consortium made available in 2004–05 and again during 2010–11. Scholars Portal—
created in 2001—serves as OCUL’s information infrastructure for delivering digital
content and services to support research, teaching, and learning endeavors within
the province’s 21 universities.3 The consortium’s user base is extensive, with
over 400,000 FTE users, and Scholars Portal provides a wide array of content:
e-resources alone now number over 17 million articles from over 8,000 e-journals
as well as 240,000 e-books. The size of the consortium affords unique opportunities
to demonstrate the value of electronic resources by collecting data on the use of
e-resources licensed both by the consortium and by individual member libraries.
In 2004–05, OCUL implemented the MINES for Libraries® survey to measure
use of over 7,000 e-journals locally loaded on their Scholars Portal platform. Key
outcomes pursued at that time were:
Capturing in-library and remote web usage of Scholars Portal in a sound
representative sample
Identifying the demographic differences between in-house library users as
compared to remote users by status of user
Identifying users’ purposes for accessing Scholars Portal electronic services
(funded research, non-funded research, instruction/education use, student
research papers and course work)
Developing an OCUL infrastructure to make studies of patron usage of
OCUL networked electronic resources routine, robust, and integrated in
decision making4
OCUL found MINES for Libraries® to be an effective means of providing
data on the use of e-resources and member institutions were able to use the data
locally to argue for resources and demonstrate the relationship of resources to
outcomes. OCUL determined that the study should be repeated in 2010–11. In
February 2010, OCUL launched MINES for Libraries® a second time. In addition
to querying the who, what, where and why of e-resource usage to provide
longitudinal comparability, key issues to be explored in 2010–11 include:
Methodological best practices as to whether such a survey should be
mandatory or optional
Survey implementation issues introduced by using an open-URL resolver
Potential characteristics of the non-respondents of web-based, intercept
surveys
RLI 271
42
The Value of Electronic Resources: Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services
(
C O N T I N U E D
)
AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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