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Collection Development Manual

About the NLM Collection Development Manual
The Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine (CDM), fourth edition (2004), establishes boundaries for the Library's permanent collection and provides a conceptual and philosophical framework for the selection of biomedical materials. Defining the boundaries of the NLM collection is complicated by the interdisciplinary nature of biomedicine, the prominence of political, ethical, economic and social issues in contemporary biomedical practice and research, rapid advances in health care technology and the proliferation of information sources and formats.
The CDM is based on the Collection Development Policy adopted by the NLM Board of Regents in 1976 and amended in 1983 and 1992. It is intended primarily as a working document for NLM staff, but also may be of interest to a wider community of users including the staffs of other health science and research libraries. Like its predecessors, the CDM defines the range of subjects to be acquired and the extent of the Library's collecting effort within these subjects. It also addresses selection issues presented by a range of formats and literature types. The Manual does not present principles for the selection of materials temporarily retained for the use of on-site users; nor does it describe the full range of information resources, including databases, to which NLM provides access.
Policy for Updating the NLM Collection Development Manual
The Library plans to conduct a major review of the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine every five to eight years. The Director of the National Library of Medicine will appoint an external review panel of subject experts and librarians to advise on each major revision.
To ensure that the Manual does not become outdated, NLM will make minor updates to the text during intervening years. In support of this objective, NLM collection development staff will review annual changes to the MeSH vocabulary, attend meetings of the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee, identify significant new health initiatives (such as the creation of new NIH Centers), and monitor scientific and professional literature to identify emerging disciplines in biomedicine and public health. Recommendations for CDM updates will be referred to an internal NLM Collection Development Manual Review Committee charged with approving interim revisions. Committee membership will consist of the Chief, Technical Services Division; Executive Editor, MEDLINE; Head, Selection Unit, Selection and Acquisition Section; Head, Medical Subject Headings Section; and Chief, History of Medicine Division. The committee will seek the advice of outside consultants as needed.
Beginning with this edition, the CDM will be published electronically, enabling the Library to update individual portions as needed and link to other Web documents.
Please submit comments and suggestions to the Contact NLM page.