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(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Database return on investment Diane Westerfield (10 May 2010 16:55 UTC)

Re: Database return on investment Diane Westerfield 10 May 2010 16:55 UTC

In response to the forgoing discussion:

Our cost-per-use figures are all over the place.  We look at CPU when
approving renewals but it's not the be-all, end-all.

Some low-cost, low-use databases are much beloved by particular faculty
and it doesn't matter that CPU is over $20 per search.  For the journal
packages and aggregators, we are unlikely to axe any of them, regardless
of CPU.

However, an outrageous CPU for a database that's only used by library
staff may target it for cutting.  Also CPU may play into decisions over
upgrading A&I databases to full text.

We have not yet gone to the journal level with CPU although it will
probably come up in the years to come, as we start moving more titles to
electronic only.  At this time we don't monitor usage of print


Diane Westerfield
Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian
Colorado College, Tutt Library
(719) 389-6661
(719) 389-6082 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[] On Behalf Of Geller, Marilyn
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 5:41 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