Deposit of Official Publications, Nov. 2000), copies of all Northern Ireland official publications should be sent to the Library at Queen's. Library staff make every effort to ensure that all current Northern Ireland official publications are collected.


5.8 Reference Materials

 Increasingly essential reference works are acquired in electronic format provided they offer value for money and improved access to information with only a core print reference collection maintained.


5.9 Theses


According to QUB regulations (Regulations for Theses (B) 3), one bound copy of every thesis successfully submitted for a Higher Degree must be deposited in the University Library. This collection of QUB theses is held in the McClay Library closed access store. All theses are recorded in the Library catalogue, and may be consulted in the Library or photocopied in whole or in part if the author has given permission.


There is increasing national interest in electronic submission, storage and searching of theses and Information Services will keep a watching brief on these developments.


The Library does not collect or store undergraduate or taught postgraduate dissertations unless they are exceptional in nature or incorporate content of significant local or other interest.


5.10 Newspapers


The AFBI Library, Newforge purchases one daily newspaper and one local paper twice weekly.



5.11  Audio-Visual Materials


Most CD-ROMs accompany books as the main publication – few are selected separately.




6. Collection Management


This section summarises Library services broad policies in relation to management of the Library collections.


6.1 Stock checks

An ongoing programme of stock checks is carried out, whereby material on the shelves is checked against what is recorded in the catalogue. Missing books may be replaced according to criteria in 5a(v) but otherwise records are withdrawn from the catalogue.


6.2 Binding & other forms of preservation




The criteria used to decide whether or not to bind individual journal titles is based on availability of electronic access. Where electronic access is available, journal titles are no longer bound.


Books in need of repair


The criteria for deciding whether to repair damaged or worn out books are analogous to those for replacement. If the item is to be retained, it may be replaced rather than rebound if this is more cost-effective.


Flimsy or multi-part items may be given covers, placed in boxes etc. if necessary for preservation or control.


6.3 Withdrawal of lesser used material


Multiple copies, out-of-date and superseded editions of textbooks may be withdrawn if no longer required.


Closed print runs of journal titles now available electronically will be considered for withdrawal on a case-by-case basis.


Withdrawal of other material does not normally take place without consultation by Library Services on the criteria to be used.


7. Policy Review


Changes to this policy will be made in the light of new developments, emerging disciplines and evolving trends. It will be reviewed overall with staff on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to reflect the priorities of AFBI.



Last reviewed January 2024