Making evidence-based collection development feasible: Using R coding to automate analysis for action
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Collection development practitioners face a complicated publishing environment with many new and developing purchasing models. Even with the new models in development, approval plans and firms orders are still commonly used in many academic libraries. In the literature, many have demonstrated ways of gathering monograph usage to inform collection development decisions. Nonetheless, we have rarely seen studies that have demonstrated ways to incorporate study results to form a detailed action plan and change collection practice. This research takes monograph usage study to the next level. Instead of analyzing the usage patterns of monograph collection as a whole, we compare the usage patterns of books acquired via approval plan and firm orders and incorporate interlibrary loan data for analysis. In order to make the work manageable and sustainable, an R script was developed to automate the analysis process. The results highlight call number ranges in granular levels where purchasing changes may be needed, allowing the selector to quickly identify the areas that need attention. The data provided by the script, in combination with a review by the selector, can provide the information needed to make effective changes to approval plans and firm order practice. In this presentation, we will discuss the rationale behind conducting this analysis, show how coding can make the analysis manageable and sustainable, and demonstrate the impact of this analysis on collection practices in various subject areas.