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Purpose—The purpose of this article is to explore how the publishing world is responding to library collection development challenges posed by the growth of interdisciplinary studies programs.

Design/methodology/approach—The first step in this study was a survey of the websites of selected ARL and all Oberlin Group university and college websites to determine those institutions that have a clearly identified Interdisciplinary program or majors. The authors then investigated the status of interdisciplinary collection development practices at these institutions. Finally the websites of reviewers, publishers, and vendors were surveyed to explore what tools are available to help librarians identify new interdisciplinary monographs.

Findings—Rather than supplying formal interdisciplinary collection development support, most librarians rely on external resources to help identify interdisciplinary materials. As technology evolves publisher/vendor websites can provide librarians with the tools needed to conduct in-depth searches of their catalogs, thus aiding in the identification of interdisciplinary monographs for purchase.

Originality/value—Building on previous scholarship about the growth of interdisciplinary studies and libraries, this paper extends the research by examining the tools available to help librarians bridge the gap created by new disciplinary formations and offers suggestions for publishers to enhance interdisciplinary selection.


This is the post-print of an article from Collection Building 31, no. 1 (20120): 4–10, doi:10.1108/01604951211199119.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited



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