E-Metrics: measures for electronic resources
[August 15, 2001]
Miller, Rush;Schmidt, Sherrie
Abstract: A major problem facing research libraries today is the lack of data aboutelectronic resources and services. Problems and challenges in collecting and analyzing such data are many and obvious, including: there is a lack of clear and consistent definition of data elements; vendors do not “count” things in the same manner as one another; membership in a consortium can skew the statistics of the individual libraries in that consortium; libraries structure themselves differently in regard to electronic resources, making data gathering difficult; libraries do not control access to and use of important data about vendor-supplied resources; andthe nature of electronic resources is changing rapidly and, therefore, data elements are shifting.The E-Metrics project, one of the ARL New Measures Initiatives, is an effort to explore thefeasibility of defining and collecting data on the use and value of electronic resources. ARL hasexperience in tracking expenditures on electronic resources through the ARL SupplementaryStatistics, but there is a widely held recognition that more work needs to be done in this area. Agroup of 24 ARL libraries funded and are participating in the ARL E-Metrics Project from May2000 to December 2001. The project is under contract with Florida State University''sInformation Use Management and Policy Institute and is directed by Wonsik “Jeff” Shim,Charles R. McClure, and John Carlo Bertot under the leadership of project co-chairs SherrieSchmidt (Dean of University Libraries, Arizona State University Library) and Rush Miller(University Librarian and Director, University of Pittsburgh). This paper details the rationale and context for this project; it describes the issues identified, the lessons learned, and the possibilitiesand challenges that this set of issues brings to the research library community.