Three Evidence Based Methods to Compensate for a Lack of Subject Background when Ordering Chemistry Monographs

Robert A. Wright

Abstract


Objective – The aim of this article is to present evidence based methods for the selection of chemistry monographs, particularly for librarians lacking a background in chemistry. These methods will be described in detail, their practical application illustrated, and their efficacy tested by analyzing circulation data.

Methods – Two hundred and ninety-five chemistry monographs were selected between 2005 and 2007 using rigorously-applied evidence based methods involving the Library's integrated library system (ILS), Google, and SciFinder Scholar. The average circulation rate of this group of monographs was compared to the average circulation rate of 254 chemistry monographs selected between 2002 and 2004 when the methods were not used or were in an incomplete state of development.

Results – Circulations/month were on average 9% greater in the cohort of monographs selected with the rigorously-applied evidence based methods. Further statistical analysis, however, finds that this result can not be attributed to the different application of these methods.

Conclusion – The methods discussed in this article appear to provide an evidence base for the selection of chemistry monographs, but their application does not change circulation rates in a statistically significant way. Further research is needed to determine if this lack of statistical significance is real or a product of the organic development and application of these methods over time, making definitive comparisons difficult.

Keywords


collection development; chemistry monographs; ILS; Google; SciFinder

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