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Mega Database Review: How to Have What You Want and Want What You Have. MLA Conference | October 6, 2010 Mary Anne Erwin, MLS & Emily Scharf, MALS Instruction & Liaison Services | Webster University Library. Today we will discuss.

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Mega database review how to have what you want and want what you have

Mega Database Review: How to Have What You Want and Want What You Have

MLA Conference | October 6, 2010

Mary Anne Erwin, MLS & Emily Scharf, MALS

Instruction & Liaison Services | Webster University Library


Today we will discuss
Today we will discuss

  • A comprehensive review of databases used at Webster University by 12,000 students around the US and overseas.

  • Explain the review process, talk about successes, what we would do differently and the outcomes of this review.


A word about public institutions
A word about public institutions

  • Webster University does not have to bid for our databases

  • This review can also work for public institutions

Photo credit: Flickr user beautifulcataya 9/8/09


Why did we do this
Why did we do this?

Photo credit: Flickr user alexanderdrachmann 4/13/06


Background
Background

  • Instruction & Liaison Services Department creation

  • New staff member in charge of databases


Special projects 4 year cycle
Special Projects - 4 Year Cycle

  • 2010 – Database review

  • 2011 – Weed main collection

  • 2012 – Journal review

  • 2013 – Standing orders/weed reference collection


Goal

  • Do our databases support the current curriculum?

  • No mandate to cancel – only review


Who participated
Who participated?

  • Library administration

  • Subject Liaisons

    • Faculty

  • Faculty, students and staff via Library satisfaction survey

  • Reference Librarians

  • Entire library staff

    • Some Library student workers

    • Faculty Development Center staff


Library administration
Library Administration

  • Shared goals

  • Communication

  • Support



Faculty staff students
Faculty (staff & students)

  • Faculty contacted at discretion of their subject liaison

    • Subject & related databases

  • Library’s user satisfaction survey - Spring 2010

    Please rate your satisfaction with library materials.

    __Very Satisfied __ Satisfied __Neither Satisfied or Dissatisfied

    __Dissatisfied __Very Dissatisfied __N/A

    • Access to online materials (e.g., databases, full-text journals, ebooks)

    • Quality of online materials


Reference librarians
Reference Librarians

  • Reviewed 8 databases

    • E.g. Credo Reference and Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • Communicated with the subject reviewers regarding subject databases

  • WWWDD (What Would We Do Differently?)

    • Sought their input in a more formal way, earlier in the process

    • Perhaps ask which databases they use and why


Library staff survey
Library Staff Survey

  • 38 general/multi-disciplinary databases

  • Academic Search Premier

  • WorldCat


Process procedure
Process/Procedure

Photo credit:

Flickr user YSPsculpture

5/6/10


Procedure
Procedure

  • Databases assigned to liaisons by subject

  • A master list was made to store all info

  • Reviewers completed a review sheet for each database and gave databases a rating from 1-4

  • Library staff survey

  • Liaison meeting

  • Management team meeting


Master list
Master List

  • Database Name

  • Vendor

  • Liaison

  • 2008 Proxy Server Stats

  • 2009 Proxy Server Stats

  • 2009 Pricing Info

  • Check with...

  • In federated search now?

  • Scoped for federated search?

  • Subscription End Date

  • Ok to renew early?

  • Explanation for cancelation/keep

  • Reviewer's Rating (1-4)

  • Link to review sheet

  • Liaison Meeting Rating

  • Savings ($)

  • Notes


Rating system
Rating System

  • Started with a scale of 1 – 5

  • After discussion, ended up with 1 – 4 scale

  • Ratings:

    • 1 = Cancel

    • 2 = Questionable, Cancel If______

    • 3 = Important, Fills Niche

    • 4 = Essential

  • WWWDD: only one “4” rating per subject


Sample comments and ratings
Sample Comments and Ratings

  • Rating : 1, Cancel Books in Print“…it does not seem worth the money to keep a resource that mostly replicates other information and whose usage has dropped by half in the last year (2008 to 2009).”

  • Rating: 2, Cancel If… Kids Search“Due to the incongruent nature of this database (a kid-friendly interface that is searching advanced article databases), I would recommend we cancel this if we ever needed to pay for it.”


  • Rating: 3, Important, Fills Niche CQ Researcher“It is a valuable resource due to its background information and breadth of content types. …we have no comparable resource online.”

  • Rating: 4, Essential JSTOR“Since this is a digital archive of scholarly journals, many historical articles are available in full-text that may not be available in full-text through other databases.”


Review sheet
Review Sheet

  • Some categories on this sheet were transferred to our master list

  • Each reviewer had two months to review their assigned databases

  • Sample review (for a 1 database)


Surveys
Surveys

  • Library Staff – General/Multidisciplinary DBs

    • 34 responses

    • 27 of 40 full & PT staff

    • 7 Student workers

  • WWWDD?


Library staff survey results
Library Staff Survey – Results

  • Academic Search Premier

    • Most highly rated database

      • 69% of respondents rated it “4 – essential”

  • Books in Print

    • Lowest rated database

      • 35% of those with an opinion rated it “1 – cancel”

      • 22% rated it a “4 – essential”

    • What we learned from (a) student and faculty


Process procedure finale
Process/Procedure - Finale

  • Liaison meeting

  • Management Team meeting

    • Submitted list of databases recommended for cancellation

    • Approved!


Results
Results

  • Cancelled 15 databases

  • Saved/reallocated $60,000

    • Plus reduced acquisition, training & maintenance costs

  • Afforded new databases

  • Ready answers for questions as they arise

    • MOREnet

    • Stat-USA


What we learned gained
What we learned/gained

  • Focus on best DBs for our users

    = have what you want

  • Confidence in/knowledge of our DBs

    = want what you have

  • Instruction Opportunities

    • Library staff were unsure/no opinion about 53% of our databases

      • Summer Learning Series


Contact us
Contact Us


Questions
Questions?

Photo credit: Flickr user Oberazzi 12/9/06


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