Are they ready to make the switch? Results of the WSU Libraries survey on electronic and print collections
Wolfe, Judith A.
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A recent survey of Wichita State University faculty, staff, and students by the WSU Libraries shows the university community far from consensus on the issue of print versus electronic journals and other resources. The survey, made available to the entire campus via the Web, provides an in-depth look at the importance of materials in different formats, how print and electronic journals are located and used, the interest in alternative delivery methods, and the level of support for canceling subscriptions or buying fewer books to maintain or add electronic access. The responses from 381 users have been analyzed using statistical software and point to striking differences and similarities in format preferences and use - not just among students and faculty, but among different disciplines. Survey data was used by departmental and library faculty during the last serials cancellation project and by the library in deciding to add an unmediated document delivery service for faculty and staff. A Web page of survey results is under development. The survey will be conducted on a biannually to track changes in preference and usage patterns and to facilitate more informed decisions about print and electronic journal subscriptions. The survey instrument and results, research methodology, and extensive bibliography are presented.