Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Veterinary Medicine

Analysis of the veterinary medicine field

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronology of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

Emphasis is on current research, clinical practice, and trends in veterinary medicine. Here at Michigan State University those subjects include: General Internal Medicine, Diseases of Companion and Food Animals, Surgery, Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology/Pathobiology, and Ophthalmology.

B. Languages of Resources Collected: Exclusions/Emphases/Translations

Only materials in the English language are currently collected, although the collection contains older materials in other languages. Almost every new book published each year in the English language by major veterinary science publishers is purchased in print and electronic format whenever available.

C. Geography of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

The primary emphasis is on the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. International coverage is also highly desired; therefore, English-language publications may be purchased regardless of country or origin of geographic treatment.

D. Format of the Resources Collected: Restrictions, If Any

Resources collected include: research and trade journals, textbooks, databases, encyclopedias, dictionaries, medical atlases, directories, drug guides, proceedings, government publications, bibliographies, board and exam preparation study materials, and materials relating to United States-based certification, licensures, and specialized education/training. Also collected, although published less frequently than those in human medicine, are point-of-care tools and online video and image resources.

Emphasis is placed on electronic resources to support integration into the veterinary medicine curricular materials and research. Journals are collected only in electronic format when available. A robust print book collection is also maintained to support interlibrary loan and use by community patrons visiting MSU, because the MSU Library has the only professional veterinary collection in the state of Michigan.

Research Data

Research data - particularly data 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.

Images, Streaming Media, and Audio-Visual Materials

Image banks and streaming media may be purchased, if available, upon faculty request. Streaming media is given priority when it will be used in a classroom setting for educational purposes. Popular films and documentaries are acceptable genres if they fit a predetermined curricular need. Physical format AV materials are collected rarely.


Core veterinary medicine textbooks are collected in both print and electronic formats.

Not Collected

The following are usually not collected: theses (except for MSU theses), catalogs, programmed texts, ephemera, and self-published works. Laboratory manuals, spiral-bound works, and pocket-sized books are collected only under very limited circumstances.

E. Date of Publication of Resources Collected: Emphases, If Any

Generally, materials published in the last five years are collected. Older material is considered for unusual or sparsely covered subjects, or in the case of replacements for missing items. Older material may also be added to complete a series of editions of an important title or to complete a journal run. Consideration is also given to collect older materials appropriate for the history of veterinary medicine collection, the Catalogue of Rare Veterinary Books and Allied Subjects in Animal Husbandry.

F. Special Topics Collected

Human Animal Bond

Materials are collected on human animal bond topics, including animal-assisted therapy, benefits of owning an animal, pet loss and grief, legal aspects, and service animals.

Pet Health

MSU is the only veterinary school in the state, and clients of the veterinary hospital frequently visit the library looking for information about their pet’s health. A small number of materials on pet health written for consumers, not professionals, are collected to support this user group.

G. Diversity and Inclusion Considerations

Purchasing materials by and about diverse populations is a core collection component for veterinary medicine. Collection decisions place importance on who is being represented in biomedical literature, cultural competency in practice, and supporting, valuing, and purchasing materials that introduce the unique perspectives and needs of underserved and marginalized communities. Diversity in collection development foci can encompass, but are not limited to, the areas of underrepresented: races, ethnicities, sexualities, ages, gender expressions and identities, cultural and religious identities, socioeconomic class, US geographical location, and nationalities.

Michigan State University