> Research Plan > Appendix A
Specifications for Research Questions
1. What differences in the amount of use of print and digital
versions of a Study Title result from the experimental treatment?
Quantitative and tabular analysis of Control Use Worksheets, Experimental
Use Worksheets, and Digital Use Reports will provide empirical data on
the different levels of use between print and digital forms. Examining
the prior year's digital use at the Control Site will provide data to
adjust for the expected rate of increase in digital use not attributable
to the experimental treatment.
Total return requests for a Study Title from the Storage Location will
demonstrate the number of uses where print was preferred to digital. When
return requests are compared to the total number of reshelving instances
from the Control Site the proportion of use not satisfied by the digital
alternative can be determined.
Total reshelving events compared to the total digital use of a Study
Title at a Control Site will show the preference for each in the population
of journal users and can be compared to the proportion of users who state
a preference for print or digital in the User Preference Survey.
The total number of HTML, PDF, and proprietary format views and downloads
by the Experimental Site and the Control Site can be compared to determine
if digital use increases when print is not immediately available. If there
is no increase in digital use, when adjusted for expected growth of the
new technology, this may provide a measure of the chilling effect of the
experimental treatment on journal use.
Establish a statement of equivalency between types of available library
data and types of available Provider data to consistently measure Study
Title use through the Publishers Data Matrix.
2. What characteristics of a Study Title's content and presentation
explain differences in use of print or digital?
A taxonomy of characteristics will be applied to the Study Title Characteristics
Worksheets, the Structured Interviews and the User Preference Survey.
Use data for Study Titles that contain similar characteristics as the
preferred characteristics expressed in the User Preference Survey will
be examined. The User Request Survey and the Structured Interview will
provide title specific data on characteristics of journals that result
in quantifiable number of uses of print. The request behavior can be compared
to the generalized data on characteristics effecting choice from the User
The taxonomy of characteristics will be drawn from the library literature,
tested and refined during the Formative Interviews. Analysis of each Study
Title in digital and print form will be conducted by visiting the Provider
on-line site and a participating library site. These descriptive examinations
will use the same taxonomy of characteristics as the User Preference Survey.
The correlation between characteristics present in a Study Title with
the number of uses of print and number of uses of digital version of that
Study Title will be compared with survey results on characteristics necessary
for a user to prefer using digital formats.
Are Study Title characteristics applicable to both print and digital forms?
How to handle significant differences between digital and print forms.
Should questions about characteristics in the Formative Interviews be
administered in two ways; once as a value list and once open-ended?
3. What characteristics of users explain differences in use of print
Tabular analysis of data from the User Request Surveys, Structured Interviews
and User Preference Surveys to examine for demographic factors that might
influence preferences or use of print or digital forms.
The proportion of users that prefer using digital versus print by user
Faculty, graduate, undergraduate students, academic and non-academic staff
The proportion of users by age that prefer using digital versus print.
The proportion of users by sex that prefer using digital versus print.
The proportion of users by degree of education that prefer using digital
The proportion of users by year degree granted that prefer using digital
The proportion of users by discipline that prefer using digital versus
4. What characteristics of the users access environment explain differences
in using print or digital?
An analysis of User Request Surveys, Structured Interviews and User Preference
Surveys for such factors as awareness of digital alternatives, capability
of network environment, work location, technology and access method to
library resources. The analysis of volunteered comments may also reveal
The number of and degree that factors in the environment either support
or impede the use of print or digital can be expressed. This will contribute
to identifying those factors that have the most influence and those factors
that maybe addressed to improve the acceptability of digital.
Factors in the environment that impact use, need to be explored in the
5. What characteristics of the purpose of the use explain the choice
to use print or digital?
Tabular analysis of User Request Surveys and Structured Interviews on
the purpose of specific Study Title uses and User Preference Survey analysis
of preference under different use scenarios along with analysis of Comment
Cards will identify purposes for which print or digital are more acceptable.
The specific purposes for the use of a particular Study Title in print
form as reported in the User Request Survey and Structured Interviews
can be compared with the stated preference for digital or print under
different use scenarios in the User Preference Survey.
Purposes of use need to be explored in the Formative Interviews.
6. What costs are incurred due to the experimental treatment?
Quantitative analysis of the Phase I Cost Worksheets and the Phase II
Special Cost Studies will identify the costs of placing journals in storage
and shifting primary access to the digital version.
The additional collection management costs at Experimental Sites and Storage
Locations, for selecting, storing and requesting returns of Print Study
Titles can be compared to usual collection management costs at libraries
designated as Control Sites to provide evidence on potential operational
costs when relying on digital.
Based on the work in the Cooper paper a more detailed analytical approach
is being developed.
7. What savings accrue because of the experimental treatment?
Tabular analysis of Storage Location Shelf Measurement Reports will reveal
potential space that can be reclaimed at local libraries by shifting use
to digital. A Print Subscription/Licensing Special Study will identify
licensing costs and terms that might effect subscription cancellation
Number of linear feet of shelving reclaimed at Experimental Sites.
Amount of possible savings in processing, binding, acquisitions and serials
Amount of subscription/licensing costs for each Study Title.
Based on the work in the Cooper paper a more
detailed analytical approach will be developed.
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