Collection Policies



General Collection Guidelines
Collecting Codes


To support faculty research and instruction leading to the English Department's undergraduate degree emphasis in Journalism. Current areas of instruction are feature story writing, editing, newswriting, and broadcast journalism. There is some overlap of interest by the undergraduate and graduate professional writing degree programs in the English Department, as well as interest from the Speech Communication department.



English will be the primary language of the collection.

Chronological Guidelines:

Current research should be emphasized, but gaps in historical studies can be filled in as funds are available.

Geographical Guidelines:

Greatest emphasis should be on American journalism; although foreign news and censorship issues will also be collected.

Treatment of Subject:

Theoretical and historical studies and works on methodology will be widely acquired, as will undergraduate-level and upper-division materials on general journalism principles. Biographies of journalists should be selectively acquired.

Because journalism involves the "gathering, evaluating, displaying, and dissemination of news, opinion, or information," (1) the Library's collection must also reflect the journalist's pursuit of information. The reference collection (whether print or electronic) should include the most up-to-date information in the form of dictionaries, encyclopedias, statistics, handbooks, etc.

Type of Material:

An up-to-date reference collection including dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and directories of journalism terms, associations, practices will be maintained. A good collection of books and scholarly journals to cover all aspects of journalism, communications, and mass media is desired for student and faculty research (list of ODU Library journals in Journalism is attached). Periodical indexes and abstracts, both print and electronic (we subscribe to Communication Abstracts and the Matlon Index in print and ComServe electronically) and serial bibliographies dealing with journalism are necessary. Other resources on journalism as a discipline are increasingly available via the Internet and can be accessed from the Library's web site (

Current periodicals and newspapers, along with periodical (e.g., Expanded Academic Index, Dow Jones Interactive) and newspaper (e.g., National Newspaper Index, Global Newsbank) databases dealing with current events are essential for student work. Also for student research, electronic resources are essential because of the timeliness and variety of information provided: Dow Jones, e.g., is an excellent current events database. Organizational and government web sites provide statistics and raw data important to news writers; geographical information systems will be a new tool for journalists; access to collections of images and photographs are available (AP Photo Archive); electronic encyclopedias and other reference resources will be maintained.

Date of Publication:

Emphasis is on the acquisition of current publications.

Other General Considerations:

Related Subject Policy Statements:


Other Resources:

Government Documents collection







Journalism. The Press

Radio and Television Broadcasting

Communication, Mass Media

Authorship (Editing, Feature Writing)

Practical Printing (Newspaper layout and typography)






1 Cates, Jo A. Journalism: A Guide to the Reference Literature. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1990.

ODU Library Journals in Journalism

Print Subscriptions:

  • Broadcasting & Cable, 1964- (print HE8689.B77)
  • Columbia Journalism Review, 1961- (print PN4700.C64; elec: EAI, DJI, ABI)
  • Communication Education, 1953- (print PN4071.S74)
  • Communication Monographs, 1934- (print PN4077.S6)
  • Communication Research, 1974- (print P91.C56)
  • Communication Studies, 1989-1996 (print/film PN4001 .C45)
  • Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1984- (print: P87.C71; elec: DJI)
  • Editor & Publisher, 1956- (print: PN4700.E21; elec: EAI, GBF, DJI, ABI)
  • Graphis, 1950- (print N8.G73)
  • Human Communication Research, 1982- (print P91.3.H85)
  • Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 1956- (print: PN1991.J6; elec: EAI, DJI)
  • Journal of Communication, 1952- (print: P87.J6; elec: DJI, ABI)
  • Journal of Popular Culture, 1967-
  • Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly (formerly Journalism Quarterly), 1931- (print: PN4700.J7; elec: ABI)
  • Public Opinion Quarterly, 1950-
  • Quarterly Journal of Speech, 1980-
  • Quill, 1989- (print: PN4700.Q5; elec: EAI, DJI, ABI)
  • Vital Speeches of the Day, 1939-
  • World Press Review, 1980- (print: AP2.A833; elec: EAI, DJI)
  • Written Communication, 1985-

Electronic Only

  • American Journalism Review, 1993- (elec: EAI, DJI)
  • Electronic Media, 1991- (elec: DJI)
  • Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management 1983- (elec: EAI, GBF, DJI, ABI)
  • IRE Journal, 1997- (elec: DJI)
  • Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, 1997- (elec: DJI)
  • Journalism and Mass Communication Monographs, 1997- (elec: DJI)
  • Journalism History, 1997- (elec: DJI)
  • Masthead, 1993- (elec: EAI, DJI, ABI)
  • News Media and the Law, 1997- (elec: DJI)
  • News Photographer, 1994- (elec: EAI, DJI)
  • NewsInc., 1994- (elec: DJI)
  • Newspaper Research Journal, 1997- (elec: EAI, DJI)
  • Nieman Reports, 1992- (elec: EAI, DJI, ABI)
  • Writer's Digest, 1994- (elec: EAI, DJI; print: PN101.W82 1939-76)


0. OUT OF SCOPE: The library does not collect in this subject.

1. MINIMAL LEVEL: A subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works. A collection at this level is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information are withdrawn.

2. BASIC INFORMATION LEVEL: A selective collection of materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, access to appropriate bibliographic databases, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks, and a few major periodicals. The collection is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information.

3. STUDY OR INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT LEVEL: A collection that is adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity. The collection includes a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, access to appropriate machine-readable data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject.

4. RESEARCH LEVEL: A collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertation and independent research, including materials containing research reporting, new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Pertinent foreign language materials are included. Older material is usually retained for historical research and actively preserved. A collection at this level supports doctoral and other original research.

5. COMPREHENSIVE LEVEL: A collection in which a library endeavors, so far as it is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collection intensity is one that maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained for historical research with active preservation efforts.

December 1999
Bibliographer: Karen Vaughan