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FAQ: Journal Use Study
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What is the difference between experimental and control
What was the purpose of the journal use study?
To measure the volume of usage of print vs. digital versions of library journals. Specifically, the Collection Management Initiative (CMI) project was interested in assessing how usage differs in two scenarios. In the first scenario, the print version of the journal was removed from the shelves and placed in remote storage. In the second scenario, the print version of the journal continued to be available on the library shelves. In both scenarios, the digital version of the journal was available throughout the length of the study.
Did all University of California campuses participate in the study?
Yes, all nine campuses of the University participated. Two campuses participated as experimental sites by relocating selected journal runs to remote storage. One campus participated as a control site only by agreeing to collect usage data for selected print journals that remained on library shelves. The remaining six campuses participated as both experimental and control sites. View a list of journals by campus.
What is the difference between experimental and control libraries?
Staff at experimental libraries relocated print journals to remote storage. For example, UC Santa Barbara sent 44 journal back runs to remote storage and gathered usage data whenever a user requested one of these print journals be temporarily returned from storage.
Staff at control libraries did not relocate selected print journals to remote storage, and for purposes of the study, recorded the use of the journals on the shelf. For example, the UC Riverside campus selected approximately 140 print journals for which an electronic version was available. At UC Riverside, staff gathered usage data for each of these journals during the yearlong study.
Using the example of the Henry James Review, one of the journal titles included in the study:
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What method did you use to count the use of a print journal on the shelf in a campus library?
For the purposes of the study, use of a print journal was defined as a "reshelving event." In other words, each time a print journal issue or volume was reshelved in a control library, it was counted as a single use.
How did you count print journal use at experimental library campuses?
Each time a user requested that an issue or volume of a CMI study journal be returned temporarily to campus that request was counted as a use. It should be noted that in some cases photocopies or FAX were supplied in lieu of returning the physical piece to campus.
How many journals were included in the study and where can I view a list of the journals?
Approximately 300 journals were selected by campus libraries for the
study. Each journal title was available in print form on two campuses
and in digital form on all campuses. View a list of
titles by subject, by campus and by publisher.
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What were the criteria used to select a journal for the study?
The criteria for selection of journals for the study included the availability of use data from the electronic publisher by journal title, by month and by campus. Each journal selected also had to be available on all campuses in electronic form, and at least two print subscriptions had to be available on two separate UC campuses. An initial list of 2,429 journals that met the criteria was developed for campus libraries to use in making their selections. The final list included journals representing a variety of disciplines, content characteristics and usage demands.
Who actually chose the titles in the study?
Librarians on each campus nominated journals to be part of the study
and determined if the journal was to be a control or experimental title.
Campus libraries selected journals based on factors such as collection
use, faculty consultation, and holdings. CMI project staff coordinated
the selection of titles and worked to assure that control and experimental
journal titles would be paired appropriately, taking into consideration
size of campus and similarity of academic programs.
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How did you publicize the study to UC faculty and students?
A Publicity Task Group, made up of members of the CMI Operations Advisory
Committee, developed adaptable text and publicity tools that could be
used by campuses to inform their user community about the project. These
tools included a press release for local campus newspapers, signage to
be used where print journals had been shelved before being relocated to
storage, handouts explaining the project, and comment cards for library
users to provide feedback on the study. Handouts and comment cards were
made available at public service desks and on library shelves where study
journals had been located. In addition, some campuses put up special websites
that used text from the handouts and even provided online comment cards
Where can I get more information about CMI?
This web site contains study background, the research plan, project data, a roster of staff and advisory groups, and a contact form, as well additional FAQ's. Visit the welcome page.
There are three other FAQ's about the project available:
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Send your questions and comments to Gary.Lawrence@ucop.edu.
Last updated: February 12, 2003.