Our Customer's Customer: An Insider's View into the Use and Impact of Electronic Resources

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Moderator: Terry Ehling, Director, Center for Innovative Publishing

Panelists: Karen Williams, Associate University Librarian for Academic Programs, University of Minnesota; Roger Schonfeld, Manager, Research, Ithaka; Brent Kinser, Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University, Coordinating Editor for Carlyle Letters Online

Description: Institutional subscribers and associations and societies comprise our customer base. But they have their own customer base that they must serve—the scholars, researchers, and practitioners who read and reference what we publish. As many of us in scholarly publishing have raced to develop an electronic publishing program for serials, we have often lacked direct input from the end users. What do we know about these user populations? What pressure are they putting on their institutional libraries? How do users find content, and what are their preferences for accessing it? How will new methods of accessing content impact scholarship? Do these constituencies differ between various fields? This was your chance to hear how users of your content actually use it. Panelists included a humanities scholar and editor of a new electronic database of nineteenth-century letters, a university librarian for academic programs & coordinator for a Mellon-funded study of researcher behavior in the social sciences and humanities, and a research analyst for an independent not-for-profit organization that accelerates the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education.




Karen Williams is the Associate University Librarian for Academic Programs ath the University of Minnesota. She serves on the Board of Directors of ACRL and the Scholarly Communications Committee. Karen's talk was entitled, "Assessing Research Behaviors: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences Scholarly Research Practices."

Roger Schonfeld leads the research group at Ithaka, where he studies how new technologies are affecting academia and how the changes they bring can best be managed. Previously, Roger was a research associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where he wrote a book about JSTOR’s development into a self-sustaining resource. Roger provided an overview of recent (fall 2006) Ithaka studies of faculty and librarian attitudes toward online resources, e-books, journal characteristics, and archiving and preservation.

Brent Kinser is Assistant Professor at Western Carolina University. He serves as editor of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle and as coordinating editor of The Carlyle Letters Online (session slides), the electronic version of the project, due to be launched this fall. Both are published by Duke University Press. Brent discussed the evolution of the latter initiative and how research behavior informed the architecture of the on-line edition.

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