Towards a model for holistic electronic resources assessment at American University Library

DULANEY, Christine K. and FERNANDEZ, Michael (2019) Towards a model for holistic electronic resources assessment at American University Library. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 208 - Serials and Other Continuing Resources.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2468
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Towards a model for holistic electronic resources assessment at American University Library

This paper describes a methodology established at American University Library to assess its collection of electronic resources. The project initially analyzed usage statistics for databases only, but over the years, the assessment has expanded to include additional resources such as e-journals and e-books, as well as qualitative assessment metrics and additional applications for promoting the library’s value and impact. This assessment project was initiated out of a university mandate to reduce the library’s overall budget by 3% over a two-year budget planning cycle. To meet this short-term goal, the library’s Electronic Resources Librarian and Director of Technical Services in collaboration with the Electronic Resources Management Unit developed a workflow for collecting COUNTER compliant usage statistics for databases. These usage statistics were analyzed against financial payments for each title to establish a cost per use measure. Based on this data, the librarians developed tiers of database titles which could be cancelled based on university financial requirements. This paper defines the COUNTER code of practice in its former and current release, and how to integrate this data with financial information to create a cost per use metric for comparison between resources. In addition, the paper will outline the assessment project at American University Library which used this data to determine the value of a resource to the library and the impact of cancellation. The paper will describe the subsequent phases of assessment which included e-journals and e-books. With publishers transitioning to COUNTER Release 5, the paper identifies future challenges in modeling longitudinal usage data across COUNTER releases. Finally, the paper reaffirms the necessity to move beyond measures such as cost per use for collection evaluation, and supply vision towards a model where qualitative guidelines are added to enhance and provide context for the quantitative usage statistics.

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