The library will select resources in direct support of USC health sciences goals, and organize and disseminate them for efficient use and easy navigation.
Most subjects relating to medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and occupational
and physical therapy are collected at the research level (RLG Level
4), although the only language collected is English, and non U.S. imprints
are generally not selected in the clinical disciplines. Two important
biomedical programs that are not primarily supported by the Health Sciences
Library System are biomedical engineering and public health administration,
both of which are primarily supported by University Park libraries.
Symposium proceedings are generally excluded except those issued as
part of high-quality series such as the Cold Spring Harbor or Novartis Foundation
symposia and other important society sponsored symposia.
Also, unlike the RLG Level 4 standard, older materials are generally
not retained indefinitely for purposes of historical research. For works
in multiple editions, the library generally keeps only the two latest
editions. Books are routinely reviewed for deselection when they are
25 years old, at which point only recognized classics, works with enduring
scientific value, statistical and epidemiological works, works associated
with significant sociopolitical events and movements (e.g. medical studies
on Hiroshima victims, 1960s works on recreational drug use), early works
representing medical advances (e.g., early works on anorexia nervosa,
sudden infant death syndrome, Legionnaire's disease, and important new
drugs), and works associated with historically important authors are
retained. Journal volumes are retained indefinitely.
I. Level 4 Subjects: Research
Anatomy and Embryology -- emphasis on human, but selectively includes
comparative aspects; special interest in craniofacial development.
(Most non-human anatomy is at USC Science Library.)
Biochemistry -- emphasis on protein and peptide biochemistry.
Chemistry, Medicinal -- highly specialized monographs on aspects
of pharmaceutical research and development are generally not purchased.
(Some related material on applied chemistry is at USC Science Library)
Molecular and Cell Biology -- especially as it relates to human gene
therapy and mechanisms of neoplasia. Also work going on in School
of Pharmacy on cell motility. (Additional material on cell biology
is at USC Science Library)
Oncology -- especially viral aspects, oncogenes, lymphoma, molecular
Microbiology -- especially virology. Generally excludes agricultural
and industrial microbiology
Neurology -- high levels of research activity in almost all areas.
(Also at USC Science Library for comparative neuroscience and cognition)
Immunology -- including transplantation immunology
Pathology -- especially relating to blood, infectious disease, and
Pharmacology -- includes an extensive collection in the area of ethno-pharmacology
Physiology -- especially epithelial physiology, kidney physiology,
mechanisms of diabetes, and ion transport
Toxicology -- toxicity of free radicals is a major research interest
Anesthesiology -- excludes highly specific and/or technical works
(Also at LAC+USC General Hospital Library)
Cardiology -- special emphasis on preventive aspects, atherosclerosis;
vascular surgery, heart transplantation
Communication Disorders -- purchases are somewhat selective in this
area; excludes technical aspects of audiology and most clinical speech
therapy, but aphasia is an important research area
Critical Care Medicine
Emergency Medicine -- supports an exceptionally busy service and
large house staff at General Hospital (Also at LAC+USC General Hospital
Endocrinology -- active service in diabetes
Family Medicine -- increasing emphasis in School of Medicine curriculum
Forensic Medicine -- great interest in psychiatric aspects of legal
Gastroenterology -- an area of high interest, especially esophagus,
active liver service, etc.
Geriatrics -- emphasis on medical care; level 3 coverage of psychological
and counseling aspects (Also at USC Gerontology Library)
Gynecology and Obstetrics -- emphasis on clinical practice. Research
aspects on fertility, andrology, etc. have been covered in greater
depth at Women's Hospital -- situation in flux with closing of Women's
Hospital Library, and move of some materials to LAC+USC General Hospital
Hematology -- area of high interest, both clinical and research aspects,
especially hematologic pathology and thrombosis
Infectious Disease -- high interest in viral infections, AIDS, tuberculosis,
Nephrology -- area of high interest, especially end stage kidney
disease, transplantation, biochemistry, and physiology
Neurology, Clinical -- especially Alzheimer's, brain injury, neurosurgery,
stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular disease, balance disorders, AIDS-related
Occupational Medicine -- especially occupational hazards of airline
and electrical power industry; also air pollution effects
Oncology, Clinical -- area of high interest, especially urologic
aspects, leukemia, lymphoma, epidemiology, chemotherapy
Ophthalmology -- area of high interest, especially retina, cornea,
glaucoma (also at Doheny Eye Hospital Library)
Orthopedics -- many orthopedists and house staff on campus, especially
at County, especially orthopedic surgery and trauma aspects. Also
of interest to physical therapy group. But some USC orthopedists work
out of Orthopedic Hospital and Good Samaritan
Otorhinolaryngology -- including oral medicine; not much on otology,
since much of this work is done at House Ear Institute. Dental Library
collects more comprehensively on mouth disorders.
Pediatrics -- somewhat selective in this area, given the large volume
of publication and the fact that most USC pediatric research is done
at Children's Hospital.
Psychiatry -- emphasis on clinical psychiatry and psychotherapy,
less on psychological counseling. Special interest in substance abuse,
sexuality, and forensic psychiatry. Neuropsychology, developmental
psychology, and psychological aspects of aging are also research areas.
Speculative monographs in the area of psychotherapy or monographs
reflecting the techniques of a single therapist are generally not
purchased without a faculty recommendation.
Radiology/Imaging -- due to the large number and high cost of books
in this area, purchasing is selective. (Also at LAC+USC General Hospital
Respiratory Medicine -- especially asthma, tuberculosis, fungal infections,
Rheumatology -- also an area of interest for physical therapists
Sports Medicine -- emphasis on sports injuries (rather than athletic
conditioning), rehabilitation, and physical therapy. (Athletic aspects
at USC Doheny Library)
Surgery -- due to the large number and high cost of books in this
area, purchasing is somewhat selective. Works on highly specific surgical
procedures are generally excluded except with faculty recommendation.
Oral and craniofacial surgery is mainly at Dental and at LAC+USC General
Tropical Medicine -- area of significant interest at LAC+USC Medical
Center because of immigrant patient population.
Urology -- area of significant research and clinical activity, including
reconstructive surgery, erectile dysfunction, urologic cancer
Other Level 4 Areas
Biomedical Ethics (Also at USC Law, Doheny, Applied Social Sciences
Library [formerly Von Kleinsmid])
Education, Health Science
Health Care Policy and Services -- standard texts and journals are
added (Norris depends on USC Applied Social Sciences Library, Law
Library, and the Government Documents collection for specialized materials).
Coverage is almost exclusively U.S.
Preventive Medicine and Public Health -- emphasis on U.S. Includes
epidemiology and biostatistics. High research interest in cancer prevention,
smoking cessation, prevention of occupational injury, atherosclerosis,
health effects of air pollution, substance abuse prevention. (Also
at USC Applied Social Sciences Library)
Occupational Therapy -- many other fields overlap with OT and these
are purchased very selectively, e.g. social work, special education,
sociology, etc. Occupational therapy is better established in many
British Commonwealth countries, so a fair number of non U.S. books
and journals are purchased. Interest in play therapy, delinquency,
primate studies, stroke rehabilitation, and hand therapy. (Also at
Pharmacy -- emphasis on pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy;
somewhat selective in the area of pharmaceutical chemistry and manufacturing
technology; School of Pharmacy includes a major research institute
for toxicology research; and doctoral program in pharmaceutical economics.
Marketing studies issued by consulting firms are not purchased, due
to their extremely high price.
Physical Therapy -- book purchasing routinely includes British and
other Commonwealth publications. Includes gait analysis, electrical
and thermal therapeutics, kinesiology, and orthotics. Selective purchasing
in biomechanics (supplemented by materials at USC Science Library).
Professional Practice Issues: e.g. practice patterns, economics,
malpractice, social roles, provider patient relations, etc. (supplemented
by materials at USC Applied Social Sciences Library and Law Library).
Selective purchase of healthcare provider autobiographies and patient
II. Level 3 Areas: Study Level Collections
Allied Health Personnel -- emphasis on radiologic technicians, respiratory
therapy. (Also at LAC+USC General Hospital Library)
Analytical Chemistry -- emphasis on gas and liquid chromatography,
electrophoresis, immunohistochemistry, DNA methods. (Mainly at USC
Biomedical Engineering (Mainly at USC Science Library)
Comparative Anatomy -- emphasis on primates and research animals.
Dissection atlases for dog, cat, rabbit, and rat are heavily used.
(Mainly at USC Science Library)
Developmental Biology -- emphasis on primates and research animals;
the journal collection is Level 4. Craniofacial development is Level
4. (Also at USC Science Library)
History of the Health Sciences -- emphasis on U.S. history and major
international figures and events. Excludes highly specialized monographs
and most serials. Level 4 for American frontier medicine. Materials
on history of infectious diseases are heavily used.
Hospital Administration -- most material on health administration
is in University Park campus libraries; Norris collection emphasizes
practical issues of hospital administration and management. (Also
at LAC+USC General Hospital Library and USC Applied Social Sciences
Nursing -- excludes practical nursing. With the discontinuation of
the School of Nursing, collecting is mainly restricted to clinical
texts, with a limited number of works in nursing theory and nursing
as a profession. (Also at LAC Nursing)
Nutrition and Dietetics -- (Also at USC Doheny and Science Libraries)
Psychology -- emphasis on issues relevant to abnormal psychology,
psychological testing, preventive medicine, clinical counseling, and
occupational therapy. (Mainly at USC Doheny Library)
III. Level 2 Areas: Basic Level Collections
Computers and Information Science -- Mainly at USC Doheny and Science
Libraries, but medical informatics is Level 4.
General Biology (Mainly at USC Science Library)
Nontraditional Medicine -- only as it affects delivery of traditional
healthcare to special groups. American Indian Ethnopharmacology is
collected for Webb Collection. Some works on "holistic"
approaches are collected, especially in support of Nursing and Occupational
Therapy. Also selective purchasing in areas of acupuncture and osteopathic
Organic Chemistry (Mainly at USC Science Library)
Sociology -- U.S. only, and only as it relates to health, e.g. poverty,
homicide, child abuse, attitudes to death, etc. (Mainly at USC Doheny
Veterinary Medicine -- laboratory animals only
IV. Out of Scope
Patient Education (except for a few general reference works)
Generally only works aimed at the level of professional or graduate
level education are purchased. A limited number of undergraduate level
works in such basic subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, immunology,
and physiology are purchased. Works aimed at the lay public are excluded,
except for selected general family health care encyclopedias.
Non U.S. authors are generally not purchased in Level 3 areas, and
purchased selectively in Level 4 areas. Multi authored works for which
the majority of the authors are non U.S. are generally not purchased
except in specialized areas of high research interest.
Bibliographies are generally excluded because of their low usage
and because they are so quickly out of date.
A limited number of proceedings series are received on a standing
order basis through serials. Other proceedings are generally not purchased.
Excluded formats are workbooks, pocket sized editions, spiral bound
titles (except for Brandon List titles), and outlines (but expanded
outline review books are selectively purchased).
Indexes to and digests of the journal literature are added only if
they provide substantially different coverage than MEDLINE and other
Emphasis is on English-language titles indexed in MEDLINE. Priority
is given to titles that report new research findings, and journals
in which USC authors routinely publish. Journals that consist largely
of review articles are added selectively. New titles are added in
online versions only if publisher offers reasonable archival access.
We try to purchase TWO copies of Brandon List First Purchases selections
priced at under $80 annually. All other works are purchased in single
copies, with the exception of selected commonly consulted reference
works. The two copy limit also applies to books being placed on reserve.
In rare instances, and only if usage warrants, three copies may be
purchased for reserve use.
Newsletters are generally restricted to those issued by highly-regarded
health professional organizations. Commercial newsletters that provide
digests of current literature are added very selectively in areas
of high research interest (e.g., AIDS,
health care policy reform).
Works issued by publishers without an established reputation for
scientific and editorial rigor are generally not selected. This is
especially true of "vanity" publishers and self- published
Books consisting of reprinted articles are generally not purchased.
Workbooks and Practice Exams
Workbooks and commercially produced practice exams are generally