Information Resources Policy of the Turku University Library

The library’s task is to preserve and make available to the customers legal deposit copies of Finnish cultural materials and to acquire printed and electronic information resources. Increasingly important is the open access material i.e. published scientific material freely accessible for anyone. The library’s collections development is steered by the strategy of the University of Turku, the strategy-based yearly planning of the university services and the information policy alignments of the library.

The library collections are developed in collaboration with the scientific community. Advisory boards, whose term of office is three years, act as important forums for co-operation. Its members include representatives of the university community and students as well as the responsible head of the library services in the field and library’s other specialists. Library Director participates in the meetings at his/her own discretion.

As part of the development of both printed and electronic collections, the information resources are being constantly evaluated. The evaluation process is part of the collaboration with the scientific community. The main principles for removing items from collections have been agreed upon by the responsible information specialists and the library’s management group. The collection assessment also includes an analysis of how well the collections meet the needs of the present and future customers and the science community.

Legal deposits

Turku University Library is one of the six legal deposit libraries in Finland. Since 1919, the library has received a copy of all Finnish printed publications and will preserve them for future generations. The law entitles the library to provide cultural materials for the use of researchers and other customers. Legal deposit materials cover several research fields.

Based on the emergence of the new forms of materials, the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials (1433/2007) was enacted to cover in addition to the printed deposits also online materials, television and radio programs and films. However, most of the legal deposits received by the library primarily still consist of printed publications.

Due to copyright restrictions, online deposit materials are available for customers only on specific legal deposit terminals and digital copying is not allowed. The Finnish Web Archive includes harvested Finnish online materials since 2006. The Radio and Television Archive (RTVA) contains the whole program stream of the Finnish radio and television channels since 2009 and clips from more than one hundred channels. Law obligates the producers also to deliver a copy, equivalent to the original, of the programs which have had their premiere after the year 2007 to the archive. There is also older material such as television programs produced by YLE, Finland's national public broadcasting company, between 1957 and 2008. The National Audiovisual Institute is responsible for collecting and providing RTVA for the customers.

Purchased material

Turku University Library acquires scientific and high-quality information resources for the research areas of the University of Turku. Also the topicality of materials is a central selection criterion to material acquisition. On the other hand, the long-term value of the materials is taken into account, and the library also acquires old source materials and classics. Resources intended for source material can also be bought as archived databases or digitized sources.

The library’s specialists choose the materials in co-operation with the customers. For example, information on thousands of e-books is downloaded yearly to the database and the books are “triggered” to the library’s collections e.g. when a book has been read for a certain period of time. Apart from this, the customers make acquisition proposals and they are executed if information resource policy and budget make it possible. The library follows the scientific research and the changes in disciplines and study modules and takes these into account in selection criteria. In the selection of journals, the library follows, for example, the Finnish Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the aim is to provide at least the publications approved for level three in the Publication Forum for customer use when they are relevant to the research in University of Turku.

Tendered aggregators are used for acquiring journals and printed books. Case-specifically is determined whether the library takes part in the tenders organized by the Government’s central purchasing body Hansel or whether it conducts its own tender.

Acquisition of resources

The library participates in the National Electronic Library consortium (FinELib), which provides centralized e-resource acquisition services for its member organizations. Furthermore, the library acquires e-resources as direct purchases from vendors or in co-operation with other libraries. In addition, discipline-specific consortia can also be exploited.

The basic principles of the selection of materials apply to both printed and electronic resources. In addition, when acquiring electronic materials, licenses and terms of use are taken into account. The evaluation of the relevance of the material requires, among other things, the review of user statistics. It is important to also take into account, for example, the size of the discipline: although the number of users may not be great, the resource can be essential to the discipline.

Most of the scientific information is already published electronically. The transition to the eresources has been facilitated by the solutions concerning the library premises and the increased mobile use of the resources since customers prefer to use them regardless of time and place. In the acquisition of books and journals, preference is given to the electronic formats.

The goal of the library is to acquire textbooks in the ratio of one copy per four students. Increasingly, the library acquires textbooks in electronic format. An e-book with an unlimited number of users reduces the number of printed copies by 50 per cent. At present, there are only a few Finnish etextbooks available. Furthermore, many electronic textbooks may have a restricted number of simultaneous users or they may cost more than other e-books. All textbooks are not available in electronic format for library use.

The library accepts donations when they meet the selection criteria of a similar purchasable item or if the copy is missing from the legal deposit collection. The traditional exchange of publications between libraries has gradually ceased due to increased electronic publishing, diminished library premises and higher postal costs.

Open access material

When the research is financed by public funds the research results should be freely available for the public. Open Access (OA) publishing strives to the free availability of information. The aim of the OA publishing is to offer the peer-reviewed scientific publications and the research results included in them free of charge equally to all who are interested. This improves the visibility and the impressiveness of the research.

The selection of the open publications to the library collections and the links in the library system are made according to the same principles as the selection of other materials. The objective to promote the OA resources in University of Turku is executed via the services provided by the library.

Turku University Library promotes open publishing by giving guidance to the scientific community on the selection of high-quality publication channels and by taking care of the parallel open publishing of the publications.

The publication policy of University of Turku can be read at university web pages