STM Survey Results

In early December NYSHEI undertook a survey of its member libraries to determine not only which STM (scientific, technical and medical) electronic databases are currently held, but also to gain a glimpse of which databases NYSHEI library directors most desire to access with assistance from state funding .

The purpose of the survey was informational and advisory. The results will be used in NYSHEI efforts to help state decision makers understand the demand for STM databases within the academic and research library community as spelled out in the ARIA (Academic Research Information Access) proposal for state funding

More than half of NYSHEI library directors participated in the survey investigating current access and desire to gain access to twenty-five (25) leading high-end electronic databases serving STM interests. The list included full-text journal sources, e-book sources, and research tracking indices. ScienceDirect, ACS Publications, CINAHL and BioOne topped the list of the most commonly held databases among survey respondents. Each surpassed the fifty percent level, with ScienceDirect the leader as available at eight-eight (88) percent of respondents libraries.

When asked what databases they would like to see made available with state funding, the responding library directors listed the Web of Science and Scopus (research tracking indices), Wiley Interscience Journals and Science Direct (full-text journal sources), and Elsevier E-Books as the top five on the wish list. Each of these databases had support of greater than forty (40) percent of the respondents.

Participants were asked also which databases they would be willing to lease on a cost-share basis (local funds matched with statewide funding). The top five choices were Web of Science, ScienceDirect, SciFinder, Scopus and ACS Publications. Wiley Interscience, Books 24×7 and Elsevier E-Books, Springerlink and BioOne were the second cluster with the most interest.

What was learned from the survey is that there is a short list of STM databases that are a priority for most academic and research libraries. This is important in that it will enable NYSHEI to use specific examples in its lobbying efforts. For instance, while ScienceDirect means nothing to most state legislators, all will understand that most academic would benefit from state funding so that they can offer access by faculty, students and researchers to the world’s leading STM publications.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. It should prove useful in explaining to state decision-makers what ARIA would mean to our constituents as well as our economic and workforce development.

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