Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


NOTE: The SP Collection policy has been revised as of May 2014. This page will be updated, but the new policy is restricted to OCUL members, so the below policy may remain in place for hisorical/informational purposes.

The revised Collections Policy can be found at:


Everything below this line is historical and probably outdated.




The following is Scholars Portal's Collection Policy, as approved by the OCUL Directors. The actual policy is located at: Portal Collection Policy-Final

Scholars Portal Collection Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction on how Scholars Portal (SP) is to be populated with a diversity of digital content in a way that is coherent, forward-looking, and sustainable. This is in accordance with OCUL's Strategic Directions, one of which is
to "Provide and preserve a rich academic resource for teaching, learning, and research" for Ontario's university population. This policy also serves to state Scholars Portal's policy of acquisition in its role as a trusted digital repository for its users and stakeholders.
Our goal in aggregating content is twofold: long-term preservation and enhanced discovery.
The purpose of SP is to host, whenever possible and in perpetuity, a critical mass of works that has intellectual significance and long-term value, and deliver this in an environment that allows for ease of searching, browsing, retrieval, and reuse. Content decisions are based on recognized collection development principles such as: authority, originality, curricular and research relevance, timeliness, breadth or depth of coverage, and demand. It is understood that these principles apply to all subject or research areas, across all chronological periods and geographical regions, and that the materials acquired would be in English or French predominantly, but could comprise other, including indigenous, languages.
This policy is intended to capture what is important to include in SP and is not limited to what will be hosted in perpetuity.


To the greatest extent possible, SP is conceived as a one-stop portal that supports scholarship, innovation, and knowledge creation in its broadest diversity and potential for the Ontario university community. It is expected that there will be more non-conventional, non-textual resources loaded in the future, such as datasets, streaming content, and multimedia resources, and mapping applications. Scholars Portal will develop models for incorporating and accessing emerging formats such as images and streaming audio across disciplines.


1. Collection criteria pertaining to quality and relevance should be paramount and applied consistently across all resources.

2. Prinicipal Principal considerations include:

  • establishing a coherent rationale for the addition of each resource into SP, thereby meeting faculty and student information needs;
  • providing orderly access and guidance to the digital resources, and integrating them into library service programs.

3. Striving for balance to be maintained among:

  • disciplines;
  • teaching and research tools;
  • diverse requirements of user groups (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, faculty, clinical faculty);
  • information formats (i.e. reference, abstracting/indexing, full-text, e-books, e-journals, data – both numeric and geospatial, etc);
  • unique needs of each OCUL institution, while recognizing that local institutional collection development decision-making and practices must be respected.

4. Resources that offer economies of scale by benefiting the most students and faculty across OCUL will be taken into account.

5. Consideration will be given to loading digital resources which offer significant added value over print equivalents in such ways as:

  • more extensive content;
  • broader functionality, such as the ability to invoke linkages to local and/or related resources;
  • enhanced access due to the fact that there can be universal, rapid, and remote delivery of content;
  • improved resource sharing due to the ubiquity of digital resources;
  • ease of archiving, replacing, versioning, and preserving.
  • meeting accessibility requirements as described in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

6. Scholars Portal include content that supports undergraduate, graduate and faculty needs.


13. Open-access materials will be considered for inclusion in SP based on this policy.

Establishing Priorities

The following list represents Scholars Portal's priorities when loading new resources. The list offers a guide to their relative importance, but unsuitability by one criteria will not necessarily disqualify a resource that is otherwise suitable. In all cases, the final decision will be made through discussion between Scholars Portal staff and members of the OCUL-IR committee.

 (1) Extent of commitment -  Number of OCUL subscribers

 (2) Demand - How heavily the collection is used

 (3) Technical issues - How smoothly resources load and integrate into existing SP platforms

 (4) Collections at risk - Is the collection at risk of disappearing or becoming otherwise inaccessible 

 (5) Geographical scope - Whether content is from Ontario or Canada

 (6) Availability - How easily is it found elsewhere

Given the evolving nature of information resources, this Collection Policy should be tabled for review triennially by the OCUL Directors.


Faye Abrams, Consultant (OCUL)

Catherine Davidson, Co-Chair (York)

Kate Davis, Consultant (Scholars Portal)
Tony Horava (Ottawa)
Harriet Rykse (Western)
Marisa Scigliano (Trent)
Jennifer Soutter (Windsor)
Warren Holder, Co-Chair (Toronto)