Collection Development - Periodicals

Serials represent a long-term, continuous commitment of library funds for subscription costs, processing, and housing.

The selection of periodicals and serial publications helps to shape the Library's collections that support your discipline. It is therefore essential that each title be reviewed in relation to the guidelines provided below.

  • Priority is given to titles that are directly relevant to the curriculum, to the research needs of the students and to faculty course preparation. Specialized titles intended primarily for faculty research will be purchased on a highly selective basis and must meet other criteria cited below.
  • Titles selected are appropriate to the level of study, based on the prospective audience and use.
  • Periodicals are evaluated within the context of existing library resources and projected library support for the purchase of other subject-related materials.
    • Titles that overlap with existing collection resources will be reviewed in terms of the unique contribution they may make to the subject area.
    • In new program or collection areas, available resources will be evaluated to ensure that an appropriate balance between periodical and monographic expenditures is possible and maintainable.
  • Titles of an interdisciplinary nature are considered both in terms of the support they provide to the requesting department as well as the potential relevance to course offerings and student research within other departments.
  • Preference is given to those titles indexed in printed or electronic sources that are available in the library.
  • Availability through the Boston Library Consortium, through other local collections, or through full-text electronic retrieval is balanced against the need for on-site access. Subscription cost is a particularly relevant factor in this portion of the title's evaluation.

Faculty, students and staff of Wellesley College may make recommendations for periodicals to be added to the Library collection by using the Periodical/Serial Request Form or by mailing the request to your academic department's subject specialist.