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Library Acquisition Patterns
A Preliminary Report with Data from OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services

As an organization that researches scholarly communications and libraries, our interest at Ithaka S+R was piqued when Joseph Esposito questioned whether university press sales to academic libraries were actually in decline. The reason? University presses tend to measure their sales to academic libraries through the wholesale vendors that traditionally distribute their publications. Since Amazon came onto the scene, however, academic libraries have begun to acquire many of their titles from the online retailer, whose sales metrics are not typically counted toward university press sales and which are not made available to the public. With this in mind, was it not…


Capturing Gray Literature: Lessons from Public Health

Digital technologies have made it easier for scholars to find and access information online—in fact, as the 2015 Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey showed, nearly all scholars in the U.S. begin their searches for information using electronic resources these days. But these innovations largely focus on peer-reviewed publications and fail to capture other forms of information to an adequate extent, despite that more than 60 percent of scholars in the survey say that freely available online materials are an important resource.  While these free online materials include open access journal articles, they also include gray literature. In 2017 we examined…


Understanding Library Acquisition Patterns
Large-Scale National Study Launches

Several years ago, Ithaka S+R began developing a new methodology to gather data about library acquisition patterns. Today, we are excited to announce that we have received support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand this into a large-scale, national study. The project, as it was originally conceived by Joseph Esposito, hoped to gain a better understanding of how distribution channels were changing. Our interest was piqued by the knowledge that libraries were often purchasing publications through Amazon rather than through traditional wholesalers, whose metrics university presses used to gauge their sales to academic libraries. This led to a…