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Collection Assessment: About Collection Analysis : About Collection Analysis

Things to consider, uses, help, etc.


This guide is meant for faculty, administrators and librarians affiliated and not affiliated with NU. Instructions and explanations of methods and analysis, tools for executing studies, and pre-packaged data are in this guide.

  • How-to conduct collections assessment including:
    • comparisons with peers and aspirational peers
    • interdisciplinary analysis
    • qualitative methods
    • how to interpret library data
  • The actual tools for conducting assessments.
  • Metrics related to libraries.
  • Explanations of citation analysis, bibliometrics, collection building, and more.
  • Data related to NU and NU libraries.

Collection and Organizational Data Analysis (CODA) Librarian

The CODA librarian...

  • Conducts assessments and provides data for all matters related to collections.
  • Develops metrics to facilitate evidence-based decision-making.
  • Provides internal as well as institutional and national data and statistics.
  • Offers training modules and tools for conducting assessments.



Getting Started

What Is the Purpose of this Assessment and What Do You Hope to Learn from it?     When plotting a strategy for collection assessment, these two questions are most essential. Your answers to these questions will help to determine both the universe and type of analysis.


What Must Be Analyzed?     Below are a few examples (not a comprehensive list) of types of collection evaluations. As you read these examples, think about what type of analysis might answer to the purpose of the assessment.

  • evaluation of core works
  • collection strength
  • peer comparative analysis of monographs
  • collections budget analysis
  • gap analysis
  • collection growth
  • evaluation of journal collections
  • assessment of all e-resources
  • collection currency and age
  • usage of e-resources
  • analysis of approval plans
  • estimation of costs of new collections


How Can it Be Done?     (a) As you can see from the NUL Data & Methods Bank, there are a large number of instruments from which to choose—from previously manipulated local data to approval plan universes of publications to commercial analysis tools. The choice of the tool and of the methodology will be determined by your answers to the questions above. Or, (b) you can make an appointment... Please contact Qiana Johnson, Collection and Organizational Data Analysis Librarian.

Examples of Uses

Quantitative and Qualitative Data can be Used to...

  • demonstrate the adequacy or inadequacy of support resources, as required by an accreditation review or grant proposal
  • estimate the cost of resources for a new degree program or new faculty hire
  • compare NU collections to the collections of libraries at institutions considered to be peers
  • assess the quality of the Library's monographs in a given discipline
  • identify "core" resources in fields of study
  • analyze access to available online resources in a given subject
  • ... and much more