About Us

Collection Policy: Selection Standards

A. Individual Monographs

Individual monographs include those published in hardback/paperback and those issued in looseleaf format where no supplementation is planned. These monographs are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Importance of the topic to the law school curriculum and program emphases, as well as areas of faculty scholarship.
  2. Treatment of the topic, with a preference for scholarly treatment over a practitioner-oriented approach.
  3. Reputation of the publisher, with a strong preference for university-press materials and titles from reputable publishers.
  4. Quality of the author or editor, particularly when the author or editor of the publication is known for previously published work or has an established reputation in the field.
  5. Extent to which the subject matter of the item may be covered by the existing collection, or may be complementary to materials already owned.
  6. Extent to which other Boston University libraries may own the item or be expected to purchase it.
  7. Extent to which peer institutions have collected the item.
  8. Circulation or usage of previous editions or similar titles.
  9. Anthologies, handbooks, repetitive compilations of laws, treaties and other primary materials, and reprinted articles typically are not collected.
  10. Format preference: Individual monographs are currently not actively collected in electronic format because of the limited range of law-related titles available, the increased cost of an electronic version, the frequent requirement to purchase individual monographs as part of large bulk packages, users' resistance to reading lengthy research material on computer screens, and the consequent need for extensive printing. However, online collections of historical treatises are actively licensed since they are often otherwise unavailable in print. Many treatises are also accessible through commercial databases. In addition, the law community has access to a wide range of e-books through Boston University Libraries’ subscriptions. Where possible, individual title access to monographs in online collections is provided through the catalog.