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Testing a proposed ROI for academic libraries

Abdoulaye Kaba (College of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Al Ain University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Ghaleb A. El Refae (College of Business, Al Ain University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Shorouq Eletter (College of Business, Al Ain University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Tahira Yasmin (College of Business, Al Ain University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 31 May 2022

Issue publication date: 26 May 2023

128

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to test and verify return on investment (ROI) model proposed for academic libraries in Arab countries. The study assessed the value of AAU digital library resources and identified the value of the digital library in supporting the funded research projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed ROI model is based on two phases and two different data. In Phase I, the authors calculated ROI based on the total downloads of full text to determine the total financial returns of the database subscription costs for the academic year 2019–2020. In Phase II, the authors examined the citations drawn from the Scopus database on a sample of 30 funded research projects for the College of Engineering during the year 2019.

Findings

Although the application of the proposed model has some challenges, it is relevant in measuring the ROI of academic libraries in Arab countries. The results of the study in Phase 1 revealed that the AAU gained $0.95 for every $1 spent on subscriptions to online databases. For Phase 2, the findings indicated a negative ROI of $−0.70 for every $1 spent on library subscriptions to the IEEE database.

Research limitations/implications

This is a case study based on data collected from Al Ain University, United Arab Emirate (UAE). Therefore, the findings of the study may not be generalized, and other studies may find different results if more samples and data are used.

Originality/value

Although the proposed model has been cited by research papers indexed in the Scopus database, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Crossref and ResearchGate, none of these papers tested or verified the suggested ROI model. This study could be the first study testing the suggested model. The findings of the study may contribute to the application of the ROI model in the Arab countries, and particularly the academic libraries in the Arab world.

Keywords

Citation

Kaba, A., El Refae, G.A., Eletter, S. and Yasmin, T. (2023), "Testing a proposed ROI for academic libraries", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 15-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHTN-03-2022-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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