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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Biology

Last Updated: July 2018

Programs Supported

Selection for this discipline is designed to support undergraduate study leading to:

  • BA, Biological Sciences
  • BA, Life Sciences, Preparation for Teaching
  • BA, Life Sciences, Concentration in Biodiversity Stewardship
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Ecology and Evolution
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Marine Biology
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Microbiology
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Molecular Biology
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in System Physiology
  • Minor, Bioinformatics
  • Minor, Biological Sciences
  • Minor, Science

The selection also supports Graduate study leading to:

  • MA, Biological Sciences
  • MBT, Biotechnology
  • MS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Ecology and Evolution
  • MS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Physiology
  • MS, Biological Sciences, Concentration in Molecular Biology and Microbiology

A degree in the biological sciences prepare students for graduate work, as well as, careers in health professions, K-12 teaching, and/or work in laboratory, field research, or technical work.

Existing Resources

The University Library is the main resource. The collection is enhanced by access to materials from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan Services and CSU+ programs. Students and faculty also have walk-in access to the Falconer Biology and Lane Medical libraries on the Stanford campus. Marine biology is supported by the library at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories where marine biology majors take classes. 


Biological sciences at SJSU encompasses diverse subject areas within life sciences. There is a coordinated effort in the collection of materials with education health sciences, chemistry, and business.

In some areas the materials collected may duplicate materials found in the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) collections, although in general, the SJSU collection is scholarly while the SJPL collection is more introductory or general.

Materials Collected

  1. Special Materials  - None
  2. Languages - English language material is collected
  3. Geographical Areas - Worldwide coverage with a strong emphasis on North America
  4. Chronological Periods - Current materials are emphasized
  5. Current / Retrospective Materials - Materials selected are current (within the last 10 years). Older materials that contain valid information is retained. items of purely historical interest are not acquired unless of major significance to the field or local in nature.
  6. Other Factors - Primary research literature is emphasized

Collection Highlights

The biological sciences curriculum places a strong emphasis on the use of primary research literature at all course levels. Even with flat budgets and high inflation rates, the focus is to provide the necessary sources (such as essential research databases such as Biological Abstracts, PubMed, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect), while also exploring alternative resources and services to enhance faculty and student access to primary research literature.

Budgetary restrictions continue to also impact book purchases, a key resource for undergraduate students. The focus continues to be to fill in gaps and provide current essential books and print materials.

A comprehensive list of materials for this subject can be found in the Biological Sciences Research Guide:

Evaluation of Collection – Methods and Planning

Periodicals and electronic databases: Providing access to primary research materials continues to be important at SJSU Library even with flat budgets and high-inflation rates. New and existing programs will be supported with essential journal titles or online databases, depending on available funding. Constant improvement to Interlibrary Loan Services and CSU+ continues to be a great resource students and faculty via the delivery of books, journals, journal articles, and other materials from other libraries. Periodical and electronic databases are purhcased based on faculty and student requests via a trial period and an assessment of available funding.

Books: The SJSU Library will continue order books, with a focus on filling in gaps and purchasing current materials of interest to students and faculty. The format preference will be multi-user eBooks to allow access to students and faculty from anywhere and at anytime they conduct research. Information on collection use by the campus and public community will be part of future analysis. Books are purchased based on faculty and student requests, and by reading Choice Reviews and examining association publications.