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 November 5, 2004 [posted]
 Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine, 4th ed.,
Now on the Web


drop cap letter for t he National Library of Medicine® (NLM) announces a new resource on the NLM Web site: the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine, 4th ed. (2004).

Contents of the Manual
The Manual, commonly known as the CDM, is a collection development policy document issued by the Library, a description of the collection and a working tool utilized by staff who select materials.

Exploring the CDM yields a wealth of information about the collection of the NLM. Users will find the official NLM Board of Regents' collection policy statement; a description and history of the NLM collection; information about the Library's philosophy of collection development; as well as delineation and discussion of the subjects, formats and literature types which the Library collects.

The content of this edition reflects many significant developments in science, health care, and the publishing world, which have occurred since publication of the previous edition in 1993. All sections have been reviewed and revised.

In addition to summarizing collection development policy for clinical medicine and the health professions, the new Manual elaborates on the Library's interest in fundamental life sciences research, physical sciences, and bioengineering. It also is attentive to public health issues, such as disaster management and health communication. The Manual outlines the Library's approach to collecting in the areas of bioethics and other medical humanities disciplines. It states NLM's policy on collecting in the social sciences, including sections on health policy, health economics, health services research, and medical sociology. It contains a new statement on complementary and alternative medicine. The CDM also describes the Library's collecting policy for many print and nonprint formats and literature types, such as journals, monographs, dissertations, grey literature, electronic resources, audiovisuals, digital images, and datasets.

Who uses the CDM?
At NLM, the CDM provides guidance to staff who select and acquire publications for the collection, plan collection development projects, and evaluate the collection. In addition, the CDM is utilized in formulating and establishing the Library's many worldwide acquisitions arrangements. It also serves as the basis for collaborative projects with the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and other institutions.

Researchers, publishers, and librarians worldwide consult the Manual to learn about the world's largest biomedical collection, comprising works from virtually every country, in most written languages.

The Library hopes that online availability of the CDM will enable more people to learn about the NLM collections and related programs.

Technical and Navigational Features
The CDM is available in easy-to-navigate HTML format as well as a printable PDF format.

The HTML version features navigational buttons at the top of each page, which take the user quickly to the home page, subject section, or format section, and also permit forward and reverse paging through the Manual. A document-specific search engine located at the bottom of each page searches the entire manual. An index also links users to the appropriate page(s).

The new edition has been designed to enable NLM to edit individual pages and issue minor updates between major revisions, thus keeping the CDM current.

The CDM links to many related resources, such as joint collection development policy agreements with the Library of Congress and the National Agricultural Library.

Project Background
NLM was a pioneer in writing collection development policy. This new Web version is the latest in a series of manuals, dating from 1951.

The revision was a collaborative effort, created with the advice and assistance of numerous librarians, physicians, scientists, and subject experts from NLM and the wider research community. An external Oversight Committee, appointed by NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg and chaired by Alison Bunting, Board of Regents liaison, provided expert advice.

Questions about the CDM or the NLM collection may be referred to NLM Customer Service.

By Judith C. Eannarino
Selection and Acquisition Section

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Eannarino JC. Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine, 4th ed., Now on the Web. NLM Tech Bull. 2004 Nov-Dec;(341):e4.


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Last updated: 16 April 2012