As part of its work, NCELA maintains a Resource Library consisting of over 20,000 materials, all of which are indexed online. The mission of the NCELA Resource Library is to provide stakeholders who work with EL students in US schools with access to useful information that can inform a high-quality approach to advancing ELs’ educational success. NCELA collects and disseminates a broad range of information that shows promise for promoting high quality education for ELs. Core audiences include SEA and LEA coordinators, teachers and practitioners, parents, administrators, teacher educators, researchers, and policymakers. Items include research articles, literature reviews, reports, newsletters, classroom materials, curriculum guides, fact sheets, multimedia products, and posters. This document describes the mission and purpose of the NCELA Resource Library, as well as collection goals, standards, and criteria for adding materials to the Resource Library. This document serves as guidance for those who work with and manage the Resource Library.
Types of Resources
The NCELA Resource Library indexes journal articles, books, multimedia products, and grey literature material relevant to the education of students learning English as an additional language. The NCELA Resource Library also includes practical resources for educators implementing language instruction educational programs, such as curriculum guides. All materials must meet the standards and criteria as outlined in this document.
Grey literature collection originates primarily from selected non-journal sources but may also be submitted by individual users of the online submission system. Types of materials include information briefs; substantive, rigorously researched and reviewed documents; conference papers; and policy reports.
Process for Identifying and Reviewing Materials
Collection Development Goals
The collection development goals include the following:
To continuously gather recent high-quality resources about EL education
To ensure a range of documents representing the best possible analytical and technical approaches to and practices in EL education is represented
To compile new resources on a monthly basis for review by OELA
To index materials in a standardized format so that the resources are consistent within the database and easily searchable by users
New materials for the Resource Library may be identified in two ways. NCELA staff will conduct regular searches to identify newly published materials. In addition, authors and organizations who wish to have their materials considered for inclusion may submit a review copy to NCELA.
Approved Sources of Material
The following sources are approved for materials included in the NCELA Resource Library:
Organizations who work with and on behalf of EL students
Federally funded grantees
When materials are submitted for inclusion, they must have a publication date in the current calendar year or the previous calendar year. Publications from the current calendar year will be given priority over those from a previous calendar year, unless there is a special exception.
The NCELA Resource Library aims to include publications in languages other than English, in order to serve NCELA’s linguistically diverse audience. Thus, the NCELA Resource Library may include publications in any language, provided an abstract is available in English.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Eligibility and selection criteria will be determined at the source and/or the item level to build the NCELA Resource Library collection going forward.
The criteria for inclusion include the following:
The resource is relevant to the education of PreK-12 ELs
The resource is from an approved source
Quality of presentation
Materials submitted for inclusion to the NCELA Resource Library will undergo a process of review and approval outlined below.
Step 1: Internal review
NCELA Resource Library staff will review materials for basic eligibility. Two questions will be used to determine basic eligibility:
Is the resource relevant to the education of PreK-12 ELs? (e.g., the resource focuses on topics such as EL demographics, EL policy, EL instruction, language acquisition/ development, language learning, or assessment of ELs)
Does the resource come from an approved source?
Publishing houses, including book publishers and commercial publishers
Organization who works with and on behalf of EL students
Federally funded grantee
Materials from federal sources and peer-reviewed journals will be submitted directly to OELA for inclusion (Step 3). All other materials will go through expert review prior to submitting to OELA for consideration.
Step 2: Expert Review
Materials from publishing houses, organizations, and federally funded projects that meet basic eligibility will be submitted to senior NCELA staff and/ or external subject matter experts. NCELA will maintain a list of subject matter experts who may serve in this capacity. Subject matter experts will review materials for content quality, quality of presentation, and utility, using a review protocol to score materials on a likert scale of 0-3 (0 = Poor, 1 = Fair, 2 = Good, 3 = Excellent). In cases where materials are in a language other than English, NCELA will maintain a list of experts who have the ability to review materials in those languages. Descriptions of the inclusion criteria and guiding questions to determine ratings are provided below.
Content Quality Rating
Goals: Does the resource support NCELA’s goal of supporting high quality education of ELs? Does the resource clearly state, cover, and meet its objectives?
Relevance: Does the resource reflect current issues and add value to the field of EL education?
Standards: Was the resource developed using well-accepted literature, standards, research, or theory?
Methods: Was the resource based on what is accepted as best practices in developing that resource (e.g., rigorous scientific methods for a research study)?
Accuracy: Are the information and/or data presented accurate, well explained, thorough, and free of bias?
Plausibility: Are the content, conclusions, and recommendations supported by a preponderance of evidence and/or other research?
Quality of Presentation
Organization: Is the information well organized, and logically sequenced?
Clarity: Does the resource avoid jargon and communicate well with intended audience?
Length: Is the resource long enough to cover its objectives, yet concise?
Visuals: Does the resource provide visual support for important technical information?
Audience Relevance: Is the resource useful for its intended audience?
Completeness: Are all important steps, sequences, or practices included?
Supplemental Resources: Does this resource provide references or links to other useful resources?
Scores for inclusion criteria will be added to create a final score. Documents that are rated at 2/3 or 66% of the total possible score will be eligible for inclusion in the NCELA Resource Library. A reviewer may also veto a resource that meets the minimum score requirement, but must provide a rationale for why the resource should not be included.
NCELA staff will collect and evaluate all expert reviews and maintain records of all materials reviewed. Using evaluations from the expert reviews, NCELA staff will recommend materials that have been rated most highly to be highlighted in relevant areas of the NCELA website.
Step 3: OELA Review and Approval
A list of all materials reviewed will be compiled on a monthly basis and submitted to OELA with recommendations for inclusion in the Resource Library as well as materials to be highlighted on NCELA web pages. OELA will review the list of recommendations and determine final selection of the materials for inclusion and highlighting. Once final approval is given, NCELA staff will index the materials in the Resource Library and post highlighted resources on relevant web pages.
Definition of grey literature from the 12th International Conference on Grey Literature at Prague, December 2010: “Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by library holdings or institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers i.e., where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.”
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)