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Re: Print Journal Usage vs. online usage JoAnne Griffin (30 Apr 2004 14:44 UTC)

Re: Print Journal Usage vs. online usage JoAnne Griffin 30 Apr 2004 14:44 UTC

This is not on topic, so please forgive me, but when I read requests for
  info on how to do paper usage studies I am always reminded of
something we did at my library a few years ago and how the advent of
electronic journals has really changed things.

We had an extremely expensive journal that we were not convinced was
being used enough to justify it's outrageous cost. So, we put the entire
run of it behind our circulation desk and had our patrons sign out each
issue they used. We maintained statistics for one whole year. At the end
of our year we saw that it was used more than we thought but still not
nearly enough to justify its cost. We still wavered about cancelling it.

Soon after we got access to this journal online through a consortial
license. We cancelled the paper and decided our patrons could use the
online version. After one year's online access -- you probably guessed
it -- we saw that the online version was used 3x as much as our paper
copies were in the year we put it behind the circ desk. Our more recent
stats show that it is used even more.

This poses many questions about journals and usage, the most obvious one
to me being: If more people use it more does that mean it is better? or
just easier? Usage for electronic journals overall seems to be much
higher than our paper journals ever were.

--
JoAnne Griffin
Serials Librarian
Tufts University Health Sciences Library
Boston, MA 02111
Carmel Yurochko wrote:

> Hello Rachel,
>
> Here at Duquesne University, we have used the "sweep" method to gather
> usage statistics on our print journals for a number of years.  All of
> our journals are available to the public.  Routinely throughout the day,
> staff picks up the unbound journals from tables and the area by the
> photocopiers.
>
> We have an ACCESS database file of all of these titles. We do not define
> "use". We do not attempt to discover how the journals were used, we just
> take the fact that since they were not on their shelves, they were used.
> We simply enter a "one" or add "one" to the present statistic in the
> file.
>
> We also attempted another method a while ago.  We were "taping" our
> currents shut w/folder labels, and posted instructions for patrons to
> break the labels to use.  We would then use the sweep method and once a
> week go through all of the currents to see which labels were broken.
> This was less than successful for us because our budget prevented us
> from using the correct labels and we were forced to use what we had on
> hand. They were old and some of the labels were releasing before they
> even hit the current journal shelves.  Needless to say, our statistics
> were over the top and less than accurate.
>
> We have used our use statistics to make cancellation decisions.  We were
> once confronted w/faculty to did not agree w/our statistics and so we
> moved a select number of titles into a secure area.  Anyone wishing to
> use them had to fill in a form at the front desk. We then compiled usage
> statistics for these titles and cancelled them because the cost per use
> did not justify our keeping them.  The faculty was still unhappy but we
> had secure numbers to back up our decisions.
>
> Hope this helps.  Good luck,
> Carmel Yurochko
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Carmel Yurochko
> Serials/Electronic Resources Librarian
> Psychology Dept. Liaison
> Duquesne University
> The Gumberg Library
> 600 Forbes Avenue
> Pittsburgh, PA 15282
> 412.396-5233
> fax 412.396-5639
> yurochko@library.duq.edu
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
> [mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Rachel Ellis
> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 4:44 AM
> To: SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: [SERIALST] Print Journal Usage
>
>
> Dear all,
>
> at the moment we are considering how to measure the usage of our print
> journal collection. We have a journal reading room here for the current
> issues - one part of the room is presented subject focussed and is
> freely accessible by our patrons. The remaining journals are in the back
> of the room and the issues wanted have to be fetched by the enquiry
> staff located in the reading room. Now I was wondering if anyone of you
> has experiences with print journal usage analysis and is willing to
> share this with us?
>
> Thanks for your help in advance and best wishes from sunny Bremen
> (Germany)!
>
> Rachel
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Rachel Ellis
> Electronic Resources Librarian
> Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek Bremen
> Postfach 33 01 60
> 28331 Bremen
> Germany
> Tel: (0049)421-218-4902
> Fax: (0049)421-218-2665
> --------------------------------------------------