General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.  

Purpose of the Collection

The purpose of collection activity in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology is to support instruction and research through the doctoral level in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) department and related centers and programs such as the Neuroscience Research Institute, the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering, and the Technology Management Program.

Many interests of these units overlap with other departments and collections, such as Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology; Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Chemistry and Biochemistry so some collection activity may occur in these areas.

Academic Department/Program Description

MCDB offers the B.S. degree in four subject areas: Biochemistry-Molecular Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology, and Pharmacology. It also collaborates with the Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology department to offer B.A. and B.S. degrees in Biological Sciences.

At the graduate level, MCDB offers M.A. and Ph.D. programs with emphasis in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and an M.A. emphasis in Pharmacology and Biotechnology. The Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering offers a Ph.D. program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Subject Parameters

Priority in collecting is given to areas of current faculty research and teaching, including, but not limited to: molecular microbiology, molecular neurobiology, developmental and cellular genetics, pharmacology, plant molecular biology, and marine molecular biology.


Generally, electronic books are acquired for monographs unless available only in another format. To maximize limited resources, journals and indexes and abstracts are generally acquired in electronic format only, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access. In addition to the criteria used for judging print materials (authority, content, etc.) other factors are also considered with electronic materials. These include:

  • Method of access
  • Availability of interlibrary loan to other UC campuses: A print book will be purchased if it is not yet in the UC system.
  • Licensing requirements
  • Availability of, and perpetual access to, archives

Systemwide and Other Resources

In order to maximize our purchasing power, the vast majority of materials selected for molecular, cellular & developmental biology are purchased consortially with other UC campuses.  These include:

  • Databases, including Web of Science.
  • Monographs, including titles from CRC Press, Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley.
  • Serials, including titles from CRC Press, Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley.

Related Collection Development Policies

Given the interdisciplinary nature of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, there is considerable consultation with other science collection specialists for acquisition of resources relevant to this field of study.

Subject librarian: Kristen LaBonte
Policy Last Updated: May 2015