E-Resource Statistics: What to do when you have no money

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Walker, Mary

Tracking statistics and cost-per-use is more important than ever as budgets continue to shrink. ERMS (Electronic Resource Management Systems) are great but what if you can’t afford one? Using spreadsheets to track e-resource usage statistics, cost-per-use, costs and associated product information can be a practical and economical solution.

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Libraries are moving towards ERMS (Electronic Resource Management Systems) to track their usage statistics but ERMS can be expensive to purchase and maintain. For some libraries an ERMS can be cost prohibitive but they still need to be able to justify the renewal of databases and e-journals to their budget officers or determine which e-resources can be cut from the budget altogether. Using spreadsheets to track usage and cost-per-use can be a viable alternative to an ERMS. This is not a new concept but as budgets continue to shrink and libraries are being held increasingly accountable for their purchase decisions, libraries who have not tracked this information before are beginning to do so and need practical and economical ways to do this. Collection Development uses cost-per-use data in their annual report. The ten most used databases are listed on the statistics website along with the usage statistics summary for individual databases and the overall summary by major package. I will show how Wichita State University Libraries uses a basic application of spreadsheets to track usage statistics for e-journals and databases, costs and associated product information, and calculating database cost-per-use. Examples of the spreadsheets being used will be shown and explained. The formula for calculating cost-per-use will be shared. The statistics web pages will be shown.