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Analysis of the dispersal of use for journals in Emerald Management Xtra (EMX)

Paul Evans (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bradford, UK)
John Peters (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bradford, UK)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 1 September 2005




To test the breadth of appeal of the 2005 Emerald Management Xtra collection of over 100 business and management journals using aggregated usage data gathered from the Emerald web site. To test whether the “80/20 rule”, or Pareto principle, of 80 per cent of the usage by all Emerald customers coming from 20 per cent of the titles in the database is true. To compare the results of this study with those obtained by the Consortium of University Libraries, Catalonia (CBUC) for their usage of database products from Emerald and other publishers.


The analysis was made based on article downloads by all Emerald customers from COUNTER Journal Report 1 Release 1 compliant usage data. The journals were ranked in order of decreasing usage and then accumulated percentage usage was compared with accumulated percentage titles.


That across all Emerald customers 80 per cent of usage came from 47.4 per cent of titles. This result compared well with the CBUC study that found an 80:46.2 relationship for Emerald usage. The CBUC study found an 80:34.5 relationship across all the publishers’ products included in their analysis.

Research limitations/implications

This study found that usage by all Emerald customers of the journals that make up the Emerald Management Xtra database far exceeded the Pareto principle assumption. This was also true for one Emerald consortium customer in Spain.

Practical implications

The study concludes that a subject‐focused “big deal”, such as the Emerald Management Xtra product, represents excellent value for customers. It contains many relevant titles in a package that is deeply discounted and costs far less than purchasing just the most used titles individually.


This is the first study by a publisher that analyses the aggregated usage data for all of its customers. It demonstrates the value and utility of the electronic journal database, or “big deal”.



Evans, P. and Peters, J. (2005), "Analysis of the dispersal of use for journals in Emerald Management Xtra (EMX)", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 155-157.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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