SOAS Library Collection Development Policy: Development Studies

SOAS Library
  • Context
  • Collection
  • Coverage
  • E-Resources
  • Future


1. The Department

Development Studies is a dynamic field of study concerned with social and economic change and the major policy challenges they present. While the major focus is on those countries which have remained poor despite the advances made in the industrialised parts of the world, many of the issues raised are essentially global in scope and significance.

Development Studies draws heavily on the core disciplines of Geography, Economics, Anthropology, Politics, Sociology and Law but has developed its own disciplinary focus.

The department offers undergraduate, MSc, and MPhil/PhD programmes. It has 20 academic staff and 405.49 FTE students, including 127.25 undergraduates, 247.74 taught postgraduates and 30.5 research students.

For more information see:

2. Centre for Development Policy and Research

The Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR) draws on the broad range of development expertise at the School of Oriental and African Studies to engage in innovative policy-oriented research and training on crucial development issues

Based in the Department of Development Studies, the Centre also partners extensively with specialists in the Department of Economics and other SOAS departments and actively collaborates with the London International Development Centre, a six-college consortium at the University of London geared to multi-disciplinary research

For more information see Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR)


3. History

  • The Library has actively built up collections on Development Studies relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East within its regional collections
  • The Library has supported course reading lists and selectively purchased material on general, cross-regional or global aspects and on the discipline of Development Studies

4. Languages

The Library collects material in:

  • Some European languages, especially English, for general, cross-regional or global aspects and for the discipline
  • Also the languages of Asia, Africa and the Middle East for regional publications
  • For more details see the General Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

Material on general, cross-regional or global aspects on the discipline of Development Studies are classified using Dewey Decimal Classification. All books are prefixed using the following:

  • All main books are prefixed “A”
  • Large books are prefixed "LA"
  • Reference books are prefixed "Ref A"
  • Large reference books are prefixed "L Ref A"

Material relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East are mostly classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification (with various letter prefixes), but in some regional collections alternative classification schemes are in use [see specific regions for details].


Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:

The collection aims to collect material to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Department of Development Studies and Regional & Departmental Centres.


The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below :

8. Detailed Structure

The main subject areas of collecting for the Development Studies Department in Africa, China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy .

  • Aid
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Environment/Natural Resources
  • Famine & Food Security
  • Globalisation
  • Health Issues [also includes HIV/AIDS]
  • Industrialisation
  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Statistical Data
  • Urbanization

For details on the following subject areas see the relevant Subject Statements:


9. Major Databases

General Databases
  • Access World News
  • Bankscope
  • BBC Monitoring Library
  • Cambridge Books Online (e-books)
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Dawsonera (e-books)
  • Ebscohost
  • Economic and Social Data Service
  • Greenfile
  • InformaWorld
  • IngentaConnect
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  • ISI Web of Science / Knowledge
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Oxford Journals Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Project MUSE
  • Sage Journals Online
  • ScienceDirect
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Wiley InterScience
  • Zetoc
Regional Databases
  • Africa Wide
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies
  • Brill Online (Encyclopaedia of Islam etc.)
  • China Academic Journals
  • Chinese Studies Online
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996
  • Indiastat
  • Korean-studies Information Service System
  • Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
  • Nikkei Telecom 21
  • Oxford Islamic Studies
  • Taiwan Electronic Periodical Service

10. Online Subject Guide

For more information and online resources see the Subject Guide for Development Studies

For regional specific databases see Subject Statements

For other databases SOAS subscribes to see A-Z databases list


11. Trends for the Future

Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library  seeks to retain one print copy of selected scholarly titles and also provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books etc.), where available
  • For subjects of a theoretical, general or non-regional nature the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books etc.) is favoured