Using SFX reports
to make Collection Development decisions

Do you know what your online users are doing?
Did you know that SFX can tell you?


Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek
Collection Development Coordinator and Technical Services Librarian
College Libraries, SUNY Potsdam
Presentation available at: http://www2.potsdam.edu/rogersjp/SUNYAUG06

October 9, 2006



Technical details

This presentation was created in HTML using CSS. There was no PowerPoint involved in this presentation except as a nagging bad example. The layout and stylesheet are available to borrow via a share and share alike creative commons license, and were created and made available for download by Jessamyn West.


slides version | printable version


About SFX



Who uses photocopiers anymore?


Fact:


Counting use of print periodicals just doesn't mean what it used to mean.

Student use of periodicals is radically different than it was 20, 10, even 5 years ago. Print periodicals are used less and less as more and more backfiles are digitized, so our counts of journals reshelved and journals left by photocopiers and whatever else we used to count -- they don't mean the same thing as they used to. They still mean something, just not the same thing.



We print now, instead.


Possibility:


SFX clickthroughs = the new photocopy/reshelving statistic

What replaced the former use of print periodicals for photocopying? Use of online journals for printing. How do students access those online journals? One path is through SFX.



Did you know SFX has a statistics package?



at the bottom right, you will find:
You will need your SFX administrator to provide you with a username and password. The administrator can also decide whether or not you have the power to do anything other than use the statistics package. (So you can't break stuff!)


So many confusing options!



SFX Definitions



The most obvious report for CD purposes

Report 19 is the most obviously useful for periodicals work:



Each report offers customization options -- dropdown menus particular to each report, adjustable reporting tiemframes, etc. Each can be viewed onscreen, but can also be sent as an email, saved as .txt, and opened in a spreadsheet to allow for data manipulation.


What do your users SFX most?



Note the disparity on some titles between Requests and Clickthroughs -- it's worth considering!


What do your users wish you had online?






What they're asking for


Will your results be what you expected?
When considering this, think about not only what you're seeing, but what you're not -- you'll need to consider what you have in print in the library (equals no full text), what you have online outside the date ranges they requested (equals no full text), etcetera.

Also, what are they really asking for? Can you know if they want current or backfile content? We used this report, last year, to buy individual online titles for highly-requested and inaccesible titles, and those titles have disappeared from this list, indicating that current year use was what was most desired. Had the titles remained, we would have known our users wanted backfiles, like with the NYTimes requests that are showing in this results display, which we have on Microfilm.


Periodicals as a facet of databases

Title-by-title analysis is useful, but so is analysis of database use.

CD for serials is more than just title-by-title subscriptions; your online holdings are just as important as your print holdings. And databases make up the largest share of online holdings. How are they being used?


Most-used titles per database

What titles in each database are being used most?

Again, note the disparity between clickthroughs and requests -- this is not the database of choice for some titles!


Which databases get SFXed?

Now you can see not only what's used, but which databases are being suggested most by SFX.



A different perspective from the vendor-provided database statistics

This is the sort of data that can provide a different kind of relative worth to databases. The Prof. Dev. Col. might not show the highest use on vendor-provided stats, but it clearly is being called regularly by SFX, which indicates that it contains very useful content for a niche database.


ILL? Your library's catalog?



Clickthroughs are key


How often do your users click through to your catalog, when it's offered? To ILL? How much of your purchasing behavior is based on the assumption that ILL can fill many of your gaps? Does knowing how often your users take advantage of ILL when it's offered to them change your opinion on that subject?


And so much more

There are 20 different reports, each providing a different perspective.

SFX data can be extremely powerful evidence when considering what journals to add to your holdings, and which databases to cancel from your lineup.

But we must also consider:


Thank you!


These data are not perfect -- and they do not present the complete picture of user behavior. But they are one powerful tool in our arsenal as we make decisions.

That's what I had to offer today -- Now, what are your institutions doing?



About

Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek is the Collection Development Coordinator and Technical Services Librarian at the SUNY Potsdam College Libraries. In addition to the daily work in CD and Tech Services, her current projects include setting up a DSpace repository, cataloging electronic resources, initiating a major weeding project, and reorganizing and revitalizing the curriculum materials collection.

She got her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin--Madison in 2001, and a BA in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1998.

CV and more info available online, here
.

This presentation was created in HTML using CSS. There was no PowerPoint involved in this presentation except as a nagging bad example. The layout and stylesheet are available to borrow via a share and share alike creative commons license, and were created and made available for download by Jessamyn West.


slides version | printable version