A Collaborative, Criteria-Based Approach for Electronic Resource Purchase and Renewals
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Binghamton University Libraries developed a collaborative, criteria-based approach to support electronic resources renewal decisions and to develop and prioritize a wish list of needed resources. In light of a flat collections budget, we needed a way to evaluate our current subscriptions to determine their continued relevance. We also wanted to create a wish list of needed resources to share with the University administration as a means to demonstrate the need for a base budget increase and to be prepared in the event that funds became available. It was important that our process be inclusive of all the subject librarians and that it be able to equitably assess needs across disciplines, taking into account breadth of use and audience as balanced against depth and uniqueness of the resource. One of the speakers was part of a team at the University of Maryland Libraries that developed a decision grid for electronic resources cancellation decisions. The purpose of the grid, which included factors of access; cost effectiveness; breadth/audience; and uniqueness, was to allow the participants to objectively judge electronic resources against an agreed upon set of criteria. We will discuss how this process was adapted for use by Binghamton University Libraries and evaluate how it performed in a different research library environment.