I am grateful to announce the publication of the 2020 edition of Doody’s Core Titles® (DCT 2020) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The on-deadline publication of DCT 2020 in the midst of the COVID pandemic is an extraordinary achievement that is difficult to overstate.
We at Doody Enterprises are proud that DCT has become THE collection development tool used by librarians worldwide who collect books in the health sciences. Enabling DCT to reach that level of acclaim are a lot of people and partners we need to acknowledge and thank. From DCT’s inception in 2004, the distributors, Matthews, Rittenhouse, Login Canada, and Majors, were behind DCT, promoting it and even integrating DCT content into their own websites and ecommerce systems, which Matthews, Login and Rittenhouse still do to this day. That gave the product much-needed credibility in the days when librarians relied heavily on the Brandon and Hill Select Lists, which ceased publication in January 2004. Then we have seven partners who license the entire content of DCT and use it to develop bundled packages of books they offer to libraries: Teton Data Systems, OCLC, Rittenhouse, ProQuest, YBP, EBSCO, and Ovid. The licensing partners are a major force behind turning DCT into a global brand.
As far as the people we need to thank, let’s start with the members of our Library Board of Advisors, who, back in 2004, encouraged us to develop a product to replace the Brandon and Hill lists, then were instrumental in guiding and testing the development of DCT at various stages. LBA members took the lead on being Librarian Selectors and recruiting others; some still are Selectors and all continue to help recruiting. Hundreds of librarians have served as Librarian Selectors over the years, and 106 librarians worked as Librarian Selectors on the 2020 edition.
The work of the Librarian Selectors on DCT 2020 began in late January. Librarian Selectors are responsible for reviewing lists of books chosen by content experts in specialties the Librarian Selectors are assigned, suggesting titles to add to these lists, scoring each of the titles, and then designating Essential Purchase titles. These separate tasks span an 8- to 10-week period of time. Four weeks into the process, the COVID-19 outbreak caused most states to issue shelter-in-place orders, causing most medical libraries to convert quickly to a remote work environment.
We are used to twists and turns in the publishing cycle for each annual edition of DCT, but never before have the external complications been as extreme as this year. Nevertheless, when the first deadline arrived after the shelter-in-place orders had been issued and only one of the Librarian Selectors asked for an extension, we knew two things: DCT 2020 was more than likely going to be published on time, and the service orientation and conscientiousness of librarians are qualities unmatched by just about any other profession.
In issuing 17 editions of DCT since 2004, we have never missed our scheduled publication date. This year that record for reliability was threatened as never before. That we met the deadline is a testimony to the contributions of the 106 volunteer Librarian Selectors who literally went above and beyond the call of duty. And that’s why I opened this article by stating I am gratefulto announce publication of DCT 2020.
One final note. This and the 16 prior editions of DCT have been the result of the managing editorial work of a person with exceptional skill and perspicacity, Anne Hennessy. Anne is retiring from her position as Editor-in-Chief at Doody Enterprises, Inc., where she has worked since February 1993. While it will be our honor to carry on publication of DCT after Anne’s retirement, it will be our challenge to match the consistent level of excellence she brought to every aspect of publication of DCT over the last 17 editions. We wish Anne a blissful retirement, entirely devoid of split infinitives and dangling participles.
President & CEO
Doody Enterprises, Inc.