Trials by Juries: Suggested Practices for Database Trials
Annis Lee Adams, Golden Gate UniversityJon Ritterbush, University of Nebraska - KearneyChristine E. Ryan, Clemson UniversityTuesday, April 3, 2012
This panel discussion topic began with aninnocent question on the ERIL-L listserv inSeptember 2011: What tools or techniques have worked for you in gathering feedback on database trials, whether from librarians or library users?
Does the content directly support ourprograms?Does the platform allow for IP and proxy serverauthentication?Our FY budget must be completed by March, sowe try to trial things in the fall and winter, butwill trial all year long.
Collection Development LibrariansFaculty, as appropriate. Note: we only involvefaculty if we know we can afford the product.Email announcement to CD librarians, who canforward to their faculty. Discussion at CDmeetings (which are held twice monthly).
ContentEase of use/functionalityCostDid a faculty member request it?
Internal Blog on Wordpress Information about how to access trial Cost information Description of product(s) Evaluators comment on why or why not to acquireAfter trial ends, change blog entry to “draft” tokeep for historical recordsSpreadsheet to track all product investigations,decisions made and why.
A. What criteria apply to selecting product trials?B. How are trials scheduled?C. How is trial feedback solicited and recorded?
A. What criteria apply to selecting product trials? 1. Would this product meet the standards of our E- Resource Collection Development Policy? IP access? Support the curriculum? 2. Can we realistically afford this product in the near future? Yes – continue with consideration of trial No – may postpone official trial, or proceed with full honesty to vendor
A. What criteria apply to selecting product trials? 3. Does this trial have a librarian requestor/sponsor? Trials requested by students or faculty must be sponsored by the liaison librarian for that department or subject area. If requestor/sponsor is not the ER Librarian, the other librarian should also evaluate the trial product and solicit feedback from other faculty in their liaison area. Requiring a librarian sponsor may help deflect vendor- initiated trials
B. How are trials scheduled? 1. Scheduled between Sept. – Nov. and Feb.- Apr. to capture maximum participation by faculty. 2. No more than three trials scheduled simultaneously to avoid “trial fatigue.” 3. Only extended trials (>3 months) are advertised on the library’s blog and website. Most trials (<1 month) are kept internal or shared with faculty by email.
C. How is trial feedback solicited and recorded? 1. Email was a mediocre solution – Responses from non-librarians were often less descriptive as to how the trial database might be used. Time-consuming to compile into reports. 2. Short web forms have worked better Use a mix of Likert scale and free-text questions UNK uses Qualtrics. LibGuides survey boxes, SurveyMonkey, PollDaddy and Google Forms were other suggested web survey tools shared on ERIL-L
C. How is trial feedback solicited and recorded? 3. Advertising the trial Post trial information to an internal library blog, with a sample “press release” that could be copied/pasted into emails to specific faculty. Arrange for a vendor’s webinar or live demonstration of the product for librarians and faculty. For extended trials, could post info to faculty and/or student listservs, library’s website and public blog.
C. How is trial feedback solicited and recorded? 4. Sharing responses publicly? PRO: Allows participants to see what others think before/after their trial experience (and perhaps respond). CON: May discourage participants from sharing “frank” comments. At UNK, we’re erring on the side of privacy and keeping survey responses internal, with no identifiers required.
Trial Survey Questions How relevant is this databases content to your research and/or instruction at UNK?* (Highly Relevant / Somewhat Relevant / Limited Relevance / Not Relevant) In which courses -- or areas of research or teaching -- would this database help you?* (Free-text) How easy was it to navigate this database and access results on your search topic?* (Very Easy / Somewhat Easy / Somewhat Difficult / Very Difficult) Should the UNK Library acquire this database, in your opinion?* (Yes / No / Not sure) Additional comments? (Free-text)
Trial Survey Questions OPTIONAL: Would you like to be notified regarding the librarys decision on this database trial? If yes, please enter your email address below:Only if the respondent enters an email address, the survey willalso ask… May the library contact you with follow-up questions regarding your responses to this database trial? (Yes / No)
C. How is trial feedback solicited and recorded? 5. Record keeping of trial feedback CSV and PDF files of survey results are saved and shared with other librarians. Maintain a basic spreadsheet about past/current trials and decisions.
Fischer, Christine. 2007. "Group Therapy—Database Trials." Against the Grain 19, no. 6:65-6.Street, Chrissy. 2010."Getting the Most from a Database Trial." LegalInformation Management 10, no. 2: 147-8.
Annis Lee Adams,Golden Gate Universityladams@ggu.eduJon Ritterbush,University of Nebraska – Kearneyritterbushjr@unk.edu Twitter: @loperlibrarianChristine E. Ryan,Clemson Universityryanchr@clemson.edu