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Computer science collection policy

Liaison librarian

  • Jennifer [dot] Zhao [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-1273

Purpose and Scope

The School of Computer Science is based in the Faculty of Science. It offers degrees at the Bachelors (B.A. & B.Sc), Masters (M.A. & M.Sc), and Ph.D. levels. As of 2008, research focuses on 25 categories including:

  • Advanced compilers
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Bioinformatics and computational biology
  • Computer vision, computer graphics, computer games
  • Discrete optimization and computational geometry
  • Machine learning
  • Probabilistic Analysis of Algorithms
  • Quantum computing and cryptography
  • Robotics
  • Scientific computing
  • Software engineering

With the advent of electronic publishing, McGill Library centralized the acquisition of its periodicals, indexing and abstracting databases and eBooks. We are constantly working toward an increased electronic coverage as it enables access to scholarly literature 24/7, from anywhere in the world. This centralization effort for the acquisition of electronic materials and our participation in various consortia such as the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ) and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) enables the Library to provide and maintain a research level collection and provide access to major indexing and abstracting databases in the field. The Library also provides faculty members and students with the InterLibrary Loan service for books, journal articles and conference proceedings not held at the Library, called Colombo ILL.

Collection Development Guidelines

Required reading acquisitions

It is our goal that all of the required materials for courses (textbooks, journal articles, DVDs) be included in the collection. The Course Reserves collection ensures fair access for all students by providing access to selected materials on a short term loan period. Because of the increasing high availability of electronic materials, we recommend inclusion of persistent links within MyCourses whenever the electronic format is available. This provides students with unlimited simultaneous access while meeting most licensing agreement requirements. The reserve request form can be used to request material to be placed on Course Reserves.

Book acquisitions

As of 2008, the McGill e-books collection includes more than two million titles. The preferred acquisition model for e-books is through the purchase of large sets. Examples of large sets purchases include:

Most of the monographic selection, outside of sets purchase, is automated using selection profiling tools. It is essential that the Liaison Librarian and the Departmental Representative review the profile below frequently to ensure profile relevancy with Faculty research interests.

Suggestions for book acquisition can be made using our online form to suggest a purchase. Whenever available, e-books format will be selected over the print version.

The collection development profile below uses the Collection levels employed by McGill University Library.

LC ClassificationDescriptionCollection level
GV1469.1-GC1469.9 Computer games, video games - leisure 1
Q300-390 Cybernetics. Artificial Intelligence. Information theory. Knowledge representation. 4
QA75-QA76 Computer Science 3b
QA75 General work 0
QA76.1 General and reference work 0
QA76.55-QA76.57 Online data processing (e.g. AOL and other commercial services) 0
QA76.58 Parallel processing 4
QA76.63 Logic programming 4
QA76.75-QA76.76 Software and software engineering (e.g. export systems, viruses, hypertext systems, operating systems, etc.) 4
QA76.758 Software engineering 4
QA76.76.D47 Computer software development 4
QA76.87 Neural networks 4
QA76.89 Pen-based computers 0
QA402.3 Control theory 3b
QH324.2-QH324.25 Bioinformatics 4
T385-T390 Computer graphics 4
TA1634 Computer vision 4
Z253.4 Computerized typesetting 2

Journal acquisitions

McGill Library, along with its consortiums partners, favors the purchase of electronic journal titles (full text) produced by a publisher, bundled, and sold as an all-or-nothing deal. Examples of STM packages include:

  • Elsevier ScienceDirect
  • Wilson Web
  • EBSCO Academic Search Premier
  • JSTOR
  • ProQuest Digital Dissertations

Through the Catalogue we are also making available extensive Open Access collection. For example, the Catalogue will resolve link to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

Subject specific collections are also purchased. This is the case our membership with the ACM Digital Library.

Requests for journal acquisition can be made by email to your jennifer [dot] zhao [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Liaison Librarian). Note that a Collection Development Committee is in the process of being established, and one of the main roles of this Committee will be to make system-wide decisions as to what should be ordered from these requests, keeping in mind the needs of all disciplines.

Print cancellation policy

Whenever a title is available electronically and we own a perpetual license to it, the print format will be cancelled.

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