Notes on Operations: Combining Citation Studies and Usage Statistics to Build a Stronger Collection

Stephanie H. Wical, R. Todd Vandenbark


Citation studies and analyses of usage statistics are two approaches academic librarians take to determine if their journal collections support the needs of research faculty. Librarians at a small, regional liberal arts university compiled a list of faculty journal publications covering a thirteen-year span from four academic departments—nursing, chemistry, biology, and mathematics—and, from these publications, generated a list of the journals that were cited. As expected, this university’s faculty members publish in many of the same journals that they cite. However, faculty members cite a wide range of sources. Wiley journal usage statistics were examined from 2011 and 2012 to determine if the number of PDF downloads of articles in the published in and cited Wiley journals were higher than the average numbers of PDF downloads of Wiley journals. Combining an analysis of usage statistics with citation analysis provides a more strategic way to look at a Big Deal package. This information is of interest to the departments represented and other stakeholders, and the implications for collection development purposes are addressed.

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