The current Library Connect Newsletter from Elsevier includes an article by Michael Jubb from the RIN entitled Use of e-journals & research outcomes: Are they related?. This reflects on an investigation of relationships between levels of usage and research performance, as part of the RIN’s research on the use, value and impact of e-journals in the UK.
The researchers investigated whether relationships exist amongst several measures of research performance in data for 112 UK universities. These measures were: serials expenditure and usage; numbers of PhD awards; income from research grants and contracts; and articles published and their citation impact. They found “some partial correlations between aspects of library provision and research outcomes for 2007–2008, with article downloads correlating positively with all four measures of research performance. The correlations are significant and independent both of institutional size and the balance of research activity across different disciplines”.
The researchers concluded that more detailed modeling was required to test a range of hypotheses. However, the RIN research may offer an additional factor for librarians to consider as they reach decisions on “both the future development of their e-content collections and how their services can support the effective use of e-journals”.
(Posted simultaneously over at the Eclectic E-stuff blog)