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.
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?
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!
Now you can see not only what's used, but which databases are being suggested most by SFX.
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?
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:
- How these data intersect with ILL data, which can offer an entirely different perspective on behavior -- the two together provide a far more complete picture. How many times do users request articles via ILL, and what are they requesting? Only ILL knows. But SFX can tell us how often they reject ILL as an option.
- What we know about our periodicals holdings, including the fact that we know, for example, that we have NYTimes online, but it shows up as regularly requested with no full-text found. THat has to mean that users are searching for *backfile* NYTimes online -- which we don't have. But how often are they searching for backfile NYT? SFX can tell us, but only our Info Lit instructors know how many assignments specifically require use of microfilm, thus limiting the requests for online backfiles.
- Your particular campus set-up of SFX and databases, which can have a serious effect on user behavior. Do you prioritize your displays? Do you exclude or include resources depending on what page the user is viewing?
- How these data intersect with vendor-provided data, which can help provide a fuller picture of use, including direct use of the databases without SFX intervention
- How user behavior can change the results, ie, faculty who report that they don't use indices, but instead browse the ToCs for their 'favorite' journals
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
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