Measurement of Use of Electronic Resources: Advances in Use Statistics and Innovations in Resource Functionality

Deborah D. Blecic, Joan B. Fiscella, Stephen E. Wiberley

Abstract

The ICOLC guidelines and Project COUNTER codes of practice have advanced the measurement of use of electronic resources. At the same time, innovations in functionality within and among electronic resources are changing the environment in which use is measured. The present article explores measures of sessions and searches for one research library’s electronic resources. The article analyzes the transition from vendor-specific to COUNTER-compliant statistics, how vendors measure the running of search alerts, and the effects of federated searching on reported use. The analysis suggests that innovations in functionality may have changed the meaning of sessions and searches. The analysis also suggests the following principle: innovations in electronic resource functionality will necessitate advances in electronic resource usage measures to describe use meaningfully.

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