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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject


McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Subjects covered

The Department of Psychology offers 3 undergraduate degrees, a master’s degree in human resources and a Ph. D. degree in both clinical and experimental psychology.  However, the psychology curriculum and faculty areas of specialization represent most areas of psychology.  The following table identifies the general areas of curriculum and research activity:

abnormal psychology

adulthood & aging

applied psychology


clinical psychology

cognitive neuropsychology    

cognitive psychology

community research

conflict resolution   

couples & families research

developmental psychology


ecological psychology

diversity & health




experimental psychology

group psychology

health psychology

human factors

human sexuality

interpersonal relations

intervention  research



mediation & conflict resolution


motivation  and    emotion



organizational psychology



physiological psychology

program evaluation

proposal writing


psychological assessment

psychology of gender




psychotropic drugs

research methods



social development

social psychology

sport psychology

statistical methods

substance abuse

survey research

systems of psychology

tests & testing


workplace psychology



















Departments /Users served

The primary users of the psychology collection are undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in the Department of Psychology.  However, the psychology collection is heavily drawn upon by students and faculty from the College of Allied Health Services and the College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services.  Further, many colleges and academic departments offer courses that require use of psychology materials. 

Non-primary users also are responsible for a significant number of requests for the purchase of psychology related library materials.  These requests are accommodated if the materials requested fall within the scope of the collection policy for this department and if sufficient funding is available.


Degrees offered

   BA in Psychology

   BS in Psychology

   BA in Organizational Leadership

   MA in Human Resources

   Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology

   Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology


Special programs/Accreditation

   The Ph.D. in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

   Center for Organizational Leadership

   Center for Cognition, Action & Perception


Dept. of Psychtaology Research Labs:

     Behavioral Health Research Program

     Behavioral Neuroscience Lab

     Brain Lab

     Children’s Cognitive Research Lab

     Complexity Group

     Evaluation, Policy and Program Planning

     Health and Anxiety Psychopathology Laboratory

     Health Resources and Workplace Effectiveness

     Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

     Center for Organizational Leadership

     Partnerships for Intervention and Treatment of Child Health

     Perception, Memory and Emotion

     Perceptual-Motor Dynamics Laboratory

     Resilience & Disparities Lab

     Innovations in Community Research and Program Evaluation

     Social Identity & Diversity Lab

     Stress and Health

     Today’s Couples and Families Research Program


Research focus, grants, special funding

The Department of Psychology operates eighteen specialized labs (see above) and a Center for Organizational Leadership and a Center for Cognition, Action & Perception.  The Department collaborates with a number of organizations to provide a wide variety of courses and research opportunities for graduate students.  Information about these opportunities is available from the Psychology graduate studies page.




Location of collection

The majority of the psychology collection is housed in Langsam Library.   The collection occupies shelving on all three floors.  Selected older materials and duplicate copies of monographs are housed in SWORD.


Other collections supporting programs


            Psychology students and faculty frequentsly use the Health Sciences Library collection; To a limited extent they also make use of the Engineering and DAAP             collections and the University Libraries' collection in Biology, Computer Science, Education, Industrial Relations (Business), Mathematics and Sociology.



           Psychology students and faculty also utilize collections represented by the OhioLINK consortium of libraries.


Collection history

The Department of Experimental Psychology and Pedagogy was established in 1901, assisted by an allocation of $600.00 from the University Board of Trustees for the purchase of books.  The first masters degree was awarded in 1909 and the first doctorate in 1922.  The Department history is sprinkled with prestigious names in the field of psychology.

The psychology collection was housed in the Blegan Library until 1978, when it was moved to Langsam.   Since the late 1970s the budget for psychology has been modest, but nearly adequate to support collection building.  However, several serials cancellation projects, the result of spiraling inflation in the 1980s and 1990s, seriously eroded the psychology collection.  Additions of serial publications during this time frame were isolated and rare.  However, recent years have brought the prosperity of OhioLINK and its Electronic Journal Center (EJC).  The psychology collection has benefited significantly by the emergence and growth of EJC and by the addition of several other electronic journal service contracts.  


General level of collecting

Research level collecting is the goal for the major areas of clinical psychology, health & experimental psychology.   Collecting for other areas of study/research in psychology is at the advanced study level.


Specific aspects of collection


Call numbers

Materials collected for Psychology fall generally in the following classifications:


Class. Letters

Area of Relevance


Class. Letters

Area of Relevance





Developmental Psychology   (child)


Psychiatry (Psychotherapy)



Statistical Analysis


Social Psychology



Animal Behavior &   Psychology


Sexual Life


T – TA

Human Factors


Substance Abuse



Relevant Subject Bibliographies


Current & retrospective collecting

The focus of the collection is predominately on current materials.  The notable exception to this general rule is with regard to materials covering the history and systems of psychology.   In this area the acquisition of older materials, including microform sets, is entirely appropriate.

Psychology library materials are periodically evaluated to ensure the maintenance of a relevant and viable collection.  Dated and unused materials generally are removed to storage.  However, classic and seminal works are retained in the Langsam collection, contingent upon the condition of the work. 


Time period collected

With very few exceptions, notably the area of history and systems, the collection emphasis is on current materials.  Indexing sources also must be current.  Out-of-print items are rarely purchased. 


Levels & treatments

Collections expenditures are heavily weighted toward research level materials required by graduate students, faculty, and upper level undergraduates.  However, since 1998 purchases for the undergraduate population have increased, particularly for specialized texts, readings, and summary treatments of general areas in psychology.   Popular psychology materials and paranormal psychology materials are not purchased.



Nearly all acquisitions are of English language materials.  However, translations of significant works in psychology are acquired.  Generally, foreign language materials are only considered for purchase if requested by a specific Psychology faculty member or graduate student.


Geographical areas

Content rather than geography determines the acquisition decision.  Materials that conform to the psychology collection profile are considered for purchase.   Because of the aforementioned language requirement, most materials come from English speaking countries.


Special Aspects

Materials published on narrow aspects of psychology are not purchased unless they directly relate to the psychology curriculum or the research interests of the faculty.  Examples of materials on narrow aspects of psychology that would not be purchased are books on the psychology of tennis, jury behavior or psychological assessments of historical figures.   Selected materials on narrow aspects may be purchased, however, if requested for research or curriculum support.


Types of resources

Journal literature is the most important resource for psychology research.  Graduate students and faculty are heavily dependent upon the journal literature.  Undergraduate psychology majors also are expected to use this resource.    Faculty and students, particularly undergraduates, also rely heavily upon the book collection for research and curriculum support.   Other materials upon which the faculty and graduate students rely include conference proceedings, society publications and testing materials.  Graduate students require access to dissertations; these materials are usually available in full text format via ProQuest.


Resource formats

Most psychology materials are in paper, microform or electronic format.  A significant percentage of the journal literature is now available in electronic format.   Electronic book purchases have increased in recent years, but this collection is not of significant size. Media, particularly video streaming, has become an important part of the psychology collection, particularly for curriculum support.  All of the major psychology indexes are now available online.


Endowed areas

The Psychology Department receives no special endowment funds.


Acquisition Processes

 Approval  plans

Psychology participates in the YBP approval plan.   The majority of psychology’s monographs come via the approval plan.  The psychology approval profile is available through GOBI.


Firm orders

Some monographs are ordered from the YBP electronic approval notification slips.  Additionally, some monographs are ordered outside of the approval plan, particularly society publications.


Standing orders

Standing orders are a significant component of the psychology collection.   Most are series that serve to chronicle state of the art research in a wide range of areas in the field psychology.


Document suppliers

The OhioLINK document delivery service provides convenient, patron initiated document delivery for book requests.  The venerable ILL service continues to provide document delivery, mostly electronic, for articles, but also for books (those unavailable through OhioLINK) and miscellaneous other materials.


Special vendors

Psychology does not require special vendors outside of those normally used by Acquisitions.


Unique sources

Society publications, particularly proceedings, and tests, published by the Educational Testing Service, constitute unique sources for psychology.


Randall L. Roberts

Bibliographer & Liaison for Psychology

July, 2014

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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