14.0418 new on WWW: White Paper on E-Journal Usage Statistics

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Date: 10/25/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 418.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
             Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 20:10:59 +0100
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: White Paper on E-Journal Usage Statistics
    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    October 25, 2000
                Council on Library and Information Resources Publishes
                      White Paper on E-Journal Usage Statistics
     >>Date: Wed, 25 Oct 00 11:07:04 -0700
     >From: Kathlin Smith <ksmith@clir.org>
     >To: "David Green" <david@ninch.org>
     >For immediate
     >release                                   Contact:        Deanna Marcum
     >October 24,
     >CLIR Publishes White Paper on E-Journal Usage Statistics
     >Washington, D.C.The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
     >has published a white paper on electronic journal usage statistics by Judy
     >Luther, president of the consulting firm Informed Strategies. The report
     >examines why it has been difficult to obtain statistics on electronic
     >journal usage, and reveals librarians and publishers concerns with
     >respect to the generation of usage statistics. The paper suggests a
     >context for further discussion between the providers and consumers of
     >electronic journals.
     >Fewer than half of the publishers of electronic journals currently
     >generate statistics on usage for librarians. The reason is not a simple
     >matter of publishers being unwilling to provide such information, even
     >though some complain that implementing a data collection function is
     >costly and others fear that librarians will cancel subscriptions if usage
     >is low. A more basic problem is that there is no agreement on how to
     >produce data that can be compared and analyzed. It has been difficult for
     >librarians to know what to ask for when something as basic as the term
     >"use" can have many meanings. Librarians and publishers must work together
     >in solving the problem.
     >The white paper reveals that publishers and librarians share a significant
     >number of concerns besides a lack of comparable or complete usage data.
     >They worry about the lack of context for understanding data, the lack of
     >certainty about effective economic models, and the complexity of issues
     >related to user privacy.
     >According to the report, publishers who have begun to supply librarians
     >with the needed data have not found that librarians are canceling
     >subscriptions. In fact, publishers who have developed the capability to
     >collect and analyze statistics for libraries are using this capability to
     >create data for their own applications.
     >The author notes that, currently, "associations involved in creating
     >standards and guidelines on data collection are focused on defining the
     >data elements and determining what is currently being done. No one is
     >working directly with the publishers who have developed the data,
     >understand the variables, and are in a position to provide guidance."
     >Because it is a period of discovery for both librarians and publishers,
     >the author recommends that a forum be held at which invited
     >representatives from the publisher, vendor, and library communities could
     >advance the dialog about generating data that can be compared.
     >The White Paper on Electronic Journal Usage Statistics is available on
     >CLIRs Web site, www.clir.org. Print copies will soon be available for $15
     >per copy through the Web site.
     >The Council on Library and Information Resources works in partnership with
     >libraries, archives, and other information providers to advocate
     >collaborative approaches to preserving the nations intellectual heritage
     >and strengthening the many components of its information system. It works
     >to support institutions as they integrate audiovisual and digital
     >resources and services into their well-established, print-based environments.
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