Collection analysis techniques used to evaluate a graduate-level toxicology collection
PublisherJournal of the Medical Library Association
Collections librarians from academic libraries are often asked, on short notice, to evaluate whether their collections are able to support changes in their institutions’ curricula, such as new programs or courses or revisions to existing programs or courses. With insufficient time to perform an exhaustive critique of the collection and a need to prepare a report for faculty external to the library, a selection of reliable but brief qualitative and quantitative tests is needed. In this study, materialscentered and use-centered methods were chosen to evaluate the toxicology collection of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Library. Strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are reviewed, along with examples of their use in evaluating the toxicology collection. The monograph portion of the collection was evaluated using list checking, citation analysis, and classified profile methods. Cost-effectiveness and impact factor data were compiled to rank journals from the collection. Use-centered methods such as circulation and interlibrary loan data identified highly used items that should be added to the collection. Finally, although the data were insufficient to evaluate the toxicology electronic journals at the U of S, a brief discussion of three initiatives that aim to assist librarians as they evaluate the use of networked electronic resources in their collections is presented.