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Re: Database return on investment Susan Zappen (07 May 2010 16:28 UTC)

Re: Database return on investment Susan Zappen 07 May 2010 16:28 UTC

Hi Marilyn,
I use $20/search or $20/download to determine cost effectiveness. In
reality, most of our products are cost effective at $10 or less. I use
the $20 amount because I used that amount in a print journal usage study
a few years ago. I based the amount on the premise that our efficient
ILL Department could obtain material at a cost of $20 or less per item.
We do not totally rely upon cost effectiveness to identify
cancellations. As you know, some departments on campus are small; some
have only a few majors. We have to continue to support the curriculum
even if that support isn't cost effective.

Susan Zappen
Associate College Librarian for Collections
Lucy Scribner Library
Skidmore College
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs NY 12866-1632
Phone: 518-580-5521
Fax:     518-580-5541

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[] On Behalf Of Geller, Marilyn
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 7:41 AM
Subject: [SERIALST] Database return on investment

I'm hoping other continuing resources people can help me answer this
question: What is a good return on investment?  Or what's a "good" cost
per use?

I'm not asking how to get these numbers; rather I'm wondering what these
numbers mean once you have them.  I recognize that there are a dozen
reasons for paying for some databases no matter what the cost per use
is.  And I recognize that cost per use doesn't necessarily mean that a
database was used "well".  I also recognize that "use" can have a
variety of meanings.

But right now, I need to be able to say simply how much certain
databases cost per each use and whether that's a good indicator or a bad
one.  Does anyone have that magic (possibly meaningless!) number?


Marilyn Geller
Collection Management Librarian
Lesley University Library
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617-349-8859