Longitudinal Journal Usage Analysis and the Development of Institutional Specific Core Journals

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Kirk, Rachel
Hansard, Larry
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Middle Tennessee State University
Presented at the Charleston Conference, November 5, 2015
With flat and declining budgets and the continuous annual inflation, many libraries face an unsustainable collection environment. Some libraries may need to return to title by title selection which protects disciplinary core journals. Difficulties arise in identifying core journals by discipline as traditionally defined in collection management and assessment as scholarship continues to broaden and diversify. As a result, MTSU librarians have been using a combination of serials usage data and assigned subjects to isolate core journals specific to our academic programs. We have created datasets that include 2012 thru 2014 data as well as Jan – June 2015 usage (annualize) to identify patterns in journal use for our campus. The result of analysis of this dataset is that we can identify the top used journals per subject over time. The practical implications for collection assessment include creating lists of highly used journals per subject and journals with the lowest use (ranked by subject). These analyses have already proven useful in identifying areas of high usage in interdisciplinary journals as well as unexpected areas of scholarship (i.e. Medical journals when we do not have a medical school). We have also used these analyses in accreditation reviews for academic programs and they have led to productive discussions with outside reviewers.
Journal usage analysis, Journal usage statistics