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Public Services & Electronic ResourcesAnita ColbyUCLA Science & Engineering Library Southern California Technical Processing Group November 21, 2003
“Libraries everywhere are finding that e-journals involve more staff and increased staff time at both the acquisitions and maintenance stages of the work flow process than their printed counterparts. The selection, ordering, licensing, cataloging, and ongoing maintenance of e-journals affects staff workloads and challenges the organizational structure of libraries.” (Gardner, 2001) • “Electronic resources are more problematic, more time consuming, and involve more paperwork than print subscriptions” (Loghry and Shannon, 2000) • For public services, too. (Colby, 2003)
Variables • Institution & its materials budget • University, State University, Community College • Patron status • Undergrad, graduate student, ABD, faculty • Discipline of patron • Sciences, social sciences, humanities
Institution & Its Budget • University of California • Critical mass of both recent print and electronic sources • Cal State Universities • Desired (recent) materials less frequently available in print • Community colleges • Strong reliance on a few interdisciplinary full-text databases in the absence of both print and electronic resources
Patron Status • Undergrads more likely to insist upon electronic, less likely to understand the difference between web and licensed. • Grads more likely to accept either print or electronic because they want the material – but they’d really rather have it electronically • Faculty use of e-journals increases hugely each year, regardless of discipline.
Disciplinary differences • Studies indicate that humanities researchers did not use indexes or abstracts or consult librarians (Bates, 1996, Watson-Boone, 1994) • Physical scientists relied on journal articles, conference attendance, and preprint services and preferred electronic databases and print journals (Brown, 1999) • Social scientists make greater use of citation chaining and browsing (Ellis, 1989), and show a preference for journals to other sources (Folster 1995).
Ways of Accessing E-Materials • Via database links • Via catalogs • Via reference links • Via dynamic databases • Via static webpages • Via a portal • Via Google
How Users Get to E-journals(Sathe, et al, 2002) • Among Biomedical Library e-journal users: • 40% of users followed full-text links for database searches • 28% discovered e-journals via the online catalog • 40% were directed to e-journals by library staff • 26% were alerted to e-journals by colleagues
How users get to e-journals the next time • Schaffner (1998) saw an emergence of a trend toward undergraduates creating their virtual personal collections of electronic materials, some via bookmarks and some integrating complex visual representations of information space.
Collaborative Information Spaces (K. Borner, 2000) Memory Palaces Provide intuitive, efficient, and collaborative document access for a scholarly community. Mirror Gardens Visualize user interaction data to evaluate the effectiveness and usability, to optimize design properties, or to examine the evolving user community of a world.
Via database links • Many authors have noted that database links are changing the way researchers view journals. • Butler’s 1999 article in Nature concludes: Scientists often care less about the journal title than the ability to track down quickly the full text of articles relevant to their interests. Increasingly users view titles as merely part of hyperlinked “content databases” made up of constellations of journal titles.”
Print v. electronic preferences • Sathe (2002) found in a medical library environment, fellows, students, and residents preferred electronic journals, while faculty preferred print journals. • Print journals were preferred for reading articles and scanning tables of contents, while e-journals were preferred for printing and checking references.
Kinds of Trouble • Bad URL • Off-campus access trouble • Missing Content • Subscription problems • Browser incompability • Format problems • Server problems on one end or the other • Access suddenly no longer available