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Accordion List

The aim of the Science collection at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is to bring the results of scientific inquiry to non-specialist readers. Many of the works touch upon broad social and ethical implications that may not be developed in specialist works. Science literacy is increasingly important in our technology-driven world, and every citizen should have some general information about scientific developments. This collection, therefore, does not support one particular program, but rather complements other science and technology-related collections in the Penn Libraries system. It fills in collection gaps not covered by other collection development policies, and also features some multidisciplinary works. 

The Science collection consists of material geared to the non-scientist. This includes introductory academic material and material written for the lay reader. It covers all the STEM disciplines including medicine and public health.

1. Chronological

Emphasis is on the role of science in contemporary society.

2. Formats

The preferred format for books and journals is electronic, however print monographs are acquired when there is no electronic equivalent. Streaming video is collected only on request.

3. Geographical


4. Language

The preferred language is English.

5. Publication Dates

Primarily current materials are purchased.

Serials are purchased through EBSCO Subscription Services, journal aggregators, individual publishers, and through consortia agreements. The monograph collection is acquired mainly in electronic format using various e-book vendors, publishers, and an approval plan through GOBI. Monographs with a content level description of "General Academic" are preferred to those with "Advanced Academic" descriptions. Publisher platforms are preferred over aggregator platforms. Approval plans, search alerts, and vendor communications are used to identify new material for the collection.

Travel and tourism literature, including ecotourism. Consumer health information.  

Collaboration with other Penn science and technology collections is common. We consult with the Holman Biotech Commons when collecting works in biology, ecology and medicine; with the Math/Physics/Astronomy Library on introductory physics and other STEM related material; and with the Veterinary Medicine Libraries regarding animal-related collections.