LISU and UKSG are pleased to announce the publication of the report for the project investigating the impact of Library Discovery Technologies on usage of academic content. The research was commissioned by UKSG with the support of Jisc, and was conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Information Management (Loughborough University) and Evidence Base (Birmingham City University). The report is freely available at http://www.uksg.org/researchstudy
The project sought to establish the extent to which changes in usage statistics for electronic resources may be attributed to the introduction of resource discovery tools. The aim was to obtain a broad overview of the current position with regard to adoption of Resources Discovery Services, as well as assessing the impact for individual libraries and resource providers. A review of relevant literature, a survey of libraries, and case studies of libraries and of resource providers were supplemented by stakeholder interviews to provide a rounded picture of the impact of resource discovery services on libraries. Analysis of data for two years pre- and post- implementation highlighted not only the immediate impact, but illustrated the longer term effects on usage statistics.
The findings show that Library Discovery Technologies may influence positively the usage of academic content in higher education libraries, most probably for e‑books. The impact varies by resource, and across libraries. Visibility of content is a key motivation for publishers to engage with RDS. While libraries generally see an increase in journal downloads following implementation of RDS, the picture for individual publishers is more mixed. Publishers and content providers have no direct evidence as to whether their usage has been affected by RDS; smaller publishers may benefit more from RDS than bigger publishers. Publishers have concerns that they are not being well served by RDS providers who are primarily concerned with their library customers.
The report provide a series of recommendations for libraries, publishers and content providers, Resource Discovery Services suppliers and other stakeholders in the information supply chain to best support the discovery of academic content.