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Local Scenery "at" the conference
Local Scenery "at" the conference

No, my post title isn’t a candidate for the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. I was one of the virtual attendees at the conference. Since Derrik and Chris have already blogged, I’ll focus my reflections on some of the topics they haven’t covered yet.

What would Google Do?

Elizabeth German from the University of Houston reported on a transaction log analysis. Like us, their home page had several tabs roughly equating to Summon, catalog, e-journals, etc. Forty-three percent of searches were for known items vs. 53% for unknown item searching.

DDA as a Game Changer

Michael Levine-Clark University of Denver and Barb Kawecki YBP

This presentation was partly an overview of what DDA is. The new part for me is that NISO is working on some Best Practices on how to do DDA. For instance, publishers should keep titles available indefinitely in case a book languishes unused for decades but eventually gets a use. Another key thing they’re working on is how to get titles out of the consideration pool. (At WFU, we are particularly worried about superseded editions staying in the DDA pool alongside the newer editions.)

E or P: A Comparative Analysis of Electronic and Print Book Usage

Christopher C. Brown and Michael Levine-Clark from the University of Denver updated a study that I reported on last year about print and electronic use of the same book. This time, they analyzed Duke University Press books they had bought in print and from ebrary. When both formats were available, print was more likely to be used than e. (619 different print titles were used vs. 451 e-titles. This is from a universe of 1150 titles available in both formats.) However, books that were used in both formats tended to have the highest amount of total usage, and the type of e-usage tended to be more significant (e.g. higher number of pages used, higher number of pages printed). Once again, use in print correlated with use of e. Maybe patrons are using the e-book for discovery, which leads to a checkout in print. (Note this is just a speculated pattern; the data aren’t granular (or invasive) enough to prove that the same person uses a book electronically and then subsequently checks out the print.)

OpenURL Link Resolvers: Tracking Effectiveness over Time

Kenyon Stuart from the University of Michigan studied how SFX and 360 Link and Summon’s Direct Linking succeeded in linking users to full text. After all this time, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in this linking. Supplements, book reviews and newspapers are particular problems. He did find ways to reduce bad links for the most frequently used journals. For instance, he moved better-performing providers up in the 360 Link results list. (We’ve done that too, for instance ranking publisher-based sites generally higher than aggregators and putting print last.)

Reflections on virtual attendance

ER&L is a relevant conference for me, but not my #1 conference for the year. The group virtual attendance option was affordable. It also brought in folks for single sessions who never would have traveled to Texas. Thanks to Derrik for arranging this!