From this month’s Library Journal.

How do you judge how much a scientific study or academic article has been used? You can see how frequently it’s cited, but since researchers and academics read and are influenced by plenty of things that don’t get formally checked in their work, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Researcher Philip Davis is trying to provide some new answers to that question by taking a look at ‘usage half-life,’ in an effort to learn more about the academic publishing life cycle.

Usage half-life is an estimate of how long it takes group of articles published in an online journal to reach one half of the number of downloads that they will ever have. Davis hopes the metric can contribute to the continuing conversation surrounding journal access, by giving everyone from librarians to policy makers a reliable, evidence-based tool for determining how journals are used by students, professors, and researchers. “The formation of good science policy should be guided by scientific evidence,” Davis told Library Journal. “Not speculation, and certainly not wishful thinking.”

New Study Identifies Half-Life of Journal Articles.


We’ve been talking about this for a while. OCLC calls this “collective collections”:

…the shift from local provisioning of library collections and services to increased reliance on cooperative infrastructure, collective collections, shared technology platforms, and “above-the-institution” management strategies.

OCLC Research work analyzing system-wide print library services and collections documented in new report.

We are in the Twin Cities for our 2-day meeting. Day 1 highlights:

Pooled Fund business meeting. This may or may not be a highlight, depending on your individual love of spreadsheets.

David Hedeen, MnDOT National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) Compliance Engineer. David shared a fantastic talk about the process of inspections, a timely topic (always). Bridge Inspection – David Hedeen, Sept. 18, 2013

Nancy Sims, University of Minnesota Copyright Librarian. Copyright Workshop. Nancy gave us a refresher on copyright as it applies to contracts, licenses and fair use. The second half had us break out into smaller groups to develop internal policies, documents and education programs for compliance; digital collections considerations, laws and contracts/licenses (think Creative Commons).

Later, we’re going to walk over to Minitex and Kathy Drozd will take us on a tour of MLAC.


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Thank you Inez Hopkins for the heads up on this resource!

Access Engineering (McGraw-Hill)

Provides the essential engineering information that academic and corporate institutions need:

  • A comprehensive collection of multidisciplinary engineering content that will form the core of any serious engineering library
  • Powerful optimized search and interactive tools to help quickly locate the targeted content and hard-to-find data your patrons need
  • Complete online access to McGraw-Hill’s renowned Engineering Handbooks


IPSWICH, Mass. — February 5, 2013 — EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has released EngineeringCore and ITCore, two e-book subscription collections designed to support the learning and reference needs of engineering and technology professionals. The collections are available as annual subscriptions that give users unlimited access to all titles.

“Customers have the ability to add individual titles to their collections on a permanent basis, giving them the flexibility they need to assemble their optimal collection.”

EngineeringCore provides professionals with an easy way to access e-books specific to their research and learning needs. The collection offers more than 4,200 e-book titles spanning all major engineering disciplines and covering top subjects such as biotechnology, energy sciences, industrial safety, innovation & technological advancement, materials, optics & photonics, robotics and more.  Read all about it here.

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From Roberto Sarmiento, Head, Transportation Library:

Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Digital Collection

The Northwestern University Transportation Library (NUTL), in partnership with the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), recently completed the digitization of 92 volumes – over 3,000 pages – of historical materials related to the planning, development, and construction of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.


This unique digital collection contains documents from 1927 through the mid-1990s, and its strengths are in the areas of urban land use, architecture, commercial airport construction, municipal government, environmental regulation, and public and corporate governance. These documents are not widely held by libraries or other cultural institutions and have not been digitized prior to this project.


The history of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, as well as its predecessor airports, is integral to the understanding of the economic growth, social life, and internationalization of Chicago and Illinois in the second half of the 20th century. Making these digital copies available to all – while maintain the originals – Northwestern is providing better access to a research collection of historical and cultural value. Check out the collection here!