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Since the debut of the Brandon/Hill Selected Lists in July 1965, medical libraries had depended on them for collection development decisions. The Brandon/Hill lists were a labor of love of two librarians on the staff of the Levy Library at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, the late Al Brandon and Dorothy Hill.

The Brandon/Hill lists ultimately grew to be two separate lists, a medical list and a list covering allied health and nursing specialties. Each list was updated every two years. While Brandon and Hill had help and support from publishers, medical book wholesalers, and some of their colleagues at Mt. Sinai and other institutions, they essentially reviewed available books and made the selections themselves.

They never professed that the selection process was anything other than the subjective work of two experienced, respected collection development medical librarians. Their initial aim was to develop a select list for the hospital library. But for 40 years, medical libraries of all sizes and persuasions relied on the judgment of Brandon and Hill to help guide their collection development decisions.

In April of 2004, the staff of the library at Mt. Sinai announced in the wake of Hill's retirement that Mt. Sinai would not be updating the Brandon/Hill Selected Lists in medicine, nursing, and allied health.

Doody Enterprises Publishes Doody's Core Titles

Because of Doody's reputation for providing objective, timely, authoritative reviews of newly published books from most of the English-language medical publishers in the world, librarians, publishers, and medical book wholesalers began contacting Doody Enterprises after the announcement in April 2004 of the discontinuation of the Brandon/Hill lists.

At the Annual Meeting of the MLA in Washington, DC, in May, Doody Enterprises announced its plans to introduce the inaugural edition of a new web-based annual publication called Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences by the fourth quarter of 2004.

With the input of numerous librarians, health sciences professionals, the medical book wholesalers, and the Library Board of Advisors of Doody Enterprises, in December of 2004, Doody Enterprises published the first edition of Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences, just eight months after the Brandon/Hill discontinuation announcement. Doody's Core Titles was enthusiastically received by collection development librarians. A review in the July 2005 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association called DCT "a very useful collection management tool and well worth the reasonable price."

Doody's Core Titles takes an innovative approach to creating a core title collection development resource. Using online publication systems, the collective judgment of more than 200 content specialists and librarians are distilled into a comprehensive list covering 124 specialties. Titles are selected by the content specialists and librarians. The librarians then score each title and make Essential Purchase recommendations. The result is Doody's Core Titles - and the process is repeated each year.