VALA 2010 – Concurrent session 5 – Metrics

David Wells – Curtin University – E-Book usage at Curtin University Library: patterns, projects and strategy

Need to find the correct materials for immediate use and for building a long-term research collection.

Started ebook collection in 2002 (1) in 2004 added records for free Gutenberg titles. Not until 2008 and 2009, where they bought over 6,000 titles.

Acquisition models – publisher packages, subscription services, individual titles, others – including individually sourced pdfs and scanned books. DRM and subscription models also vary dramatically.

Collection Development – try to purchase high-use, reserve and reference titles for course content – initial high use followed by decline. Have also tried user initiated purchases. With the rise of AUD, purchasing collection sets for research and teaching, with demand increasing over time.

For study, selected three ebook targets, Knovel (subscription service), CRCnetBase (publisher package), EBL (individual titles). Numbers were taken in 6 monthly blocks. Usage figures came from vendors of Ezproxy.

CRCnetBase showed consistently highest use in semester immediately after purchase. Knovel collection – use declined from 2007 – unexpected result. Reasons? No competition early on, only selected titles retain long term interest to users?  EBL both mediated and un-mediated auto purchase . Mediated was used to check that requests met collection development policy – only mediated one year, reverted to unmediated. EBL used regularly for high-demand material, but records for non-owned material not put in catalogue. Usage increased dramatically over time. Would expect that use would drop off over time as they were purchased for high demand, at time needs.

Auto purchased ebooks use dropped off dramatically from 2008. Expected this would happen. Same with mediated purchases. Staff purchased titles for high demand were not used highly in semester they were bought, then growth and drop off, before a large growth in 2009. Could be attributable to increasing ebook reader devices and faculty referring students to the resources.

Comparison of ebook acquisition methods – increasing usage in 2009 of all types – particularly staff chosen titles. Could be increasing demand or better marketing.

Pattern of usage is unpredictable? Ebooks are being used – are we reaching the tipping point. Analysis could support collection development. More detailed analysis is required.

Role of Bibliometrics in scholarly communication – Lynne Horwood and Sabina Robertson – University of Melbourne

Context: government policies are setting the research scene, rankings of universities on an international level and more.

SCOPUS was used to submit citation data for research outputs, for the 2009 Trial Submissions. Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) in 2010, submissions being mid year with SCOPUS continuing to be the citation supplier.

ERA is giving librarians the initiative to engage with academic staff and undertake professional development. Librarians need to keep uptodate with the importance and changes to bibliometrics.

Librarians can not only help with research support, but with assistance with finding training opportunities, the best journal to publish in and more.

ERA provided impetus for University of Melbourne to train their Liaison Librarians on bibliometrics, products which collect the data, differences between the disciplines and more. Position descriptions there now include support for grant applications by researchers. They also have provided workshops for supervisors and graduate students.

Value and future of e-resources – Carol Tenopir – University of Tennessee

Value of libraries can be measured in many ways: implicit – downloads, explicit value – interviews, derived values – ROI.

Examples: surveys by Tenopir and King 77-06, ROI in grants Phase 1 University of Illinois 2008, LibValue on value and ROI for grants/research, teaching, student engagement – 2010

Principal purpose of reading: faculty 2004-06. Reflect  on last thing read:51% for research, 20% for teaching, 9% current awareness, 11% proposals, 9% other. No one just reads for one purpose, lots of  reasons for reading. Older articles are judged more valuable and morelikely for research and to come from libraries.  1st year, 47%, 2-5 years 67% and over 5 years 71% came from libraries.

Print or Electronic for scholarly articles. Australian researchers are less likely to have personal subscriptions for print periodicals – slow boat issue – more electronic reading, more reliance on libraries. Younger academics however are less likely to print out electronic – will read on screen.

Outcomes of reading: inspired new thinking, improved results, changed focus, resolved technical problems, saved time, collaboration, faster completion, wasted my time (< 2%) – higher on first few outcomes when content comes from the library.

ROI – quantitative measurement expressed as a ratio of the value returned to the institution for each monetary unit invested in the library. For every $ spent on the library, the university received X in return.

ROI Phases 1 and 2 – Faculty Grant Research Cycle – libraries assist with conducting resarch writing articles, writing report and seminars, but how do libraries get credit for part of the grant monies, the ROI. Found $1 on library was equal to $4 of research grant funds. Phase 2 nearly completed, taking same methodology in 8 institutions in 8 countries. Published soon, Cluster of research focused institutions in science, technology and medicine – ratio between 13 and 15 to 1. 2nd cluster – research and teaching, lots of science, technology and medicine, also have humanities and social science, ration between 1.3 and 3 to 1. 3rd cluster – research and teaching are equally important, all topics, ratio is under 1 to 1 – less grant importance, more on government funding.

Administration values: measuring up – attract and retain outstanding faculty, foster innovative research, build research reputation of institution, promote seamless integration of the library with institutional research activities.

Phase 3 is called LibValue – look for calculations coming out in future.

Final thoughts on measuring value: tied to mission, measure outcomes not just inputs, quantitative data can show ROI and trends, also need qualitative to tell the whole story, no one method stands alone.