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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Angela Conyers

This paper sets out to consider the importance of statistical measures for any study of the impact of electronic services and to describe how relevant statistics can be…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to consider the importance of statistical measures for any study of the impact of electronic services and to describe how relevant statistics can be collected and analysed.

Design/methodology/approach

It is based on the results of two complementary research projects at evidence base, the first, the e‐measures project, working with UK higher education libraries on establishing a set of national and local measures for electronic services, and the second, a study and analysis of usage statistics for four publisher deals within the NESLi2 initiative.

Findings

The e‐measures project has demonstrated some of the issues involved in the collection of reliable usage statistics, while the NESLi2 study has developed a framework for analysis which can be applied more widely. The successful introduction of COUNTER compliance has created a more reliable statistical basis for this analysis.

Research limitations/implications

The NESLi2 study covered only a limited time period (January 2003‐June 2004) and its findings remain confidential. The study is now being extended to cover the whole of 2004 and it is hoped that agreement will then be obtained to publish some of the major findings.

Practical implications

The NESLi2 report contains a number of recommendations that are designed to help higher education libraries with the management and analysis of statistical measures. These, and other initiatives, are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper is of interest particularly to higher education libraries that wish to gain a more accurate picture of their use of electronic services. The methods of analysis described will also be relevant to other types of library.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1985

Angela Conyers

Polytechnic libraries are increasingly finding the need to justify their costs, but although many are multi‐site, differences between them have hampered attempts to apply…

Abstract

Polytechnic libraries are increasingly finding the need to justify their costs, but although many are multi‐site, differences between them have hampered attempts to apply standards. This article gives the results of a study carried out at Brighton Polytechnic to identify the proportion of staffing and materials costs which could be attributed to the fact that it operated nine separate libraries rather than one central facility. In analysing costs and benefits, some advantages emerge for the multi‐site library. Financial costs are generally cited as a major disadvantage, but polytechnic library statistics show no correlation between funding and number of sites. The study at Brighton calculated the effect of the multi‐site situation on staff numbers and gradings. It found that this accounted for 36 per cent of the salaries bill. A survey of book and journal provision showed that 14 per cent of the materials budget was being spent on duplicating material across sites. Overall 28 per cent of the library budget at Brighton could be attributed to the multi‐site factor. The effects on capital equipment and space utilisation are also noted. At the same time, it is recognised that costs cannot be considered in isolation from services and that many other factors affect the level of funding in the multi‐site library.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 37 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Claire Creaser, Angela Conyers and Suzanne Lockyer

The purpose of this paper is to describe the first phase of the SCONUL Value and Impact Programme (VAMP), carried out in 2006.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the first phase of the SCONUL Value and Impact Programme (VAMP), carried out in 2006.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a critical review of some of the major tools and methodologies available to measure the value and impact of, particularly academic, libraries, was supplemented by a survey of SCONUL members to ascertain the state of current practice in the UK.

Findings

The findings in the paper were synthesised by gap analysis, which found that, although there were some gaps in overall provision, a greater problem was a lack of knowledge and understanding of the tools available, and how they could be applied to demonstrate value and impact.

Originality/value

This paper is a brief description of follow‐up activity and the resulting SCONUL Performance Portal is given.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Pat Barclay, Angela Conyers, Claire Creaser and Sonya White

Increased use and changes in the way e‐resources are delivered led some libraries to question the detail of some of the definitions used and particularly to suggest that…

Abstract

Purpose

Increased use and changes in the way e‐resources are delivered led some libraries to question the detail of some of the definitions used and particularly to suggest that statistics required by SCONUL did not always match the requirements or practice of the libraries themselves. The purpose of this paper is to explore a set of e‐measures.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot project was set up to test a set of e‐measures, sufficiently robust to give confidence in their use in a national/international context and in benchmarking individual libraries. A total of 20 SCONUL members made quarterly returns during 2009‐10. During the year, categories and definitions were adjusted in the light of comments received. A workshop was held to exchange views and inform the decision on what went into the new return.

Findings

It was clear from the start that practice varied, and compromise would be required. Foremost among the changes are: inclusion of e‐resources held within databases in the count of titles; count of free titles or titles purchased in previous years; inclusion of database searches; separation of costs of different types of e‐resource.

Originality/value

The SCONUL statistics are a tool and servant of the members, helping libraries to run more effectively, and at the same time providing valuable evidence on UK academic libraries and their activities to the wider world. The new e‐measures questions will provide a reliable picture of the use of e‐resources across the sector and be useful to libraries individually or in benchmarking groups in assessing their own usage.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Angela Conyers

Purpose. Describes the work of the e‐measures project, which aims to produce a set of statistics for measuring electronic information services in UK higher education…

Abstract

Purpose. Describes the work of the e‐measures project, which aims to produce a set of statistics for measuring electronic information services in UK higher education libraries, to be used nationally as part of the Annual Library Statistics produced by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) and locally for library decision making and user support. Design/methodology/approach. A group of 25 higher education libraries are piloting a range of 21 e‐measures covering holdings, usage and costs of electronic services. Data collected over a four‐month period in phase 1 are currently being analysed and a review of issues raised will inform case studies planned for phase 2. Findings. Issues raised by phase 1 of the project are presented here. Reports from pilot libraries illustrate both the importance of the work being undertaken and its complexity. Research limitations/implications. The project has highlighted the issues involved in the collection of data for measuring use of electronic information services and drawn attention to the difficulties in getting reliable, consistent data. Practical implications. After testing by the pilot libraries, selected e‐measures will be incorporated into the SCONUL Annual Library Statistics, to be collected on a regular basis by all SCONUL libraries. Libraries will also have a greater understanding of their use of electronic resources through the guidance and support provided by the project. Originality/value. This paper, in describing the results of phase 1 of the e‐measures project, increases awareness of the project and the understanding of the issues involved in collecting data for e‐measures.

Details

VINE, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Philip Payne, John Crawford and Wendy Fiander

Purpose. Ten libraries across the UK are participating in the first phase of an initiative to assess the impact of higher education libraries on learning, teaching, and…

Abstract

Purpose. Ten libraries across the UK are participating in the first phase of an initiative to assess the impact of higher education libraries on learning, teaching, and research. The initiative is being undertaken under the auspices of the Library and Information Research Group and the Society of College, National, and University Libraries. This interim report provides an overview of the initiative and describes participation by two of the libraries: Glasgow Caledonian University and University College Chester. Design/methodology/approach. Each of the libraries has chosen an area of their activity where they wish to assess their impact. The ten participating institutions have then followed a common approach to assessing impact which involves specifying objectives for what the library is trying to achieve, determining success criteria, establishing impact measures, identifying what evidence is needed, and choosing methods for gathering evidence. Findings. Assessing a library's impact is not easy but the potential benefits can be considerable. Issues identified in the first phase include the time/resources needed, the importance of having good research skills, the difficulties of getting the evidence, and separating out the library's contribution. Benefits illustrated in the case studies include demonstrating that the library is supporting university strategy, building closer links with academics, and enabling staff to gain a better understanding of academic processes. Originality/value. The paper will interest library managers and staff who are concerned about the impact of their services and are seeking ways to demonstrate the difference that they make to their host organisations.

Details

VINE, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Linda Banwell

Abstract

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Stephen Thornton

Abstract

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Peter T. Shepherd

Using COUNTER‐compliant statistics, the purpose of this study is to conduct an in‐depth analysis of usage of online journals in a group of major UK universities.

Abstract

Purpose

Using COUNTER‐compliant statistics, the purpose of this study is to conduct an in‐depth analysis of usage of online journals in a group of major UK universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes in detail developments, as well as other progress made on COUNTER since the 2003 Northumbria conference. It also addresses the practical challenges faced by vendors and librarians in implementing COUNTER, and concludes with future plans for the project.

Findings

The study team has successfully collected and validated a considerable set of journal usage, subscription and cost data and has assisted in the testing and validation of the “successful full‐text article request” as a possible unit of measurement of “usage” that can be applied consistently and reliably across all publishers.

Originality/value

The paper shows how usage relates to costs, institution profile and subject spread and develops a set of measures that are likely to be used more widely as indicators of the value of online journals.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 May 2010

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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