Determining Assessment Strategies for Digital Libraries and Institutional Repositories Using Usage Statistics and Altmetrics

Session Type: Working Session

Session Description
As the amount of borne-digital scholarly and cultural content continues to grow, there are increased concerns with how to measure impact for digital collections, whose value has historically not been easy to assess. Currently, most OA repositories and digital special collections currently use measurements of collection size, not quality and use, to assess value (Wacha & Wisner, 2011). Emerging measurements such as usage statistics (downloads and page views) and altmetrics (social media mentions, scholarly social bookmarks, and other measures enabled by open APIs for the social web), are well-positioned to help determine, quantitatively and qualitatively, use of digital content held in institutional repositories (IRs) and digital special collections. As value assessment in many libraries moves towards using quantitative measures, librarians working in IRs and digital special collections should consider the adoption of usage statistics and altmetrics to capture the fuller impact of their holdings.

This working session will bring together interested library administrators and IR and digital collections librarians to identify areas of commonality in how we measure our collections across various platforms (ContentDM, Fedora, DSpace, EPrints, and Digital Commons, among others). Following a brief overview of usage statistics, altmetrics, and the web services that support reporting for both, participants will address technical issues in incorporating third-party systems into existing platforms, make UX recommendations for the display of such metrics in commonly used systems, and discuss concerns with implementing publicly-available metrics into IRs and digital special collections.

The expected outcome of this meeting will be a white paper that outlines the various ways in which libraries can leverage usage statistics and altmetrics to measure the value of their digital collections and prove their worth to internal and external stakeholders, with an aim towards supporting continued research into the utility of implementing altmetrics and citation measurement into existing digital collections.

Wacha, M., & Wisner, M. (2011). Measuring Value in Open Access Repositories. The Serials Librarian, 61(3-4), 377–388. doi:10.1080/0361526X.2011.580423

Session Leaders
David Scherer, Purdue University
Stacy Konkiel, Indiana University
Michelle Dalmau, Indiana University

View the community reporting Google doc for this session.

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