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CMI > For Library Staff > Phase I: Experimental Preparation Guidelines

Phase I: Experimental Preparation Guidelines

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The following procedures were developed from the recommendations of the CMI Operations Advisory Committee subgroups for Publicity, Usage, Bibliographic Control, and ILL/Document Delivery. The purpose of these procedures is to provide general guidance during the preparation phase of the project for those campuses which have elected to participate in the CMI project as experimental libraries.

Publicizing participation in the CMI project
Gathering usage data
Preparing volumes for relocation to storage
Bibliographic record changes
User behavior and preference data
Documenting costs

Publicizing participation in the CMI project

Consult the CMI website for explanations about the project, including project overview, goals, timeline and contact persons on each campus, link to a comment form for feedback and adaptable text.

Link local campus websites to the CMI website or copy the explanation on their page with a heading such as 'Important News' or 'What's New.'

  • Post signs at the empty shelves with standard wording to explain the absence of the print volumes and access to the electronic version
  • Place handouts at the empty shelves and at nearby public service desks with title of journal(s) and URL's for electronic version. Adaptable text for handouts will be available at the CMI website
  • Provide press releases for campus and library newsletters. Develop responses to email questions from adaptable text that will be available at the CMI website.
  • Place comment cards at public service desks and on the shelves where volumes have been removed. Text for the comment cards will be available at the CMI website.

Gathering usage data

Electronic version of journals

  • Experimental libraries will not be required to gather usage data for the electronic version of journals. CMI staff will be responsible for gathering usage data for electronic journals.

Print version of journals

  • Experimental volumes will be marked for easy identification with customized removable labels either by the campus storage staff or by RLF staff. Customized labels will be provided by CMI staff.
  • A copy of each request for a CMI journal issue, volume or copy of an article will be printed and kept by the lending unit (RLF, ILL unit or appropriate unit). NRLF will keep manual records; SRLF will be able to gather statistics from local online system.

Preparing volumes for relocation to storage


  • NRLF and SRLF staff will physically mark the print journal runs of experimental titles for statistics keeping and survey distribution (Bibliographic Control subgroup report)
  • Unbound issues of experimental titles should be removed from the open shelves to receive special handling by the campus library as part of the project (Bibliographic Control subgroup report).

Local storage

  • Study volumes should be marked for the purpose of gathering usage data. A customized removable label will be used to mark the front covers of unbound issues and the spines of bound volumes. Labels will be provided by CMI staff
  • Study volumes will be stored separately from other stored materials so they can be easily identified and retrieved if requested.

Bibliographic record changes

Campuses will change bibliographic holdings records for journal volumes/issues going to storage in their local catalogs. In order to change holdings information in Melvyl, campuses will do 'only what is necessary' in their local catalogs to store the print runs of experimental titles and to upload that information to Melvyl. The Bibliographic Control subgroup also noted that

SRLF will identify CMI titles in ORION 2 so that use statistics can be extracted from local system.

NRLF will not rely on any information from Melvyl or GLADIS to handle experimental titles.

The final spreadsheet of paired experimental and control titles will be the authoritative record of journal titles chosen for the study and will be available on the CMI website for consultation (

User behavior and preference data

Survey forms will be used to gather documentation regarding the reasons why print experimental volumes were requested when an electronic version was available.

The lending unit (RLF's or local storage staff) will enclose a survey form in the volume or with the photocopy/FAX. Staff at the pickup point will ask the patron to fill out the survey form and return it. A follow-up email will be used to encourage users to complete the survey form.

Completed survey forms will be matched with the copy of the request for the print journal (retained by the RLF's or local storage staff) of the original request for the experimental title that has been retained by the ILL/Document Delivery Unit.

Documenting costs

A work form is being prepared to use to document your staff costs for processing, marking, bibliographic control, and transfer of experimental volumes to storage.

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Last updated: October 23, 2001.