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January 29, 2019

National Study Examines How Book Acquisitions at Academic Libraries Have Evolved

Library Acquisition Patterns

Academic books are an important part of scholarship and have traditionally been integral to academic libraries as they develop collections to support the research needs of students and faculty members. However, as library budgets shrink and students and scholars turn toward away from the liberal arts, university presses and other associated organizations have begun to express concern that book sales are in decline. But another phenomenon started happening simultaneously in this industry: Amazon began selling academic books, competing for customers…
August 16, 2018

Where Did All the E-Books Go?

A LAP Blog Post

The Library Acquisition Patterns: Preliminary Findings report published in July was the culmination of several years’ worth of work to build a data infrastructure, gather the data, and begin analysis of patterns in U.S. academic libraries’ acquisitions. Although just a stepping stone to publishing a final analysis later this year, we decided to release this preliminary report with a few goals in mind. First, we wanted to update our many dozens of participants…
July 19, 2018

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…
March 1, 2018

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…
September 6, 2017

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…