Library About Policies & Guidelines Guide to Purchasing Information Resources

Guide to Purchasing Information Resources

Introduction | Requesting Materials | Selection and Funds Authorization | Multiple Copies and Duplication | Status of an Order | Urgent Requests | Ephemeral Materials | Serial Subscriptions

Links to:

Purchase Request Form


All ordering of library materials in the University is undertaken by the Information Resources section, located on the ground floor of the Mabo Library at Douglas. Library materials include books, eBooks, print and online journals, and DVDs. This guide is an outline of acquisitions procedures prepared  to assist University staff and students with ordering. Other library users who wish to recommend the purchase of particular titles or who have not been able to find the information they require should seek assistance from Infohelp. If you have any problems or suggestions, please contact the Librarian,  Acquisitions Services in person, by email to or by telephone, 4781 5073.

Requesting Materials

Any book or audio-visual item etc. which you wish the University to acquire should be requested by providing full details on the Purchase Request Form.

It is important that each required item should be requested on a separate form (although different titles of a multi-volume work can be included on a single form). Regrettably, ticked lists, publisher’s catalogues, or other non-standard requests cannot be accepted and will be returned to you.

Complete as much information as you have on hand (at least an author and a title) but if details such as International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or cost are unavailable the library will determine these.

Selection and Ordering

One-off purchase requests (e.g. monographs, CDs, DVDs, etc.) can be made by all JCU staff and students within the context of the Collection Development Guidelines. The Associate Director, Information Resources is responsible for commitment of purchase requests within the context of the library materials budget and the Collection Development Guidelines. Liaison Librarians will  work with the requestor to resolve purchase request problems and queries that may arise.

Requests nominating funds other than library funds (e.g. Special or Research funds) should be signed and authorized by the person who controls that fund.

  • Desk reference-type material ordered with Department or Service funds will be housed permanently in the Department.

  • Material paid from Research funds can be held on long-term loan by the researcher (and cannot be recalled for another user) until the project finishes, or until the researcher leaves the University, when the material should be returned to the Library.

If you have any doubts about funding issues, please contact the Librarian, Acquisitions Services.

Multiple Copies and Duplication

As a general principle, duplication of library materials is related to use and occasionally to campus location. With the exception of prescribed texts, multiple copies of monograph are not normally purchased. Multiple copies of later editions may be purchased when there is evidence of high use of the  earlier edition.

Status of an Order

The requestor will be notified by email when the item is available on the New Book Display, or when an urgently required item is available or if an item is cancelled for any reason (e.g. out of print).

Items noted in library records as "In Process" have been received but are not yet catalogued or available. If you require an item urgently inquire at InfoHelp or send a Fast-Track Cataloguing Request via the web.

If you have any questions regarding the status of material on order, please contact Acquisitions Services, 4781 4522.

Urgent Requests

Textbooks required for "short-term loan" are always ordered and processed urgently, but please mark such titles clearly, and provide the subject code and advise when they are required.

If there is an item which is particularly urgently required, special arrangements to speed up supply can be negotiated, by contacting Acquisitions Services.

Ephemeral Materials

The Library does not normally order pamphlets, preprints, reprints or off-prints, individual chapters of books, or titles less then 48 pages in length (unless a children's book required for the Curriculum Collection). If there are compelling reasons for ordering such materials please provide these  with the purchase request.

Serial Subscriptions

Serials and online bibliographic and full text services can be requested, using the standard Purchase Request form, but they are considered and purchased differently from book purchases. Because of the continuing financial commitment of serials, new subscriptions  are generally decided collectively on a yearly basis. Please contact Associate Director, Information Resources directly if you have an urgent subscription request.

The Library normally does not order single issues or volumes of serials unless the issue or volume is devoted to a single topic and is complete alone. An exception is the "Annual review" type of serial, which may be requested either individually as a book request, or as a subscription.