Core Electronic Resources Interest Group

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Purpose: Provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among those persons working with or interested in electronic resources; promotes the acquisition and access of electronic resources collections; strengthens communication and cooperation among persons working with electronic resources collections; addresses issues related to collection management and development of electronic resources, their funding, and selection; and contributes to the improvement of education and training of electronic resource archivists and librarians.

This interest group is part of Core's Metadata and Collections Section.

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ALCTS CRS E-Resource IG Program: Down for the Count: Making the Case for E-Resource Usage Statistics

  • 1.  ALCTS CRS E-Resource IG Program: Down for the Count: Making the Case for E-Resource Usage Statistics

    Posted May 25, 2010 02:35 PM



    ALCTS CRS E-Resources Interest Group


    Annual Meeting

    Saturday, June 26, 2010, 10:30-12:00

    J.W. Marriott Hotel, Grand Ballroom I / II

    Washington, D.C.


    Down for the CountMaking the Case for E-Resource Usage Statistics


    There Are So Many Numbers...

    Most e-resource vendors supply usage statistics by request, on-demand, or via an automated notification process.  This data can provide crucial information which is potentially useful when evaluating an e-resource.  In practice, collection developers juggle too many data-filled spreadsheets from a variety of vendors.  Minimally, we use these statistics in retention and cancellation decisions e.g., how often a journal is browsed vs. article downloads.  With so much data available, it is convenient to focus on the easily understood statistics such as the number of database searches.  If we mine the data, we can make better informed decisions.  What is the useful data and how do we extract it from the superfluous noise?  Why are turnaways more than just the number of users who cannot access a resource?  When is a search not really a search?  Who is counting what and why?  Usage statistics are undeniably a valuable collection management assessment.  Make them an effective tool that works for you.


    Nadia J. Lalla, Coordinator, Collections and Information Services, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan,



    Using E-Book Statistics to Inform the Acquisition and Weeding of Print and E-Books

    As the E-Book market continues to grow in the number of titles offered, usage statistics play an increasing important role in the disposition of monograph budgets.  This session will explain why comparing e-book usage statistics and pricing models to their print counterparts is like comparing apples to oranges.  Reporting these statistics in annual reports, surveys, and accreditation can be challenging (for example, buying 1,000 e-books for 10,000 dollars versus buying 500 print books for 10,000 dollars can really throw off statistics when reporting "price paid per book").  Because many e-books have multiple-users-at once options, new data for demand by subject areas and publishers can be gleaned. Challenges with how to best use e-book statistics for effective collection management will be explored.


    Doralyn Rossmann, Collection Development Librarian & Team Leader, Montana State University Libraries,



    The Problems with Use Statistics for Electronic Books

    Although the COUNTER Code of Practice for Books and Reference Books was published in March 2006, there is little evidence that vendors who provide electronic books in the health sciences have adopted the standard. Vendors provide use statistics in Word documents, html pages, and occasionally in Excel. In addition, the vendors count usage in different ways. It is therefore difficult to compare use between platforms in order to make valid analyses of use and cost-per-use. In our tight budgetary environment, we need to be able to compare use and cost-per-use, but are hampered by the lack of consistency in reporting use.


    Leslie Czechowski, Assistant Director, Collections and Technical Services,Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh,



    Counts within Context:  A Tempered Approach to Use Statistics

    With a $6 million dollar budget for online resources representing 78% of the materials budget, the University of South Florida is attempting to control annual increases for online resources by acquiring less print. But the line has been drawn in the sand by library administration. If additional funding is not forthcoming from the Provost and President in 2011, the electronic resources budget will see significant reductions. What role do use statistics play in the evaluation of online resources in the context of cancellations through the eyes of administrators? The answer is surprising.  


    Monica Metz-Wiseman, Coordinator of Electronic Collections, University of South Florida,



    Figuring Cost Per Use: Fiscal Year, Calendar Year, and what falls between

    Cost per use generally needs to be reported on either a fiscal or calendar year basis, but vendor contracts do not always run on the same schedule. The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) has been working on calculating flexible cost per use data that can be reported for any time frame needed. The cost per use analysis is made possible by innovative means of data collection. This  allows extensive data collection and analysis to be performed  with minimal time and effort.


    Tansy Matthews, Associate Director, Virtual Library of Virginia,



    NISO SUSHI Update

    The SUSHI standard defines an automated request and response model for the harvesting of electronic resource usage data utilizing a Web services framework. It is intended to replace the time-consuming user-mediated collection of usage data reports. This presentation provides an overview of the SUSHI standard, recent updates and current objectives of the NISO SUSHI Standing Committee.


    Bob McQuillan, Senior Product Manager, Innovative Interfaces

    Member, NISO SUSHI Standing Committee

    For questions, contact Amira Aaron, Associate Dean, Scholarly Resources, Northeastern University Libraries,, 617-373-4961.