E-content has given researchers an increased level of convenience and an unprecedented level of access to knowledge through scholarly articles, but what effect has this had on how researchers seek information?
Do they provide good monetary value to higher education libraries and what are the wider benefits for universities and research institutions? Based on a CIBER report, there is a clear correlation between levels of use of e-content in multidisciplinary collections and research outcomes. More usage of interdisciplinary collections are linked to the number of papers published, as well as the number of PhD awards and income from research grants and contracts. This link is independent of institution size. It is true that we can no longer think of the different disciplines in their own silos, not interacting with each other. For this reason, acquiring e-content interdisciplinary collections makes perfect sense. It is no longer just a question of how much usage title X, Y or Z is having in a given year, but what impact those titles are having on our faculty and research communities. Budget crisis is not a new thing in academic libraries.
So the question is: Are you satisfied with the overall price for your package, and is the unit cost per article where you want it to be?
We should not forget that in the print world along with the pick and choose model, libraries do not hold much of the negotiating power. While also reminding ourselves that there is a completely different game plan when it comes to the purchase of an online database.