Monograph Purchasing
Trends in Research Libraries:
Did Electronic Journals Really Destroy the
University Press?
Elisabeth ...
Library
University Press
Bedtime Stories (1)
“Once upon a time, before predatory commercial journal
publishers began their...
Library
University Press
Bedtime Stories (2)
“Back in the ‘good old days,’ university presses used
to be able to count on ...
Library4
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
These are nice stories…
4
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
These are nice stories…
…but are they true?
4
Monday, March 31, 14
5
Would it surprise you to hear
that the total number of U.S.
university press monograph titles
purchased by U.S. universi...
Library
• Internal and/or anecdotal data; difficult to verify
• Problematic overgeneralization from ARL data
• Median mater...
Library7
More Grounds for
Suspicion
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
• Claimed number of copies of each book sold to
libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800
(e.g. Hitchcock 1999, S...
Library
• Claimed number of copies of each book sold to
libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800
(e.g. Hitchcock 1999, S...
Library
• Claimed number of copies of each book sold to
libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800
(e.g. Hitchcock 1999, S...
Library
• Claimed number of copies of each book sold to
libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800
(e.g. Hitchcock 1999, S...
Library8
Fact-checking the Fairy Tale
(Our Research Questions)
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of
university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, d...
Library
1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of
university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, d...
Library
1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of
university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, d...
Library
Data Sources
9
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
9
Monday, March 3...
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
…but that’s not a...
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
…but that’s not a...
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
…but that’s not a...
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
…but that’s not a...
Library
Data Sources
• Ideal would be detailed university press sales data,
broken out by customer types
…but that’s not a...
Library
Sampling: Presses
• Population: 53 AAUP
members with complete
publication records,1975-2010
• Divided into Top, Mi...
Library
Sampling: Libraries
• Population: 324 libraries included in ACRL’s 2010 statistics
for doctorate-granting institut...
Library
Sampling: Libraries
12
Sample Library ARL? 2010 Mat. Exp.
U of Michigan Yes $23,002,928
U of North Carolina Yes $1...
Library
Data Collection
• Iterated manual WorldCat search
• Number of books held by each library published by
each press i...
Library
Data
Collection
15 presses
x 32 libraries
x 36 years
= 17,280 data points
14
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
Database Limitations
• Data errors: duplication, inconsistent entries,
retrieval bugs
• Change over time:WorldCat ...
Library
Beyond the Limitations
• Sources of error in WorldCat tend to affect
the raw numbers, but not necessarily the
over...
Library17
Findings 1
Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
0
500
1000
1500
20...
Library17
Findings 1
Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
0
500
1000
1500
20...
Library
Findings 1
Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count
18
0
500
1000
1500
2000
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2...
Library
Findings 1
Trends in Library Purchasing:
Library Holdings as a % of Press Output byYear
19
0
25
50
75
100
1975
197...
Library
Returning to the first question...
20
1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing
of university pre...
Library
Findings 2
Larger Libraries ≠ Smaller Libraries
Title Count
21
0
300
600
900
1200
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 20...
Library
Findings 2
Larger Libraries ≠ Smaller Libraries
% Change Since 1975
22
-50%
0%
50%
100%
150%
200%
250%
1975 1980 1...
Library23
0
20
40
60
80
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
LibraryHoldings:TitleCount
Large Presses Medium Presses Sm...
Library24
Findings 2
Different Press Sizes, Similar Library
Purchasing Trends
Library Holdings as a % of Press Output byYe...
Library
Returning to the second question...
25
2. Are the purchasing trends for university press books consistent
across
a...
Library
Findings 3
University Press Books Are Different
26
-25%
0%
25%
50%
75%
100%
125%
150%
1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 200...
Library
Findings 3
University Press Books Are Especially
Different at ARL Institutions
27
-67%
-33%
0%
33%
67%
100%
133%
1...
Library
Returning to the third question...
28
3. Does academic library purchasing of university press books
from 1975-2010...
Library
Conclusions (1)
29
• U Press output increased sharply from 1975 to 2004 -
by nearly 200%
• Output declined after 2...
Library
Conclusions (2)
• Purchasing of U Press monographs has been
much more robust at large libraries than at
small ones...
Overall:
Something is happening here,
but it doesn’t fit the fairy tale
31 Library
Monday, March 31, 14
Library
Going Forward...
32
• How did the conventional wisdom diverge so far from what
these data show? Is there something...
Thanks!
Elisabeth A. Jones & Paul N. Courant
Contact: elisjone@umich.edu
33
Library
Monday, March 31, 14
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Monographic Purchasing Trends in Research Libraries: Did Electronic Journals Really Destroy the University Press?

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Monographic Purchasing Trends in Research Libraries: Did Electronic Journals Really Destroy the University Press?

  1. 1. Monograph Purchasing Trends in Research Libraries: Did Electronic Journals Really Destroy the University Press? Elisabeth A. Jones & Paul N. Courant University of Michigan Libraries Library U N I Monday, March 31, 14
  2. 2. Library University Press Bedtime Stories (1) “Once upon a time, before predatory commercial journal publishers began their assault on the purchasing budgets of academic libraries, libraries could be counted on for a certain level of sale of academic monographs.That virtual guarantee permitted university presses to support the research activities of scholars, especially in the humanities. But when the library budgets began to get gobbled up by the villainous commercial houses, monograph sales plummeted, taking the fortunes of university presses with them.Thus, the goal is to find a new business model, a ‘sustainable’ one, which would enable the presses to continue with their historical support of the research community.” - Joe Esposito, 2010 2 Monday, March 31, 14
  3. 3. Library University Press Bedtime Stories (2) “Back in the ‘good old days,’ university presses used to be able to count on selling X (large) number of copies of every book to libraries, but now they can only sellY (small) number of copies to libraries – and that’s just not sustainable. “But it’s not the Press’s fault! It’s those evil library serials subscriptions, eating up the libraries’ budgets and keeping them from buying our books!” - Lightly paraphrased from several sources 3 Monday, March 31, 14
  4. 4. Library4 Monday, March 31, 14
  5. 5. Library These are nice stories… 4 Monday, March 31, 14
  6. 6. Library These are nice stories… …but are they true? 4 Monday, March 31, 14
  7. 7. 5 Would it surprise you to hear that the total number of U.S. university press monograph titles purchased by U.S. university libraries actually more than doubled between 1975 and 2000? Monday, March 31, 14
  8. 8. Library • Internal and/or anecdotal data; difficult to verify • Problematic overgeneralization from ARL data • Median materials expenditure for the 126 ARL institutions: $10.9 million • Median materials expenditure for the 324 doctorate- granting ACRL institutions: $3.8 million • ARL institutions are far from typical • University press books ≠ first to cut in a budget squeeze 6 Some Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  9. 9. Library7 More Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  10. 10. Library • Claimed number of copies of each book sold to libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800 (e.g. Hitchcock 1999, Smallwood 2002,Thompson 2005,Wasserman 1998) 7 More Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  11. 11. Library • Claimed number of copies of each book sold to libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800 (e.g. Hitchcock 1999, Smallwood 2002,Thompson 2005,Wasserman 1998) • ARL libraries may collect relatively comprehensively, but there are only 126 of them 7 More Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  12. 12. Library • Claimed number of copies of each book sold to libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800 (e.g. Hitchcock 1999, Smallwood 2002,Thompson 2005,Wasserman 1998) • ARL libraries may collect relatively comprehensively, but there are only 126 of them • Smaller libraries have never had the resources to buy every book put out by every U. Press 7 More Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  13. 13. Library • Claimed number of copies of each book sold to libraries in “the good old days” = 700-800 (e.g. Hitchcock 1999, Smallwood 2002,Thompson 2005,Wasserman 1998) • ARL libraries may collect relatively comprehensively, but there are only 126 of them • Smaller libraries have never had the resources to buy every book put out by every U. Press So who was supposed to have been buying the rest of these books? 7 More Grounds for Suspicion Monday, March 31, 14
  14. 14. Library8 Fact-checking the Fairy Tale (Our Research Questions) Monday, March 31, 14
  15. 15. Library 1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, does this decline temporally coincide with the sharp increases in serials prices in the 1980s and 1990s, as is often claimed? 8 Fact-checking the Fairy Tale (Our Research Questions) Monday, March 31, 14
  16. 16. Library 1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, does this decline temporally coincide with the sharp increases in serials prices in the 1980s and 1990s, as is often claimed? 2. Are the purchasing trends for university press books consistent across a. Different-sized academic libraries (by materials budget)? b. Different-sized university presses (by title output)? 8 Fact-checking the Fairy Tale (Our Research Questions) Monday, March 31, 14
  17. 17. Library 1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, does this decline temporally coincide with the sharp increases in serials prices in the 1980s and 1990s, as is often claimed? 2. Are the purchasing trends for university press books consistent across a. Different-sized academic libraries (by materials budget)? b. Different-sized university presses (by title output)? 3. Does academic library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010 exhibit the same trend as academic library purchasing of monographs in general over the same period? 8 Fact-checking the Fairy Tale (Our Research Questions) Monday, March 31, 14
  18. 18. Library Data Sources 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  19. 19. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  20. 20. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types …but that’s not available 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  21. 21. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types …but that’s not available • What is available: 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  22. 22. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types …but that’s not available • What is available: • Press output figures from AAUP’s annual Directory 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  23. 23. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types …but that’s not available • What is available: • Press output figures from AAUP’s annual Directory • Library materials budget figures from ACRL’s annual Academic LibraryTrends & Statistics 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  24. 24. Library Data Sources • Ideal would be detailed university press sales data, broken out by customer types …but that’s not available • What is available: • Press output figures from AAUP’s annual Directory • Library materials budget figures from ACRL’s annual Academic LibraryTrends & Statistics • Library holdings data from OCLC WorldCat (via FirstSearch) 9 Monday, March 31, 14
  25. 25. Library Sampling: Presses • Population: 53 AAUP members with complete publication records,1975-2010 • Divided into Top, Middle, and Bottom thirds by mean annual title output • Randomly selected five presses from each third (n=15) 10 Sample Presses Mean Books/Yr Princeton University Press 205.1 MIT Press 182.6 Johns Hopkins University Press 161.8 University of Michigan Press 97.8 University of Washington Press 91.2 University of North Carolina Press 78.3 Duke University Press 71.1 University of Minnesota Press 65.2 University of Wisconsin Press 53.6 Pennsylvania State University Press 53.2 University Press of Mississippi 46.2 Ohio University Press 43.7 University of Missouri Press 41.9 Wayne State University Press 35 Northern Illinois University Press 15.2 Monday, March 31, 14
  26. 26. Library Sampling: Libraries • Population: 324 libraries included in ACRL’s 2010 statistics for doctorate-granting institutions • Divided into quartiles by total 2010 materials expenditures • Data from initial 8-library sample presented at ASIS&T 2013 • UM & UW, plus 2 libraries each from the other three quartiles (randomly selected w/in similar in-quartile ranges) • Expanded sample using same semi-random selection process to choose 6 more libraries roughly evenly distributed throughout each quartile (n=32) 11 Monday, March 31, 14
  27. 27. Library Sampling: Libraries 12 Sample Library ARL? 2010 Mat. Exp. U of Michigan Yes $23,002,928 U of North Carolina Yes $16,970,946 U of Washington Yes $14,841,396 Indiana U Yes $13,490,434 Ohio State U Yes $11,954,846 George Washington U Yes $11,509,525 Rutgers U Yes $10,510,456 U of Missouri - Columbia Yes $9,751,527 Wayne State U Yes $8,601,311 U of California - Davis Yes $7,462,149 U of Utah Yes $6,728,095 Clemson U No $6,171,729 U of Central Florida No $5,933,541 U of New Hampshire No $5,631,810 SUNY at Albany Yes $5,193,274 Nova Southeastern U No $4,587,719 Sample Library ARL? 2010 Mat. Exp. U of North Dakota No $3,679,894 U of Toledo No $3,273,810 Eastern Michigan U No $2,997,353 U of Colorado - Denver No $2,594,027 Middle Tennessee State U No $2,368,158 U of San Francisco No $2,212,411 U of Alaska No $1,975,558 Worcester Polytechnic U No $1,704,634 Texas Woman's U No $1,160,169 Southern New Hampshire U No $982,113 Barry U No $723,143 Teachers Coll. at Columbia U No $616,796 Alabama State University No $507,296 University of Dallas No $438,834 S. Dak. Sch of Mines & Tech No $218,304 Alliant International U No $160,307 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Monday, March 31, 14
  28. 28. Library Data Collection • Iterated manual WorldCat search • Number of books held by each library published by each press in each year (1975-2010) • Example: • Publisher:“Duke University Press” • Limit type to: Books • Limit availability to: EYE • Post-search: Limit > LimitYour Results ByYear 13 Monday, March 31, 14
  29. 29. Library Data Collection 15 presses x 32 libraries x 36 years = 17,280 data points 14 Monday, March 31, 14
  30. 30. Library Database Limitations • Data errors: duplication, inconsistent entries, retrieval bugs • Change over time:WorldCat reflects library holdings now(ish) • Could have purchased long after publication • Could have gotten rid of books in years since purchasing • Cataloging backlogs: may cause errors in counts of recent works 15 Monday, March 31, 14
  31. 31. Library Beyond the Limitations • Sources of error in WorldCat tend to affect the raw numbers, but not necessarily the overall trends • Numbers for press output should be solid: straight from AAUP’s own Directory So, what do these data show? 16 Monday, March 31, 14
  32. 32. Library17 Findings 1 Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 0 500 1000 1500 2000 TitleCount Mean Sample Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Total Sample Press Output Monday, March 31, 14
  33. 33. Library17 Findings 1 Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 0 500 1000 1500 2000 TitleCount Mean Sample Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Total Sample Press Output Monday, March 31, 14
  34. 34. Library Findings 1 Trends in Library Purchasing: Volume Count 18 0 500 1000 1500 2000 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 TitleCount Total Sample Press Output Mean Sample Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles U of Michigan U of North Carolina Monday, March 31, 14
  35. 35. Library Findings 1 Trends in Library Purchasing: Library Holdings as a % of Press Output byYear 19 0 25 50 75 100 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2010 %ofPressOutput Mean Holdings (%) Monday, March 31, 14
  36. 36. Library Returning to the first question... 20 1. Has there actually been a downturn in library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010? And if so, does this decline temporally coincide with the sharp increases in serials prices in the 1980s and 1990s, as is often claimed? FINDING: Yes - but only since ~2000. The claim that these purchases have been in free fall since the 1980s or 1990s does not hold up. However: from the press perspective, one could see how it might seem that way. Monday, March 31, 14
  37. 37. Library Findings 2 Larger Libraries ≠ Smaller Libraries Title Count 21 0 300 600 900 1200 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 LibraryHoldings:TitleCount Large Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Medium-Large Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Medium-Small Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Small Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Monday, March 31, 14
  38. 38. Library Findings 2 Larger Libraries ≠ Smaller Libraries % Change Since 1975 22 -50% 0% 50% 100% 150% 200% 250% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 %Changesince1975 Total Sample Press Output Large Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Medium-Large Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Medium-Small Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Small Library Holdings of Sample Press Titles Monday, March 31, 14
  39. 39. Library23 0 20 40 60 80 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 LibraryHoldings:TitleCount Large Presses Medium Presses Small Presses Findings 2 Different Press Sizes, Similar Library Purchasing Trends Title Count Monday, March 31, 14
  40. 40. Library24 Findings 2 Different Press Sizes, Similar Library Purchasing Trends Library Holdings as a % of Press Output byYear 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 LibraryHoldingsas%ofSamplePressOutput Large Presses Medium Presses Small Presses Monday, March 31, 14
  41. 41. Library Returning to the second question... 25 2. Are the purchasing trends for university press books consistent across a. Different-sized academic libraries (in terms of materials budgets)? b. Different-sized university presses (in terms of title output)? FINDING: There is a difference in trend between big and small libraries, but not between big and small presses. Libraries above the median kept pace with increases in U. Press output until the late 1990s, and their purchasing only began to decline after 2000. Only the smallest libraries in the sample showed a steady decline in purchasing from these presses over the full 36-year period. Monday, March 31, 14
  42. 42. Library Findings 3 University Press Books Are Different 26 -25% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Purchasing by Sample Libraries %Changesince1975 Sample Press Monographs Overall Monographs Monday, March 31, 14
  43. 43. Library Findings 3 University Press Books Are Especially Different at ARL Institutions 27 -67% -33% 0% 33% 67% 100% 133% 167% 200% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Purchasing by Sample Libraries %Changesince1975 ARL Institutions - Sample Presses ARL Institutions - Overall Monographs Non-ARL Institutions - Sample Presses Non-ARL Institutions - Overall Monographs Monday, March 31, 14
  44. 44. Library Returning to the third question... 28 3. Does academic library purchasing of university press books from 1975-2010 exhibit the same trend as academic library purchasing of monographs in general over the same period? FINDING: No - and especially not at ARL institutions. ARL purchasing of university press books far outpaced purchasing of other monographs at those same libraries, at least since the late 1980s. Monographic purchasing overall may be suffering due to increases in electronic serials prices, but that overall trend does not uniformly extend to university press monographs. Monday, March 31, 14
  45. 45. Library Conclusions (1) 29 • U Press output increased sharply from 1975 to 2004 - by nearly 200% • Output declined after 2004; back down to 1999 levels by 2010 • U Library purchasing also increased from 1975 to 2000, but at a slower rate than press output - by “only” 140% • Purchasing declined after 2000, much faster than decline in press output; back down to 1989 levels by 2010 • No temporal correlation between decline in U Library purchasing of U Press books and the “serials crisis” of the 1990s Monday, March 31, 14
  46. 46. Library Conclusions (2) • Purchasing of U Press monographs has been much more robust at large libraries than at small ones • No apparent difference in purchasing trend by size of press • U Library purchasing of U Press books has been far more robust than U Library monograph purchasing in general, especially at ARL institutions 30 Monday, March 31, 14
  47. 47. Overall: Something is happening here, but it doesn’t fit the fairy tale 31 Library Monday, March 31, 14
  48. 48. Library Going Forward... 32 • How did the conventional wisdom diverge so far from what these data show? Is there something that this approach overlooks? • What other explanations might there be for the decline in the fortunes of university presses? • A few thoughts:“Big Deals” post-1997 or so; generalized university budget/econ woes; increase in DDA/PDA; application of usage data to hone approval plans • Whatever happened, it happened later • If U Press internal data show markedly different trends than those depicted here, why is that so? • We hope they (you?) might share! Monday, March 31, 14
  49. 49. Thanks! Elisabeth A. Jones & Paul N. Courant Contact: elisjone@umich.edu 33 Library Monday, March 31, 14

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