Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Biological Sciences/Natural History

Analysis of the Subject Field

Chronology of the Subject: Emphasis/Restrictions

Primarily current research not historical material. Selected current monographs are collected. Reprints are selected only if considered classics and important to the collection.

Languages of resources collected; exclusions/emphases/translations

Most of the content in the collection is in English. However, to help foster a more equitable collection in the biological sciences, other languages will be collected, with a strong emphasis focusing on Spanish, Portuguese, and Indigenous language literature from Central and South America. For more information, please see the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement below. However, all languages will be considered, and the librarian in charge of this collection will work closely with the Area Studies Librarians to determine best materials for collection. This may be subject to change as this area is developing rapidly.

Geography of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

The biological collection emphasizes the study of the ecology, animals, and plants cover a global distribution, with a strong focus on topics that are actively researched or taught at MSU. Special emphasis is added to works on the Great Lakes states, the Midwest, and neighboring Canadian provinces.

Format of the Resources Collected

Scholarly journals are purchased only in electronic format, if possible, although trade journals and some magazines are still collected in print. Scholarly monographs (mostly as ebooks), textbooks,  and some videos are all purchased.

Research data - particularly data generated at MSU that is not already openly available or that cannot/will not be placed in existing research data repositories - may be collected. For additional guidelines, please see MSU's Digital Research Data Collection Development Policy.

Equity & Diversity Statement

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

Developing Countries around the world are producing exceptional and foundational science, particularly in the areas of ecology and biology. As our faculty and student body with connections to these countries grows, and as the fields of science in migration patterns and ecological systems, climate change science, disease ecology, and other interlinking ecological systems expands, it is important that researchers on campus have access to this science.  

In addition, policies and practices to date have moved to exclude different ways of knowing from the scientific community. This includes, but is not limited to, anonymizing who has done data collection, policing who can contribute, the languages encouraged in scientific discourse, and the recognition of all contributors to science, including those without official academic credentials.  

To help foster a more equitable collection in the biological sciences, other languages, including Spansish, Portguese, and Indigenous language literature, will be collected in addition to English, as will resources that give a platform to traditionally marginalized voices. Sources that emphasize non-traditional knowledge or other ways of knowing, will be purchased.  

The Libraries will support more OA to help encourage equity of both publishing and reading scientific articles. Works that are published and disseminated through Open Science principles and decolonial efforts to include different ways of knowing will be prioritized. Finally, topics of study such as climate change and environmental racism are themselves an issue of justice on a global scale. To this end, these topics will take priority in collection development.