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Using document delivery data for selecting medical titles in a large STM library: the experience of CISTI

Michael Ireland (NRC‐CISTI, Ottawa, Canada)
Beverly Brown (NRC‐CISTI, Ottawa, Canada)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 1 January 2006



The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) undertook an in‐depth analysis of its current serial subscriptions to determine whether they were meeting the needs of internal clients at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and document delivery clients. The assumptions were that extended gaps existed in business literature needed by NRC clients and medical literature needed by document delivery clients. Seeks to address this issue.


The analysis was done from two perspectives: review and analysis of usage of the print serials subscriptions; and analysis of unfilled document delivery orders. The project team matched current serial titles with document delivery usage and then classified the titles by subject. Second, the team used data from unfilled orders to create a ranked list of titles not held at CISTI but for which clients were requesting articles. The ranked titles were validated by data from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) on titles requested by Canadian libraries and not widely available in Canada.


NRC users showed a need for more business titles and all client groups showed a marked need for medical titles. While 36 percent of titles in the collection were medical, they accounted for 57.2 percent of document delivery activity and for 64.6 percent of unfilled orders. As a result, CISTI purchased 135 new medical serial subscriptions and will update its collection development policy to allow for a broader collection in medicine and business.


The study shows that document delivery usage data can play a key role in supporting strategic collection decisions.



Ireland, M. and Brown, B. (2006), "Using document delivery data for selecting medical titles in a large STM library: the experience of CISTI", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 29-35.



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