The Digital Era has brought with it transformations in just about every nook and cranny of the entire world. One of these evolutions has been in the academic landscape and how libraries choose and carry the books in their care.
Librarians today have to move past the traditional methods of library book acquisition and consider the demand of their patrons who want to have access to e-books. E-book availability and content vary, especially depending on the field. Now, librarians must juggle predicting and gauging how every type of book and subject material will be used and demanded, in addition to scoping out the publications that offer those materials. To do this, they rely on book usage data through both digital and paper formats to see how each type of book is framing the academic impact of the students in positive directions.
Moving Into the Digital Era With E-books
There are many reasons why people, in general, are moving towards e-books as their preferred method of reading. Of course, there is the convenience of having your most recent book on your digital device, available at any time, without having to carry anything extra. But more than convenience, one of the main factors in the popularity of e-books is that they are simply cheaper and a better value.
The average cost per use for printed books is anywhere between $3.00 and $30.00, and when libraries have to pay for these books to be maintained, the price can go up. However, using a book online has a much lower per-use price tag associated with it: somewhere between a quarter and five dollars! As the years go by, this price decreases rather than increases since there is no particular overhead attached to maintaining any one specific e-book. This significant economic difference makes it common sense that the next full move into the Digital Era is going to include a major shift toward e-book acquisitions in institutional libraries.
What is Book Usage Data?
Each publishing company has its own way of demonstrating how their published works are used, and these formats are analyzed by librarians to attempt to predict the popularity of a subject or changing trends.
For instance, book usage data can include statistics like:
● How many times an article or book was viewed for free
● How many times a work has been accessed in a particular country or region
● The number of times a work has been downloaded
● How many citations a particular work has had in a period of time
● The average time that a reader spends reviewing a specific document
All of these numbers add up to a general idea of how well the book will be received by the patrons of a library to help those in charge determine whether it’s better to purchase multiple physical copies to have on hand or to buy enough licenses for e-book dissemination to their users.
Balancing and Predicting Book Acquisition Through Academic Impact
Recording usage across different platforms helps those who rely on the data to determine how much a book is being used, in which types of formats, how the trends change over time, where the locations are most popularly accessed for different topics, and what domains are predominantly accessing a type of work. This domain accessibility is what many librarians refer to determine whether their students and faculty are using their facilities to the best advantage and whether to continue to work in one direction or to adjust the way their libraries are being utilized and obtaining books.
The goal is to see that as the library is utilized more, the overall academic impact of the institution is increasing. When these two numbers are in correlation, it’s easy for librarians to continue the route they are going on predict which books to acquire next. When they’re skewed, it’s time for the librarians to change what they’re doing inside the university’s book referencing center.
Prepare Your Research for Access to Libraries With Impactio
Whether you are planning to publish your work for open access or submission in a scholarly journal that libraries will subscribe to, you need a reliable tool to compile your findings professionally. Impactio is an all-in-one platform designed for academic experts to get their work out to their audience easily.
With Impactio, scholars can produce finished articles to be PDF printed or uploaded to web pages for submission to a depository. Once you’ve been published, check out how your work is making an impact through citation indicators provided by Impactio, just like the librarians see the data for their book usage determination.