Electronic Serials Usage Patterns as Observed at a Medium-Size University: Searches and Full-Text Downloads.

  • Alain Raymond Lamothe Laurentian University


As the number of electronic serials available to libraries continues to increase while library budgets remain either stagnant or on the decrease, it becomes necessary to evaluate the use of a library’s electronic collection. In 2006, usage statistics were evaluated at Laurentian University, Canada, to provide direction to collection development and identify high-cost low-use electronic serials. Searches and full-text downloads were studied. A sharp increase in use was observed in and around 2004 which can be explained by the introduction, in Ontario, of the ‘double cohort’, by the rapid increase in the number of electronic resources subscribed to at Laurentian, and by the adoption of OpenURL technology. Heavily used electronic serials are identified. Turnaways, connections by IP address and Bradford’s 20:80 rule are also examined. The application of a cost-per-download ratio provided a practical method for identifying underused products.

Author Biography

Alain Raymond Lamothe, Laurentian University
J.N. Desmarais Library E-Resource Librarian Rank: Assistant Librarian
Theory and Research