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E-book Use over Time and across Vendors in an Interdisciplinary Field

Daniel G. Tracy


This paper presents an analysis of e-book usage in one interdisciplinary research collection, for library and information science (LIS), at a large research institution. Drawing from the social sciences, humanities, and computer science, LIS exemplifies the challenge of analyzing use of interdisciplinary collections that cut across Library of Congress (LC) class ranges normally used to analyze disciplinary differences in the existing literature. The analysis also explores use factors beyond LC class that usage studies rarely examine, including genre and audience level, and changes in use over time across categories. This study contributes both to understanding the usage of LIS e-books as an exemplary interdisciplinary collection and to developing options for analyses of e-book collections that maximize the utility of usage reports despite their challenges. As e-book collections mature and the utility of comparing used versus unused titles wanes, such strategies will become necessary to make more nuanced decisions for e-book collections.


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