Science Intelligence and InfoPros

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eBooks ROI (Springer)

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An interesting study to read:

RoI can be defined as a performance measure used to quantify and evaluate the efficiency of an investment in library resources or to compare efficiency among different investments. While it may seem simply to be a question of money in versus money out, the real difficulty of expressing the overall value of this resource for an institution comes from many contributing factors:

  • Time saved by library staff and researchers
  • Convenience of constant access and online search capabilities
  • Effect on research output and teaching
  • Physical space saved in the library by using electronic resources

RoI can be articulated by libraries to provide justification for ongoing development of collections within an institution and to ensure that current resources may be prioritized in terms of the value they provide to the institution as a whole. (…)

For librarians and administrators working to meet competing demands with limited resources, understanding the value of eBooks will continue to be of great importance for the foreseeable future. The ability to evaluate the most cost-effective and beneficial scholarly content allows for librarians to prioritize resources for their patrons and demonstrate the ongoing value of the library for their institution. (…)

eBooks are anticipated to become as hugely influential over print publications as eJournals have been in the last decade. (…)

Our interviews showed that evaluating usage data is the most common and obvious method for evaluating RoI. Other factors affecting value such as time spent processing records and marketing eBooks to users are often more difficult to quantify. User surveys are a common tool for providing much more context for how library patrons are interacting with eBooks and their perceived value. (…)

eBooks are used much more for individual chapters rather than an entire book... (…)

With the move to electronic content of all kinds, a shift has occurred in the role of librarians themselves. For instance, much more time is being spent on technical issues than 10 years prior. Librarians are now required to have computer expertise, and are charged with training their patrons on how to best make use of these electronic resources to maintain the value of the content

eBooks are relatively new, compared with 15 years of eJournals, but are likely to continue a rapid rate of adoption in the coming years. The industry is in its early development though, and it will likely be a few years before the percentage of book collections have migrated from print to electronic at the same level journals have. Once this happens, faculty and student usage is likely to increase dramatically

Read the full paper on:

Scholarly eBooks: understanding the Return on Investment for libraries. White paper, Springer, 2012. 9 p.

Available from:












Written by hbasset

September 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Tools

Tagged with ,

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