Conclusion The MINES for Libraries® data provide a critical link between electronic resources and the value derived by users. The data have been used by library administrators to demonstrate the value of e-resources to the various departments within institutions so that, in tight financial times, the library can continue to support the particular resources that are highly valued by users. The data can be used to demonstrate that those users who gain the most value from e-resources are those users who are attracting grants and producing more research output. Making the link between use of e-resources and other desired outcomes (e.g., higher GPA, retention, graduation, job placement) is within our reach. The protocol has been implemented in an anonymous fashion and the demonstrated value has been articulated at the departmental level, yet more granular studies may be pursued that link e-resource use to individual performance. The possibility of expanding the MINES for Libraries® protocol to extend the value and return-on-investment studies pursued through the Lib-Value project is a promising area of investigation in the coming years. A companion article by Mays, Tenopir, and Kaufman in this special issue of RLI articulates some of the Lib-Value activities. Studies that relate use of electronic resources to personal attainment and characteristics need to be implemented with great caution and attention to the highest ethical and professional guidelines to ensure that users’ privacy is protected appropriately. Yet, if use of the content that libraries deliver is tracked electronically, libraries are probably a much-preferred, trusted, third party to secure ethical and professional use of such information compared to other entities that may have stronger commercial, marketing, and entrepreneurial interests. 1 For details on the research foundations of MINES for Libraries®, see: Brinley Franklin, “Academic Research Library Support of Sponsored Research in the United States,” in Proceedings of the Fourth Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services (Washington DC: ARL, 2001) Brinley Franklin and Terry Plum, “Networked Electronic Services Usage Patterns at Four Academic Health Sciences Libraries,” Performance Measurement and Metrics 3, no. 3 (2002): 132–133. 2 Ontario Council of University Libraries, 3 Scholars Portal, 4 Martha Kyrillidou, Toni Olshen, Brinley Franklin, and Terry Plum, “MINES for Libraries™: Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services and the Ontario Council of University Libraries’ Scholars Portal, Final Report” (Washington DC: ARL, 2005): 10, 5 An excellent follow-up study extending the original report is available by Marisa Scigliano, “Measuring the Use of Networked Electronic Journals in an Academic Library Consortium: Moving beyond MINES for Libraries® in Ontario Scholars Portal,” Serials Review 36, no. 2 (2010): 72–78. 6 Ibid. RLI 271 46 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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