Given the decreasing budgets for collections at many libraries, librarians are looking at abstracting and indexing (A&I) resources and full-text databases with a more skeptic eye. In addition to traditional evaluation measures, such as costs, usage and faculty input, we looked at the overlap of indexing and/or full-text coverage. Those who have conducted such overlap studies have approached it at either the journal or article level. Article-level overlap studies demonstrate coverage of selected articles in the databases under study. Conversely, journal-level studies examine the extent of indexing of journals among the selected databases. Both methods are very time-consuming and require extensive resources. A simplification of the journal-level method is to compare lists of journals indexed. Two tools, Cufts and JISC's Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT) are very useful for this purpose, but do not include all databases. Many databases need to be manually collected. This presentation will describe the background to such a project, the specific tools and procedures used, how the results were used to address budget reductions, and the limitations of the results. Members of the audience will be able to consider using this method for evaluating their own abstract and index databases for budgetary purposes.
Collection Assessment Librarian, University of North Texas