Collection Management & Research Forum: 2017 Annual Conference

The Eighth Annual Collection Management and Research Forum, sponsored by ALCTS and ALCTS Collection Management Section (CMS) was held at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, June 25. The forum focused on two projects. The first presentation was titled “DDA Beyond the Trigger: Evaluating the Sustainability and Use of an E-BOOK DDA Plan” and presented by Lindsay Barnett, the Collection Development and Assessment Librarian at the College of Charleston. The second presentation was “Citation Analysis of Communication Studies Journals: Actionable Knowledge for the Communication Librarian” and presented by Lisa Romero, the Communications Librarian and Associate Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

With a late time slot and a remote space, the attendees who made it to the forum certainly wanted to be there. Lindsay described their demand driven acquisitions (DDA) e-book plan to begin. They based it on their print approval plan, decided against short term loans, and decided to make it an unmediated plan. Usage statistics show value to the college. They were unsure how to evaluate e-book usage since they were accustomed to print usage. They knew that over the last three years, their print approval plan had been used 30%. They decided if their e-books were used at the same rate, it would be considered a success. They decided to look at “post trigger” usage. One piece of information they analyzed was YBP’s “Select Level” (SL). They wondered about the selection quality and if what was being triggered matched what their selectors would have chosen. “Research-Recommended” was the highest number triggered at 62.5% of the total titles. They looked at the funds that were used for the purchase to determine which of the six colleges triggered the most purchases. Not surprisingly, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was the highest user and triggered 56.14% while the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs had the least number of triggers with 2.21% of the total titles.

They analyzed the usage by Library of Congress Classification. While it makes sense that the highest use would be in areas in which they are more focused on books than articles and databases, they also noted that many of the general education courses are in these areas as well. They also looked at the DDA discovery pool profile and determined the percentage of books triggered within each subject pool. They found the highest was History of the Americas with 7.28% and the lowest was Military Science with 0.93%. Again, both of these make sense. They determined the cost avoidance for three years of DDA to be almost $3.3 Million.

Using the Library Materials Price Index (LPMI) average e-book price for all subjects of $130.95, their average e-book price of $107.68 fell below that. In areas in which the price was higher than the LPMI, they found the subject area correlated with high enrollment graduate programs.

Using their data, they determined that utilizing the same metric of 30% of titles used worked fine for them and that DDA has value as a collection building model.

The second presenter was Lisa Romero. She said the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had the second largest academic library in the country so they take collection development very seriously. She wanted to analyze their Communication journals due to shrinking budgets and pricing increases. They needed to identify what they should keep and what they could do without. As librarians, our goal is to find out what is important to the researchers by using reviews, publisher information, and occasional feedback from users. It is a market that is driven by the publishers. She wanted to find out what their faculty actually used.

Lisa decided to conduct a citation analysis to determine what faculty were using by starting with the premise that, if they cite it, they find it valuable. It was determined the time range would be 1982–2012 which would include 118 journals in five Communication areas: Advertising, Communication, Journalism, Media, and Public Relations. Data was sampled from every five years and varied because not all 118 journals were published the whole time. Lisa looked at the most and least cited as well as journals from outside the discipline. She grouped her initial five subject areas into three: Advertising and Public Relations, Communication and Media, and Journalism. She looked at what percentage of journals were cited from a specific subject area, other areas, and outside the discipline for seven time periods. She compiled 72,360 journal citations, cleaned, and organized the data, taking care of title changes, and missing or incorrect titles. She passed out a handout to all attendees, which listed the top 50 journals in each of the subject areas. She found that the majority of the citations were from outside the discipline. She determined that Communication is a multi-disciplinary subject area and there is a need to build good relationships with other subject librarians. This data allowed for evidence-based collection development and provided actionable data that gave her direct insights into use which means she no longer has to rely on market driven data and can improve collection development.

The next step will be looking at indexes that include those journals and working with other subject librarians, where are the overlaps with Communication? This will help them see those intersections and make better use of funds.

Both of these projects provide assessment ideas to try at your institution.

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