Selection Policy

Principal Criteria for Selection | Criteria Specific to Electronic Resources | Subject Guidelines | Subject Guidelines Continued | Interdisciplinary Indexes

Editor's Note: Choice’s Selection Policy, prepared by Choice editors in consultation with the Choice Editorial Board and approved by the Board in July 2009, appears below. It updates the 2004 Selection Policy. This comprehensive policy document outlines the major criteria that guide Choice subject editors in selecting print and electronic publications for review and provides a brief statement of coverage and scope for each subject area.

Founded in 1964, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries and Choice Reviews are publications of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Choice’s primary mission is to assist librarians who build collections at the undergraduate level by providing concise, critical reviews of current scholarly books and electronic resources. In addition, Choice publications serve faculty and students selecting resources that support work in the classroom.

Choice publishes approximately 7,000 reviews annually in print formats (the magazine and Choice Reviews on Cards) and online (Choice Reviews). Because most titles are reviewed within six months of their publication, Choice publications usually provide the first scholarly, post-publication commentary on academic resources.

Choice reviewers are primarily teaching faculty from institutions across the United States and Canada, selected for their subject expertise, active involvement with undergraduate students and curricula, diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, and sensitivity to scholarly trends. Academic librarians, many of whom are subject specialists with advanced degrees, review most reference materials and many Web sites.

Choice subject editors hold master’s degrees in library science or advanced subject degrees, and most have academic library experience in collection development. Editors select resources for review based on examination of finished works, whether in print or online. Subject editors examine more than 24,000 scholarly and trade publications annually and keep up with developments in their fields, seeking out materials as appropriate. This process includes monitoring publishers’ catalogs, professional journals, and online resources. Due to the volume of materials received, Choice reviews only a small percentage (roughly 25 to 30 percent) of the titles submitted.

This four-part policy statement outlines the major criteria Choice editors use in selecting print and electronic publications for review and provides a brief statement of scope for each subject area. Principal Criteria for Selection, applies to all materials, print and electronic; Criteria Specific to Electronic Resources, describes criteria for nonprint resources; Subject Guidelines, provides criteria for specific subjects; Interdisciplinary Indexes, elaborates on the indexes Choice applies to all reviews to enhance searching across disciplines.

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