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What happens if students are not allowed to use sources older than 5 years?
Occasionally students tell us that their instructor will not accept library materials with a copyright date older than five years. Usually this is in a major where currency is very important and old information can be dated, wrong, or even dangerous if you are talking about something like medicine.
But what are the consequences?
- Limiting use to the last 5 years excludes 95% of the collection.
- Buying books of various copyright dates less than five years old means that some of those titles will have a shelf life of only one year - not a good investment!
- You cannot broaden or deepen your collection if it has a shelf life of five or fewer years.
- Our budget is insufficient to replace a collection with a rolling five year limit.
- In some cases there will not be a title less than five years old.
- The five year window excludes classics.
While excluding articles more than five year old is a doable proposition, it works badly with books.