Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Psychology

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronology of the subject: emphases/restrictions

The emphasis in Psychology is increasingly on very current research. Monographs remain an important source but journals are critical. The excellence of the American Psychological Association’s index, PsycINFO, has resulted in an increased utilization of edited books, including such materials as conference proceedings and festschriften that are less used in other similar disciplines. Significant work continues to be published interpreting and testing the ideas of major historic figures (e.g. Freud, Jung, etc.). Such works will also be collected.

In nonfiction areas, psychology is one of the most popular topics for publication. The field offers a plethora of books in the self-help and how-to genres. Generally these types of material are not collected. Exceptions are made for the works of highly regarded scholarly authors who choose to also publish for a popular audience. Only scholarly, or generally academic works about witchcraft, the paranormal, "new age" and any similar phenomena are collected.

B. Languages of resources collected: exclusions-emphases-translations

English is the primary language of collection. Materials in French and German have also traditionally been influential in American psychological thought and will be acquired selectively. Materials in other languages will be acquired only rarely.

C. Geography of the subject: emphases/restrictions

Psychological thought in the United States is the emphasis of the collection. Due to the fact that important new psychological constructs increasingly originate outside the United States, important works from other countries with potential impact on theory or practice in the United States, will also be collected. The increasingly global viewpoint of all disciplines, including psychology, is acknowledged.

D. Format of the resources collected: restrictions if any

Print and online electronic are the major formats of collection in this discipline. MSU Libraries has significant microform holdings from earlier years, but the current nature of the research interest in the discipline makes microform a rarely selected format for new purchases. The need for currency in research is leading to increasing availability of electronic resources. Psychology has proven to be a critical factor in the thought of many disciplines. It is vital that the Libraries remain informed about and seek access to electronic resources in the field as they become available.

The library collects directory and evaluative information about commercially published psychological tests and measures. The tests themselves are not collected. Non-commercial tests are increasingly available and will be collected provided they fall within the scope of the collection.

E. Date of publication of resources collected: emphases if any

Emphasis is on current imprints. The importance of the field to many disciplines means that it will be important to acquire electronic access to major historic sources as they become available.

F. Data Collection

MSU Libraries now collect data obtained through research conducted by Psychology faculty. Both quantitative and qualitative data in any format will be considered. For local guidelines on data collection see our libguide on Digital Research Data Collection. Other possible depositories to store and share your data for psychological research are ICPSR from the University of Michigan and the Harvard Dataverse Network. The American Psychological Association also has a list of datasets and repositories. Additionally, research data can be published in a new journal called Journal of Open Psychology Data

Michigan State University