Acquisition policy for Uppsala University Library

Table of contents:

To provide guidelines and support for Uppsala University Library’s acquisitions, the Library has a general acquisitions policy as well as acquisitions plans for the individual subject libraries. These guidelines clarify the objectives of the acquisitions activity for library staff, users and collaborating departments, and enable a consistent selection of media and an appropriate and effective utilisation of media grants.

The acquisitions policy is based on the goals and strategies for the University and the University Library.

The policy was adopted by the Library Director as of 2015-03-25. Log No. UB 2015/30

General guidelines

Uppsala University Library shall acquire printed literature, electronic resources and manuscripts, maps and images to support research, PhD studies and first- and second-cycle studies within the University’s disciplinary domains.

The Library must be able to guarantee quality, consistency and breadth in its collections in order to provide the materials for future areas of research and education. All the materials that are added to the collections will, irrespective of their mode of acquisition, be subject to scholarly evaluation.

As part of the Library’s acquisitions policy, there is a requirement to ensure that the collections also contain literature with a genus perspective, as well as literature that is not based on the heterosexual norm.

We endeavour to make our acquisitions in collaboration with the University’s departments and researchers. Our acquisition work shall be flexible and adaptable to accommodate the changes that take place within Uppsala University.

Uppsala University Library prioritises purchasing digital resources when there is reason to do so. This includes databases as well as e-journals and e-books. Digitised acquisitions are subject to the same guidelines as printed materials.

The acquisitions policy shall provide support in this work and should be continually updated. 

Guidelines for different types of media


The University Library acquires academic literature through current awareness services and in response to purchase requests. Electronic versions of monographs may in some cases be preferred, to facilitate accessibility for users. The Library uses the state framework agreements for procurement of printed books.


The University Library endeavours to ensure a good supply and equable distribution of databases within the disciplines studied at the University.


Most of the journals and periodicals the Library acquires are electronic versions, which are frequently part of large packages offered by the publishers. Individual titles are primarily purchased at the initiative of the Library’s users, who submit purchase requests. Electronic versions of journals are preferred in order to make them more easily accessible to users. The Library uses the national framework agreements for procurement of journals and periodicals.

Reference literature

A certain basic collection of literature of a more general nature, and relevant manuals and reference works, should be available as reference literature in all the subject libraries. In purchasing reference literature, the Library gives preference to electronic publications, which make for greater accessibility and provide better opportunity for rapid updating.

Course literature

Acquisition of the relevant course literature is the responsibility of the various subject libraries. The level they seek to attain is one copy of every course book at first-cycle level. To make course literature more accessible to students, course books are purchased as e-books when there is reason to do so. The aim is to make course literature available at the start of the course. This is done in collaboration with the University’s departments and teachers.

Dissertations, theses and student papers

Dissertations and theses given at Uppsala University will be added to the Library’s physical collection and be published in DiVA, Uppsala University’s digital scholarly archive. Student papers and degree projects in physical form are not acquired.

Controversial materials

Uppsala University Library supports the principle of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. For research purposes the Library also needs to be able to provide access to controversial materials.

Acquisition methods

Suppliers and agreements

Uppsala University use the state framework agreements for books and journals (in Swedish only).

Purchase requests

The Library welcomes purchase requests from researchers, teachers and students.

User-driven acquisition

The Library employs collection development models for user-driven acquisition of e-books, for example PDA (Patron Driven Acquisition) and EBA/EBS (Evidence Based Acquisition/Selection), which are offered by publishers and suppliers. The Library takes a positive view of models that match users’ requirements precisely, and tests and employs user-driven models whenever appropriate.

Antiquarian purchases

Antiquarian materials may be acquired if there are special reasons for so doing, for example if there are gaps in the collections, lost or damaged books, or classic works that have not previously been purchased. The Library’s cultural heritage department is responsible for acquisitions of relevant older and unique materials.


The University Library is only able to accept donations to a limited degree. We always reserve the right to make our own selection from the materials offered and to have free disposal of materials we receive.

Interlibrary loans – acquisitions

Interlibrary loan reservations for books published in the past few years, which can be expected to arrive within a reasonable time, are converted from interlibrary loans to acquisitions.

Legal deposits

Under the Legal Deposit Act, Uppsala University Library has a statutory duty to have on deposit one copy of all works, both print and non-print, that are published in Swedish. Legal deposit materials are distributed to the various subject libraries according to their subject matter.

Evaluation and maintenance of the collections

Uppsala University Library is a research library with a responsibility to build collections of quality and continuity for the purposes of research, higher education and preservation of Swedish cultural heritage.

The subject libraries’ book collections should be reviewed and weeded on a regular basis, having respect for the basic principles outlined above.

Where books and journals are required to be withdrawn, the following criteria shall apply:

  • Back volumes of print journals that are available in electronic form and that are securely archived may be withdrawn.
  • Duplicates and books that are badly deteriorated or damaged may be withdrawn.
Last modified: 2021-06-18