ejournal use by subject

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about an idea I had that involved combining subject data from SerialsSolutions with use data for our ejournals to get a broad picture of ejournal use by subject. It took a bit of tooling around with Access tables and queries, including making my first crosstab, but I’ve finally got the data put together in a useful way.

It’s not quite comprehensive, since it only covers ejournals for which SerialsSolutions has assigned a subject, which also have ISSNs, and are available through sources that provide COUNTER or similar use statistics. But, it’s better than nothing.

5 thoughts on “ejournal use by subject”

  1. Anna, this is really interesting. It’d also be very interesting to see the pie chart next to it of how much these journals cost by subject. The most expensive journals, I suspect, are not in the highest use subjects. Do you know if any libraries consider resource use in their allocation to departments? What are other implications of this data? Thanks for thinking about this and sharing it.

    1. I’m thinking about including costs at some point, but mainly I was interested in seeing if our assumptions (i.e. that Business and Science make up the bulk of use) match the data, particularly given that we have resources allocated along those assumptions.

  2. Very interesting. I wonder, though, how many titles are represented by each wedge? For example–are 100 engineering titles generating 7% of use while 10 social sciences titles are generating 24%? As a music and performing arts librarian we have what seems like relatively few ejournals compared to some other subjects, so 3% use doesn’t surprise me. However, that may not in fact be true and we may have just as many, but fewer of our users use journals (e.g., performers tend to use them much less than musicologists). And the size of your population matters too…andI think we all wonder what are the most relevant numbers among all
    the variables (and then what do we as selectors do with them!).

    Anyway, all this to say, very good work and keep investigating!

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