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A Guide to Biology Resources

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Biology (Life Sciences)

Collection: General 

Date revised: March 2014

Subject Librarian: Sam Lindgren

1. General purpose:

  • Support for research and teaching in the Biology Department. 

2. Overview (numbers are from October 2012):

  • Undergraduate education:
    • Biology major or minor: 369 majors; Environmental biology major: 22 majors
    • Courses support other majors and minors including: Psychology, PNP, Biomedical Engineering, Philosophy of Science, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Physics, Public Health, etc.
    • 1,896 students (including 520 seniors) describe themselves as Pre-med/Pre-health
  • Graduate education:
    • PhD students in Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) with degrees granted by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. DBBS students work with researchers in many departments, including biology, anthropology, mathematics, chemistry, and departments at the WU School of Medicine (WUSM).  DBBS students rotate first year at WUSTL and eventually have a mentor/home lab.
    • 400 graduate students in DBBS; 80 new students are admitted each year; 67 graduate students are post-rotations in the Biology Department.
    • University College (within the College of Arts & Sciences) offers several undergrad biology courses and curricula for MA in Biology and MS in Biology for Science Teachers, BS and Certificate in Clinical Research Management, etc.
  • Faculty and Researchers:
    • 39 faculty; 3 new last year (including 2 hired with tenure); 3 new this year; 1 ongoing faculty search. 
    • Many postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, visiting professors, research scientists, emeritus and adjunct professors including several at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) and the Danforth Plant Science Center. 
  • Collaborations abound. A few examples: joint appointments, in Chemistry, Engineering, Physical Therapy (WUSM), Genetics (WUSM) and more;International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES), headed by biology (& engineering) professor and involving biology faculty as well as researchers from other department and other institutions. 
  • Research is funded by NIH, NSF, HHMI, DOE and other sources.

3. Subjects excluded:

  • Minimal level (1): agriculture, hunting, fishery, pets
  • Basic level (2): plant diseases
  • Out of scope (0): veterinary medicine, clinical medicine
  • Basic level (2): systematics, natural history

4. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

  • Becker Medical Library – we rely on many of their e-journals and e-books; in general we try NOT to overlap with Becker Medical Library holdings
  • Environmental science ; Chemistry;Psychology – Neuroscience - Philosophy
  • Missouri Botanical Garden Library – WU researchers and graduate students can use the MBG Library; in general we try not to overlap with MBG Library holdings
  • Historical, philosophical, theoretical, however there is some interest in these things in philosophy, history, so collection is probably at 3A-3B for those aspects due to their collecting

5. Languages included and excluded:

English only for current acquisitions

6. Geographical limitations:

For subjects with geographic parameters, most interest in Missouri and neighboring areas, tropics

7. Chronological limits:

None; historical subjects on Basic or Intro instructional level

8. Retrospective acquisition:

Older materials are not actively acquired except in special cases, for example, to replace important lost and missing items which are not available via MOBIUS.   

9. Types of material collected and excluded:

  • Excluded:
    • K-12 textbooks
    • Test preparation guides
    • Re-prints when we own the original
    • Dissertations from other universities (acquired for individuals but not usually added to the collection) 
    • Newsletters
  • Some graduate/advanced level textbooks are purchased.
  • Research level is limited to molecular/cellular aspects of the various subjects.

10. Other factors to consider:

  • Monographs:
    • We buy on request from WUSTL community
    • Some come on our automatic-ship profile, but very few (39 in fy13)
    • We buy all Springer monographs and book series in their annual e-books biomedical & life packages (2005+).
    • We buy e-book format instead of paper if available on DRM-free platform, such as Springer, ScienceDirect, Wiley Online Library, Cambridge, etc.
    • We do not duplicate e-books in paper, except by mistake. We do not duplicate monographs included in the CRCnetbase or Safari subscriptions, or e-books packages, such as e-brary and ScienceDirect,purchased at Becker Library.
  • Journals and standing orders: We subscribe online-only when available with post-cancelation access guarantees and preservation mechanisms.  The level of Journal access is the measure of research collection level and is the measure of whether we have a 3 or 4 level collection. 

11. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

Subclass QH:

  • 3A : QH1-278.5--Natural history (General)
  • 3A: QH1-(199.5)--General; Including nature conservation, geographical distribution
  • 3B: QH201-278.5--Microscopy
  • 3A-4: QH301-705.5--Biology (General)
  • 4: QH359-425--Evolution
  • 4: QH426-470--Genetics
  • 3B: QH471-489--Reproduction
  • 3B: QH501-531--Life
  • 4: QH540-549.5--Ecology
  • 3B: QH573-671--Cytology
  • 3A: QH705-705.5--Economic biology

Subclass QK – 3B, 4 in some cases:

  • QK1-989: Botany
  • QK1-474.5: General

Including geographical distribution:

  • QK474.8-495: Spermatophyta; Phanerogams
  • QK494-494.5: Gymnosperms
  • QK495: Angiosperms
  • QK504-(638): Cryptogams
  • QK640-(707): Plant anatomy
  • QK710-899: Plant physiology
  • QK900-989: Plant ecology

Subclass QL – 3B:

  • QL1-991: Zoology
  • QL1-355: General; Including geographical distribution
  • QL360-599.82: Invertebrates
  • QL461-599.82: Insects
  • QL605-739.8: Chordates.  Vertebrates
  • QL614-639.8: Fishes
  • QL640-669.3: Reptiles and amphibians
  • QL671-699: Birds
  • QL700-739.8: Mammals
  • QL750-795: Animal behavior
  • QL799-799.5: Morphology
  • QL801-950.9: Anatomy
  • QL951-991: Embryology

Subclass QM – 3B (with much at Becker Medical Library):

  • QM1-695: Human anatomy     
  • QM1-511: General
  • QM531-549: Regional anatomy
  • QM550-577.8: Human and comparative histology
  • QM601-695: Human embryology

Subclass QP – 3B:

  • QP1-(981): Physiology
  • QP1-345: General - Including influence of the environment
  • QP351-495: Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology
  • QP501-801: Animal biochemistry
  • QP901-981: Experimental pharmacology

Subclass QR – 3B, 4 in some cases:

  • QR1-502: Microbiology
  • QR1-74.5: General
  • QR75-99.5: Bacteria
  • QR99.6-99.8: Cyanobacteria
  • QR100-130: Microbial ecology
  • QR171: Microorganisms in the animal body
  • QR180-189.5: Immunology
  • QR355-502: Virology