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RE: Online journal statistics

Janet does make a good point: usage stats alone should not be the only
factor in evaluating collections. Wash. U. Medical School Library will not
consider cancelling a new journal title until we have had it in our
collection for at least 3 (or is it 5) years? In addition, we do not
cancel based on usage statistics alone. We also look carefully a cost per
use. There are other factors that figure into the decision as well.
Journals that are linked to key bibliographic resources may receive
preference over those that don't. (I emphasize may.) However, usage stats
are vital and an open dialog concerning how we might obtain useful
statistics between librarians and between librarians and publishers is
vital. I have to believe that both parties want the readers to receive the
best content. Usage stats are but one factor towards that goal.

Linda Mercer
Digital Communications and Resources
Bernard Becker LIbrary
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO


Janet Fisher <jfisher@MIT.EDU> on 11/05/99 10:16:32 AM

Dear Librarians,

The long-term effects of using short-term usage statistics for making
collection decisions need to be carefully thought through. I hope I don't
sound too self-serving by saying this, but usage can be affected by lots
of different things besides quality of content (such as lack of good
marketing by the publisher, and lack of good marketing by the library to
users within the institution).

Best wishes,

Janet Fisher
Associate Director for Journals Publishing
The MIT Press
Five Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142-1493 USA
Phone: 617-253-2864
Fax: 617-258-5028
E-mail: jfisher@mit.edu