[LibX] assessment and libx priorities

Campbell, James (jmc) jmc at virginia.edu
Thu Jun 12 11:12:26 PDT 2008


Serials Solutions offers stats only on destinations, not on sources.  They used to track the SID, but that disappeared from the stats when they moved last year to a new interface in the Client Center.  I complained and was told it would reappear someday, but I'm still waiting. If you're a SerSol customer and haven't yet complained, please add your voice - clients at serialssolutions.com.

On assessment: my library is heavily involved in a culture of assessment and has been a leader in LibQUAL, but there is some understanding that it is to be applied judiciously. Godmar and team have done such a great job of keeping LibX simple that our total investment in LibX over the year or so we've had it is probably around 3 hours of staff time, all mine, most of it in the first week, plus the cost of hosting one Web page.  Anecdotally I'm pretty sure we have at least 50 users. There are certainly at least 30 in the library staff (I hear from them when the Amazon cues break). So I'd say we've gotten our money's worth, though I'd still like to know how Harvard and MIT got those thousands of downloads.

      - Jim Campbell

      Digital Access Librarian | Librarian for German
      University of Virginia Library | Charlottesville, VA 22904-4112

      513 Alderman | campbell at virginia.edu | 434-924-4985


-----Original Message-----
From: libx-bounces at mozdev.org [mailto:libx-bounces at mozdev.org] On Behalf Of Godmar Back
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:55 PM
To: Leonard, Kirsten A.
Cc: libx at mozdev.org
Subject: Re: [LibX] assessment and libx priorities

To reply to only one of Leonard's points:

Please bug Serials Solutions to finally provide statistics by sid.
I actually think they do partially, they just don't list all sids.
Somebody with access to the "client center" care to comment?

 - Godmar

On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 1:50 PM, Leonard, Kirsten A. <kaleonar at iuk.edu> wrote:
> I think I've not done a good job of explaining the purpose.  There isn't any set number or level that justifies the project, it's more that there is a culture that it is not sufficient to innovate but we must also show that our users are positively impacted by our innovation.  This is not limited to our institution, but any institution going through re-accreditation right now, but it is not required for every single product or service.  I agree completely that downloads are not a sufficient measure of impact alone.  The one area that Godmar mentioned that really got me excited in particular was the ability to count the retention and on-going usage of the extension, which I think is more useful.
>
> I will certainly explore some of the options suggested for gathering data ourselves and I appreciate everyone's help, but a few of the better ones aren't open to us hence my interest in what Godmar had suggested as possibilties.  For example, we just moved from SFX to Serials Solutions which unfortunately does not give stats by SID and we can't get OpenURL statistics from our ILL form.
>
> The ability to provide usage statistics is a priority for many library products and services, and becoming more so - for example the strong interest in the COUNTER standard and various products such as Scholarly Stats to record database usage, so I wouldn't like to see usage considered unimportant or just a local concern.  I do get your point about supporting innovation and development first but reviewing what has been accomplished is also useful to fuel more innovation.  I plan to do some small user studies to see how people are using the toolbar, what features they particularly like, and what features they would want to see in future versions of the toolbar.
>
> --Kirsten
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Kirsten Leonard
> Electronic Resources/Government Documents Librarian
> Assistant Director of Institutional Research
> Indiana University Kokomo Library, KA140B
> 2300 South Washington St.
> Kokomo, IN 46904-9003
> kaleonar at iuk.edu
> (765)455-9346
> Fax (765)455-9276
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Belvadi, Melissa [mailto:mbelvadi at maryville.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:16 PM
> To: Leonard, Kirsten A.; libx at mozdev.org
> Subject: assessment and libx priorities
>
> Well, I would like to argue the opposite, at least as regards to libx
> development priorities. Assessment is a local problem, and there are
> plenty of local solutions (see below). I would much rather the libx
> development team concentrate on doing what I can't do for myself/my
> library, which is adding new useful features, and improving the
> heuristics for the existing features.
>
> What local solutions are there for assessment?
> 1. your openurl server should be able to report incoming links by SID,
> so it will give you libx-generated hits into it
> 2. you can set up a simple hit counter (or use Google Analytics for more
> sophisticated analysis) with your own web page that leads to the
> download links for the plugin, to get usage data on who installs it (or
> shows interest in it). If you really need very precise data on
> downloads, you can probably also arrange to copy the actual installation
> programs (eg the .xpi file for FF) to your own server so that your own
> server's weblogs can count the actual downloads for you.
> 3. you can set up on your own local web site a very simple proxy-like
> pass-through site for your catalog etc. links so that every instance of
> using libx to search your catalog or whatever gets recorded in a local
> hit log.
>
> I'm sure other people on this list can offer other ideas on how to
> locally to count these things, and other things you might want to count.
>
> The important point to remember is that Libx.org is NOT a for-profit
> vendor, just making a product for a market. They need us to use the
> product yes, of course, so it has to meet our core needs, but they are
> also a research project and have to balance the larger goals of the
> project with our day-to-day desiderata. We're participants in research,
> and need to be a bit more flexible and creative on our side too. Maybe
> some day, like the original Mozilla, it will get spun off into a
> commercial product (like Netscape did) and then we can expect all of the
> usual kinds of services we expect of our other commercial vendors.  If
> your institutional management is so inflexible that it can't understand
> the value of being such a participant even if it means that they won't
> get the usual commercially-available usage data, then maybe your
> internal culture isn't appropriate for such participation. I don't mean
> that in a nasty way, but a serious one. There have been times that I've
> turned down beta participation in interesting projects because I knew my
> internal culture couldn't support the instability, however beneficial I
> thought such participation might be for some patrons.
>
> Melissa Belvadi
> Systems and Services Librarian
> Maryville University
> 650 Maryville University Dr.
> St. Louis, MO 63141
> mbelvadi at maryville.edu
> ph: 314-529-9531
> fax: 314-529-9941
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: libx-bounces at mozdev.org [mailto:libx-bounces at mozdev.org] On Behalf
> Of Leonard, Kirsten A.
> Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:56 AM
> To: libx at mozdev.org
> Subject: Re: [LibX] Libx Digest, Vol 23, Issue 6
>
> I'd like to chime in for the request for assessment data.  On our campus
> this is a very high priority and we are required to justify new
> projects.  Comparisons for downloads and usage as new versions come out
> may also be useful for assessing individual features.  Frankly, for me,
> the assessment is the highest priority, much more so than new features.
> I also have to prove impact as part of my annual review process and
> usage stats are one of the strongest types of evidence that I can
> provide.
>
> --Kirsten
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Kirsten Leonard
> Electronic Resources/Government Documents Librarian
> Assistant Director of Institutional Research
> Indiana University Kokomo Library, KA140B
> 2300 South Washington St.
> Kokomo, IN 46904-9003
> kaleonar at iuk.edu
> (765)455-9346
> Fax (765)455-9276
> _______________________________________________
> Libx mailing list
> Libx at mozdev.org
> https://www.mozdev.org/mailman/listinfo/libx
>
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