Abstract

The current primary quantitative measure of e-journal subscription return-on-investment (ROI) is cost-per-use (CPU). While CPU is widely used, it also widely criticized and should not be relied on to the exclusion of other factors when assessing ROI. Because CPU is an imperfect measure, the authors developed a new, complementary metric for evaluating e-journal subscription ROI: Cost-per-cited reference (CPCR). CPCR assigns a dollar value to each citation of a particular journal by authors affiliated with the subscribing institution during a specified time period. By focusing on the content that researchers cite in their scholarly output, a CPCR metric assists in measuring the value of journal subscriptions to researchers and the institutions that support them. This article gives a very high-level overview of a collaborative project, conducted by librarians in the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), to develop a local CPCR metric and apply that metric to the evaluation of a consortial Big Deal. The authors explain CPCR, how they calculated and applied it to a particular shared Big Deal, and where they would like to take it in future. A more in-depth description of this project may be found in Serials Review’s final issue for 2016 (Martin, Gray, Kilb, & Minchew, n.d.).

DOI

10.5703/1288284316427

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Time to Take New Measures: Developing a Cost-Per-Cited-Reference Metric for the Assessment of E-Journal Collections

The current primary quantitative measure of e-journal subscription return-on-investment (ROI) is cost-per-use (CPU). While CPU is widely used, it also widely criticized and should not be relied on to the exclusion of other factors when assessing ROI. Because CPU is an imperfect measure, the authors developed a new, complementary metric for evaluating e-journal subscription ROI: Cost-per-cited reference (CPCR). CPCR assigns a dollar value to each citation of a particular journal by authors affiliated with the subscribing institution during a specified time period. By focusing on the content that researchers cite in their scholarly output, a CPCR metric assists in measuring the value of journal subscriptions to researchers and the institutions that support them. This article gives a very high-level overview of a collaborative project, conducted by librarians in the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), to develop a local CPCR metric and apply that metric to the evaluation of a consortial Big Deal. The authors explain CPCR, how they calculated and applied it to a particular shared Big Deal, and where they would like to take it in future. A more in-depth description of this project may be found in Serials Review’s final issue for 2016 (Martin, Gray, Kilb, & Minchew, n.d.).