The Scholarly Impact of Books Acquired via Approval Plan Selection, Librarian Orders, and Patron-Driven Acquisitions as Measured by Citation Counts

David C. Tyler, Brianna D. Hitt, Francis A. Nterful, McKenna R. Mettling


Patron-driven acquisition has been an important, if contentious, topic for decades, with numerous programs having been piloted, adopted, and reported on, largely favorably, in the library literature. Still, questions and doubts persist for academic libraries, especially where the composition of vendor plans and packages and the judgment of patrons are concerned. Past literature has approached the assessment of patron-driven acquisition by analyzing circulation/usage, comparing peer-library holdings, seeking patrons’ or librarians’ judgments of utility and suitability, looking for evidence of collection imbalances, and testing for overlap in patrons’ and librarians’ purchases. To contribute to this literature, this study addresses scholarly impact and examines whose selections—approval plans’, librarians’, or patrons’—have been most heavily cited. For the social sciences, the sciences, and the humanities, the authors gathered topic-matched random samples of books acquired via approval plans and librarian orders during the first five years of operation of their institutions’ interlibrary loan purchase-on-demand patron-driven acquisition program and compared their citation counts to the counts of books acquired via the program. Google Scholar was employed to tally citations.

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Copyright David C. Tyler, Brianna D. Hitt, Francis A. Nterful, McKenna R. Mettling

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