CAUL Advisory Committees

Lib-Value: new article/preprint in College & Research Libraries

Lib-Value: Values, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries, Phase III: ROI of the Syracuse University Library

Bruce Kingma, Professor, School of Information Studies and Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University,

Kathleen McClure, MSLIS graduate of Syracuse University.

“The library must determine which public goods to provide based on the total value to the patrons. Likewise, the university administration must determine how much funding to invest in the library based on the value of the public goods it provides. The ROI of the academic library is the total value of these goods to the patrons divided by the cost.”

“The value of a public good includes the economic, environmental, and social value. The economic value is the worth of access to the library resources by a patron. It is what a patron would be willing to pay for the services if he were required to purchase them. Patrons do not purchase access, but can express what they would have spent in time and money if these resources were not available to them.”

The authors refer to the following report from ACRL by Megan Oakleaf: The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report

  • “Oakleaf makes an extensive review of methodologies and best practices in the area of ROI in libraries.”
  • “A key point in The Value of Academic Libraries is that “all assessment methods have advantages and disadvantages,” and “no tools are perfectly valid or reliable….To address this, Oakleaf and others recommend multiple method approaches.”

Filed under: Quality & Assessment, , ,

Harvard Business School seeks to overcome the isolation of MOOC learning

This article looks at how Harvard Business School is uisng a tool called Project Lever to connect online learning students. Project Lever is used to help students find project collaborators and other students with complementary skills.

Filed under: MOOCs

Elsevier opens its papers to text-mining

Courtesy of Danny Kingsley, AOASG

“Elsevier opens its papers to text-mining – Researchers welcome easier access for harvesting content, but some spurn tight controls.” Richard Van Noorden, 03 February 2014,


researchers at academic institutions can use Elsevier’s online interface (API) to batch-download documents in computer-readable XML format. Elsevier has chosen to provisionally limit researchers to 10,000 articles per week. These can be freely mined – so long as the researchers, or their institutions, sign a legal agreement. The deal includes conditions: for instance, that researchers may publish the products of their text-mining work only under a licence that restricts use to non-commercial purposes, can include only snippets (of up to 200 characters) of the original text, and must include links to original content


And, in the past year, large institutions and pharmaceutical companies have started to ask for text- and data-mining rights when renegotiating site licences, says Jessica Rutt, rights and licensing manager at Nature Publishing Group (NPG), the publisher of this journal. Anyone with those rights may mine NPG content. Many publishers are also experimenting with delivering text-minable content to pharmaceutical companies for an extra fee, she adds.


But some researchers feel that a dangerous precedent is being set. They argue that publishers wrongly characterize text-mining as an activity that requires extra rights to be granted by licence from a copyright holder, and they feel that computational reading should require no more permission than human reading. “The right to read is the right to mine,” says Ross Mounce of the University of Bath, UK, who is using content-mining to construct maps of species’ evolutionary relationships.

Filed under: Quality & Assessment, ,