Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Psychology

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Trends in publishing

Most scholarly book publishing is acquired by the library through package deals with vendors and vendor distributors. Most books are not selected individually by the subject librarian but are shipped according to parameters set for subject matter and scholarly merit.  These package deals are set up to arrive either as ebooks or in paper format at the macro level, not on a title-by-title basis. The subject librarian works around these deals seeking out works from smaller presses and on emerging topics. Journal subscriptions are handled similarly, with some being part of large publisher deals and others selected title-by-title.

B. 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 which are selectively collected for the Student Health & Wellness Collection. Only scholarly, or generally academic works about witchcraft, the paranormal, "new age" and any similar phenomena are collected.

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

English is the primary language of collection. Materials in other languages will be acquired only rarely.

D. 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.

E. Format of the resources collected: restrictions if any

Print and online electronic are the major formats of collection in this discipline. The need for currency and supporting off-campus work in research is leading to increasing availability of electronic resources. Psychology has proven to be a critical factor in the thought of many disciplines. 

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

F. 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.

G. 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

H. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion 

We seek out historically underrepresented and marginalized voices, identities, and perspectives to diversify and fill gaps in our collections and participate in dismantling racism, sexism, and other biases. In the field of psychology this includes collecting works and supporting research on accessible, equitable, and inclusive psychology including addressing the identification and impact of bias and the effects of intersectionality on mental and emotional health.