Managing Collections Between the Chemists and the Consortium: Assessment, Engagement, and Creativity01/01/2008
Managing The Ohio State University Libraries’ collection of chemistry journals within OhioLINK’s consortial environment mixes objective assessment with engaging the chemistry faculty and the consortium. Basing collection decisions on hard facts has the immediate goal of cost-effectiveness. The most effective technique is a mediated three-party dialogue of the library managers, the chemistry faculty, and the consortium with the long-term goal of reforming scholarly communication. Many methods to assess electronic journals are available, such as article download statistics, impact factors, Eigenfactors, cost per article and cost per citation data, and engaging faculty input. The reality, however, is that high subscription costs do not diminish the importance of chemistry journals to the faculty. Assessment of consortial electronicjournal subscription packages is crucial to managing collection content effectively, but library managers and chemistry faculty often disagree about the appropriate assessment method. The most effective approach is a combination of several assessment methods coupled with clear and open communication of the facts. Communicating the results of the assessment techniques is more than a matter of giving the faculty the bad news. The most effective and credible assessment methodology always includes communicating faculty input to the consortium. Difficult decisions are easier to make, announce, and live with when all stakeholders openly share information.
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