The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of a new recommended practice, Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs (NISO RP‑20‑2014). Demand driven acquisition (DDA), also referred to as patron-driven acquisition, is a method used by libraries for collection development where monographs are purchased at their point of need when selected by users from a pool of potential titles. NISO’s Recommended Practice discusses and makes recommendations for publishers, vendors, aggregators, and libraries about key aspects of DDA, goals and objectives of a DDA program, choosing parameters of the program, profiling options, managing MARC records for DDA, removing materials from the consideration pool, assessment of the program, providing long-term access to un-owned content, consortial considerations for DDA, and public library DDA. Although DDA is more commonly used for e-books, the method can also be applied to print publications and these recommendations provide a single set of best practices for both formats, with articulation of differences where they occur.

“Under a traditional up-front purchase model for monographs, the acquisition process ends soon after the book arrives in the library,” explains Michael Levine-Clark, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services at University of Denver Libraries and NISO DDA Working Group Co-chair. “DDA, on the other hand, requires long-term management of a preselected ‘consideration pool’ of titles available for purchase. The process of acquisition evolves from one of getting books into the collection to one of long-term management of the discovery tools that allow for demand-driven access to monographs. The guidelines in this Recommended Practice will allow libraries to develop DDA plans for both electronic and print books that meet differing local collecting and budgetary needs, while also allowing consortial participation and cross-aggregator implementation.”

“DDA may disrupt the traditional scholarly communication supply chain, therefore libraries, publishers, and aggregators must be committed to working together to establish long-term sustainable models that highlight mutual benefits,” states Barbara Kawecki, Director of Western U.S. Sales at YBP Library Services and NISO DDA Working Group Co-chair. “It is important that there is some free discovery without triggering purchase, and that discovery is integrated in some way with other tools in use by the library. Although DDA has currently been adopted primarily by academic libraries, greater interest in and use of DDA by public libraries is expected in the future and these recommendations should work equally well for them.”

“There are many approaches an institution can adopt when launching DDA,” states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. “This Recommended Practice provides an overview of those options and concludes with specific recommendations that give guidance to libraries, publishers, aggregators, and vendors as they implement and manage their DDA programs.”

Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs (NISO RP‑20‑2014) is available for free download from the Demand-Driven Acquisition Working Group webpage on the NISO website at:


Cynthia Hodgson

Technical Editor / Consultant

National Information Standards Organization

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