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Month: February 2012

How students (and faculty) really find articles

In January we started piloting the Wiley pay-per-view option. Based on our usage stats and other schools’ usage stats, we bought tokens that would get us through the calendar year, after which we would reassess. Sounded like a plan!

Due to several unforeseen factors, we didn’t turn on the pay-per-view access in our link resolver. Seemed like a tiny bump in the road. Our real pilot would be delayed a couple of weeks. No biggie.

However, in those first two weeks, we went through over a quarter of the tokens we’d purchased, tokens that were supposed to last us a full calendar year. Apparently Google, Google Scholar, and the DOIs in scientific citation styles lead enough students to the Wiley publisher website version of these articles that going purely pay-per-view would crush our serials budget.

And it’s not just the students. The last 2-3 years, one of the main themes to the questions at new faculty orientation has been how to get to the full text from Google or Google Scholar.

Now, if you’re like me, none of this is particularly surprising. It’s just the first time I’ve seen it quantified in budget form. But it’s left me wondering if our to-be-configured discovery system will make a dent, and what Google plans to do with Google Scholar anyway now that the redesign (rolling out slowly to different people) removes Scholar from the “more” menue. And I wonder about the future of aggregator databases and of our budgetary structures. Not that I think databases are “dead” or anything, but I do think that Academic Search Premier does not now serve the function it served even just a few years ago, so it and it’s ilk will inevitably change focus or fade.

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Thank you, Steve

What with one thing and another, getting this space looking functional again seemed like an insurmountable task. I couldn’t even make myself find a new base theme that didn’t have that awful, huge, contextless, ever-changing image. And I certainly couldn’t write here while that image was staring me in the face.

But then Steve Lawson swooped in and did all the heavy lifting (and nearly all of the light lifting, too), and now my blog is looking like my blog again. Thank you, Steve!

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Library Hold Shelf Pros and Cons

I recently got a notice that I had a book waiting for me at the circulation desk. Thrilled, I raced over there having completely forgotten a) that I had put a book on hold months ago, and b) anything about said book. What fun! What an adventure!

After having had my library card scanned and the book desensitized, I realized that there’s a downside to placing a hold on a book that’s so popular that a million other people had placed a hold before you and 85 million people had placed a hold on after me.

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