Evaluating the Collection
Social Work Selector's Toolbox
Beile, Penny, et al., 2004. "A Microscope or a Mirror? A Question of Study Validity Regarding the Use of Dissertation Citation Analysis for Evaluating Research Collections." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 30 (5): 347-353.
The authors analyzed thirty dissertations in education from three similar institutions. They conclude that the assumption that doctoral students have particular expertise in the use of the scholarly literature of their field may be overstated. They suggest that use of dissertations in evaluation and development of research collections be done cautiously.
Blecic, Deborah C., Joan B. Fiscella, and Stephen E. Wilberley, Jr. 2001. "The Measurement of Web-based Information Resources: An Early Look at Vendor-Supplied Data." College & Research Libraries 62 (5): 434-453. This article examines the kind of data available from vendors regarding Web-based resources and discusses some of the problems with regard to comparing use data from different vendors. It looks at five measures of data that have implications for collection development: variability of data over time, ratio of queries per session, use by hour, use of e-journal collections, and use of Web-based resources in relation to particular subject populations.
Brancolini, K. 1993. "Use and User Studies for Collection Evaluation." In Collection Management for the 1990s. Edited by Joseph J. Branin. Chicago: American Library Association. 63-94.
The author describes several different use-centered methods of collection evaluation, including circulation studies, in-house use studies, document delivery tests, shelf availability studies, citation studies, and interlibrary loan studies. She then reports on three studies that were conducted at Indiana University. These are used as a basis for discussing key considerations in planning and executing large-scale surveys of users.
Britten, William A. 1990. "A Use Statistic for Collection Management: the 80/20 Rule Revisited." Library Acquisitions 14 (2): 183-189.
This study tested whether the 80/20 rule applied to the collection of a large research library, the University of Tennessee. It was found that although 20 percent of the most circulated items accounted for 80 percent of circulation, use varied widely from one LC class to another. The argument is made that spending on a particular call number range should be adjusted according to how much it circulates.
Carrigan, D.F. 1996. "Collection Development: Evaluation." Journal of Academic Librarianship 22: 273-278.
Discusses means to accomplish an explicit evaluation of collection development in libraries. Evaluation of a library's collection as not an acceptable proxy for evaluating collection development; Need for and availability of data; Issue of over-selection; Benefits of electronic tools for evaluating collection development.
Dilevko, Juris and Keren Dali. 2004. "Improving Collection Development and Reference Services for Interdisciplinary Fields through Analysis of Citation Patterns: An Example Using Tourism Studies." College & Research Libraries 65 (3): 216-241.
The authors attempted to identify the materials used in an interdisciplinary field by analyzing citations according to LC classification categories. The study found that tourism scholars make significant use of disciplines outside their field Scholars that employ qualitative methodology are more likely to make use of disciplines outside their field than scholars who use quantitative methods.
Dinkins, Debbi. 2003. "Circulation as Assessment: Collection Development Policies Evaluated in Terms of Circulation at a Small Academic Library." College & Research Libraries 64 (1): 46-53.
This study compared circulation statistics of books selected over a five year period by five academic departments with those selected by librarians. The findings indicated that books selected by librarians circulated more than those chosen by faculty in all fields.
Dobson, Cynthia, et al. 1994. "Collection Evaluation for Interdisciplinary Fields: A Comprehensive Approach." Journal of Academic Librarianship 22 (4): 279-284.
Collection development for interdisciplinary areas is more complex than for traditionally well-defined disciplines, so new evaluation methods are needed. This article identifies variables in interdisciplinary fields and presents a model of their typical information components. Traditional use-centered and materials-centered evaluation methods should be supplemented by subject analysis, service measurement, and electronic resource assessment.
Emanuel, Michelle. 2002. "A Collection Evaluation in 150 Hours." Collection Management 27 (3/4): 79-91.
A recent collection evaluation at the University of Alabama Libraries, conducted as part of an internship in the School of Library and Information Studies, was completed in 150 hours. The results of the study were presented to the subject selector, who could then interpret the data in her collection strategy. By using the results of an evaluation to adjust the vendor profile of a collection, or re-establish contact with the departments being served, an evaluation can ultimately save the library money.
Ephraim, P.E. 1994. "A Review of Qualitative and Quantitative Measures in Collection Analysis." The Electronic Library 12 (4): 237-242.
Argues that a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures is most efficacious in library collection analysis. Cases drawn from the literature in which a combination of these measures was profitably applied are considered, and the types of software packages for purposes of data manipulation are discussed.
Foudy, G. 1999. "The 1997 North American Title Count: History, Manipulating the Data, Uses." Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 23 (1): 124-126
Gabriel, M.1995. Collection Development and Collection Evaluation: A Sourcebook. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow.
Containing nearly 2,000 citations, this selective guide to the literature of collection development and evaluation includes books, articles, theses and papers written in English. The references are arranged alphabetically by author, and the book contains a detailed subject index.
Grover, Mark L. 1999. "Large Scale Collection Assessment." Collection Building 18 (2): 58-66.
The author suggests that traditional methods such as list checking and comparing with bibliographies are inadequate for collection analysis in large research libraries. In this study the National Shelflist Count was used to as a standard against which to measure the collection of a large research library. Five randomly chosen NSCLC libraries were compared for size of holdings and circulation in the area of foreign languages. The author concluded that spending was not as high on foreign language materials as at peer institutions.
Hahn, Karla L. and Lila A. Faulkner. 2002. "Evaluative Usage-based Metrics for the Selection of E-Journals." College & Research Libraries 63 (3): 215-227.
This study uses statistics from the National Shelflist Count Project to obtain comparative statistical information about the foreign language collection of a large research library to determine if it was purchasing materials at an appropriate level. When compared with five randomly selected libraries, the study found that foreign language collecting was underemphasized relative to the rest of the collection.
Intner, Sheila S. 2003. "Making Your Collections Work for You: Collection Evaluation Myths and Realities." Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 27: 339-350.
Argues that it is essential that librarians have a thorough understanding of their collections and how they are used. Presents myths and corresponding realities about collection assessment, suggests methods of establishing what "good" means for collections, and suggests a format for presenting evaluation results to administrators.
Kuyper-Rushing, Lois. 1999. "Identifying Uniform Core Journal Titles for Music Libraries: A Dissertation Citation Study." College & Research Libraries 60 (2): 153-163.
The author attempted to create a core list of journals based on citation analysis of dissertations submitted in 1993 across the United States. Journals were ranked by frequency of citation and divided into five categories based on type of research covered by dissertation.
Lockett, B., ed. 1989. Guide to the Evaluation of Library Collections. Chicago: American Library Association .
This volume describes both collection-centered measures and use-centered methods of evaluation. The advantages and disadvantage of each method are discussed. An extensive bibliography describing each of the methods is provided at the end of the book.
MacEwan, B. 1993. "An Overview of Collection Assessment and Evaluation." In Collection Management for the 1990s. Edited by Joseph J. Branin. Chicago: American Library Association. 95-104.
The author describes various methods of collection evaluation. These include the National Shelflist Count, RLG Conspectus, North American Title Count, the OCLC collection analysis CD, course analysis and faculty research profiles, and comparing the collection to standard lists.
Nisonger, T. 1992. Collection Evaluation in Academic Libraries: A Literature Guide and Annotated Bibliography. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
This work contains over 600 references to articles, books and book chapters related to collection evaluation. Among the topics covered are the role of automation in collection evaluation, assessment and ranking of journals, use studies, surveys, citation studies, overlap studies, and availability of materials.
Pancheshnikov, Yelena. 2003. "Course-centered Approach to Evaluating University Library Collections for Instructional Program Reviews." Collection Building 22 (4): 177-185.
This study compared the holdings of a large research collection in the field of agriculture to those of the National Agricultural Library in an effort to determine how well the collection supported agriculture courses.
Smith, Erin T. 2003. "Assessing Collection Usefulness: An Investigation of Library Ownership of the Resources Graduate Students Use." College & Research Libraries 64 (5): 344-355.
The study analyzed theses and dissertations in order to determine how well the collection of large research library was meeting the research needs of graduate students. A sample of dissertations written ten years earlier was also analyzed in order to determine if use patterns had changed. The study found little change with regard to major formats but more significant change among minor formats.
Stebelman, Scott. 1996. "Using Choice as a Collection Assessment Tool." Collection Building 15 (2): 4-11.
This study attempts to evaluate monographic acquisitions of a large research library by determining what percentage of titles reviewed in Choice are found in the collection, and whether those titles circulate. Advantages and disadvantages of using Choice as a standard to evaluate collections against are discussed.
Strohl, Bonnie. 1999. Collection Evaluation Techniques: a Short, Selective, Practical, Current, Annotated Bibliography, 1990-1998. Chicago: American Library Association.
Swigger, Keith, and Adeline Wilkes. 1991. "The Use of Citation Data to Evaluate Serials Subscriptions in an Academic Library." Serials Review 17 (2): 41-46.
The authors compare citation analysis to reshelving data and to faculty and librarian ratings of titles. Only a weak correlation was found between reshelving data and citation data, and no correlation between citation data and the subjective judgments of faculty or librarians.
Sylvia, Margaret J. 1998. "Citation Analysis as an Unobtrusive Method for Journal Collection Evaluation Using Psychology Student Research Bibliographies." Collection Building 17 (1): 20-28.
The author analyzed the research papers of psychology students as a way of gathering evidence to inform decisions about journal selection and deselection. The results indicated that a relatively small percentage of journals generated more than half of the citations. The most heavily cited journals were not necessarily the most heavily used in terms of reshelving statistics.
Whisler, Karen, Marlene Slough, Nackil Sung, and Barbara Cressman 1998. "Evaluating Selected Full-Text Databases for Collection Development." Illinois Libraries 80 (4): 239-248.
This study examined nine full-text databases to evaluate the content and subject coverage of each. The authors compared title overlap and subject strengths between the databases and also in relation to the print collection. Advantages and disadvantages of electronic and print resources are discussed.
White, H.D. 1995. Brief Tests of Collection Strength. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
This book describes a series of brief tests to measure the strength of particular subject areas. The author provides a rationale for each test, a description of how to conduct it, and case studies in which the test was applied. The last chapter covers ideas for improving the tests.
Whiteside, A.B. 1996. "Recent Publications on Collection Evaluation." Art Documentation 15 (1): 53-56 .