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Collections Updates & Feedback: Health Sciences Library

Updates and request for feedback on potential cancellations of Health Sciences Library resources


Email to contact the Health Sciences Library's Public Health & Collection Librarian, Leslie Gascon, regarding collections.

Alternative Access

Alternative Access Options for resources to which the UW Libraries does not subscribe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Collections FAQ

Jump to answer: 

Why does the library have collections?

Library collections refers to the collections of resources offered by the library rather than collecting fees. Use the UW Libraries Search to explore the collection. Alternatively, you may browse the Health Sciences Library's collections by resource type below. 


While guides are not technically part of collections, they provide pathways to accessing relevant resources in the library's collections and beyond. 

Why doesn't the library have this book, journal, or database?

There are many reasons the UW Libraries may not currently provide access to the book, journal, or database in which you're interested. Some of these reasons include availability to libraries (not all resources available for individuals are made available to libraries and institutions), the resource's applicability to the Health Sciences Library's user groups, affordability (some individual resources are only available in very expensive packages), and more. Learn more about our guiding principles for collection development at the Health Sciences Library. 

If you would like the library to consider purchasing or subscribing to a new resource, please recommend a purchase

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Glossary of Terms Used in this Guide

Health Sciences Community

The health sciences community is made up of faculty, students, and staff across three campuses: UW Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. The Health Sciences Library serves the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Social Work and UW Medical Centers Harborview and Montlake.

The Health Sciences Library works closely with the Bothell and Tacoma Libraries, which serve the Nursing and Nutrition & Health Studies programs and the Nursing, Social Work, and Biomedicine programs, respectively. Health sciences librarians collaborate closely across campuses and libraries regarding collections, education, and services. 

General Terms

Biennial Budget

The University of Washington budgets operate on a two-year cycle. Therefore, the UW budget consists of two fiscal years, called a biennial budget; this can be contrasted to an annual budget which consists of one fiscal year. Due to the UW Financial Transformation (UWFT), the UW is transitioning to annual budgets in FY2024.

I.e., the FY20-21 Biennial Budget will end June 30th, 2021, and the FY22-23 Biennial Budget will begin on July 1st, 2021, and end two years later on June 30th, 2023. 


Libraries use the term collection to refer to all of the electronic, print, and other resources they provide. 

E.g., the Electronic Collection refers to all ejournals, ebooks, streaming media, point-of-care (also called evidence based practice) tools, and databases to which the library subscribes or has purchased.

E.g., the Print Collection refers to all of the paper books, journals, and reports the library owns. 

Fiscal Year (FY)

The University's fiscal year begins July 1st every year and ends on June 30th the following year. 

E.g., FY22 begins July 1, 2021, and ends June 30, 2022. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The UW Libraries partners with libraries across the nation and world to make resources accessible to patrons. 

E.g., if UW Libraries does not subscribe to the journal from which you need an article, you may place an ILL request and the UW Libraries will obtain the article for you from another library for free. Please note that not every article or item is accessible via interlibrary loan but the Libraries will do our best to find the requested item for you. 

Single Journal Titles

Libraries can subscribe to journals in packages or as single titles. Libraries typically have very little say in which journals are included in journal packages; in contrast, the library can add and cancel single titles with much more flexibility. 

E.g., if UW Libraries would like to add a journal that is only available to libraries in a package, we must subscribe to the entire package to get access to that one title. Similarly, if the UW Libraries would like to cancel one title in a package, we must cancel all titles included in that package. Single journal titles are available to add and cancel independently from the library's other journals.


Many of the Health Sciences Library resources are subscription only.

I.e., publishers and vendors sell subscription access to their electronic resources (e.g., an ejournal) typically on an annual basis. If the Health Sciences Library subscribes to one year of an ejournal, the subscription must be renewed the next year, typically at a higher price than the previous year's subscription price; this increase in price is often referred to as serials cost inflation, which averages 6% annually