Psychological and Brain Sciences Collection Development Policy


To support instruction and research through the doctoral level in the UCSB Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and related centers and programs, including the Neuroscience Research Institute, the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, and the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior.


Subject Areas: The Psychological and Brain Sciences Department focuses on several core areas of experimental psychology, including cognitive and perceptual sciences, developmental and evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and behavior, and social psychology. Given the interdisciplinary nature of psychology, materials are collected in collaboration with other science and social science collection specialists as appropriate. Areas included are interdisciplinary programs in Human Development, Cognitive Science, and Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, and multidisciplinary research in the biological sciences, anthropology, communication, educational psychology, linguistics, and sociology.

Languages: Primarily English language materials, although other languages are acquired on a selective basis. Translations into English are preferred.

Chronological Limits: Emphasis is on current research. Historical treatments are selectively collected as appropriate.

Date of publication: Primarily recent imprints, with some retrospective materials collected as appropriate. Reprints of classic works may also be purchased when needed.

Geographical areas: Areas of interest may be international in scope, but otherwise not limited to a specific geographical area.

Exclusions: Subjects not included in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department's curriculum, such as counseling, clinical psychology, humanistic psychology, industrial psychology, and ethnic psychology, are normally not purchased (See Related collection development policies below). Popular psychology titles and self-help books are not acquired.


Materials are collected with an emphasis on research monographs, academic journals, and reference sources. North American university press titles are received on approval, and other materials are selected individually. Subscriptions to journals are entered and maintained in consultation with faculty. Other materials, such as conference proceedings, technical reports, government publications, and media materials are selectively purchased as the budget allows.

The following materials are generally not acquired: textbooks; reprints; selected works when the Library owns the collected works; collections of reprinted articles; minor revisions; unpublished theses and dissertations.

Materials are collected in all formats, with increasing emphasis on new technologies. Generally, monographs are acquired in print unless available only in another format. To maximize limited resources, journals and indexes are increasingly acquired in electronic format only, as long as they have reliable and perpetual access. In addition to the criteria used for judging print materials (authority, content, etc.), other factors are considered. These include:

  • Method of access: non-proprietary protocols such as the World Wide Web and document formats such as HTML and PDF are preferred
  • Availability: access to the entire campus is preferred to library-only access
  • Licensing requirements
  • Availability of, and perpetual access to, archives

When necessary, microforms may serve as appropriate preservation media.


In order to provide access to the widest range of resources, priority will be given to materials not readily available through interlibrary loan from other UC libraries.

System-wide resources: The University of California (UC) libraries contain extensive collections in psychology and related disciplines. Resources not owned by the UCSB Libraries are most often readily available via interlibrary loan from other UC libraries. Interlibrary loan is used heavily and is monitored to provide insight into collection areas requiring increased attention. If the demand is of a continuing nature, the material is considered for acquisition.

Consortia and Cooperative Agreements: When possible, consortia and cooperative agreements are used to augment collections, primarily through the California Digital Library (CDL). UCSB actively works with other UC campuses to pool resources, negotiate purchases, and share materials. Research in psychology is enhanced by numerous UC CDL-supported databases in the sciences and the social sciences.

Related collection development policies: Given the interdisciplinary nature of psychology, many other UCSB science and social science collection policies support some aspect of psychology research. For information on collections in counseling, clinical, and school psychology, please refer to the Education Collection Policy.


Author: lueck [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Lorna Lueck)
Policy Last Updated: January 2006