Published: September 2012
Type: Research Article
*Bibliometrics Department, Library and Archive Services, University of Vienna, Boltzmanngasse 5, Vienna, 1090 (Austria)
**Austrian Central Library for Physics, Library and Archive Services, University of Vienna, Boltzmanngasse 5, Vienna, 1090 (Austria)
In the light of global economic crisis, stretched library budgets, price inflation, bundled acquisition practices and a worldwide boycott against one of the major publishers, library managers more than ever need to have an interest in whether they provide the right content for the best price or not. This study performed at the University of Vienna explores an approach for journal evaluation with a focus on practicality. On the one hand the relationship between several defined journal subsets regarding cost, usage, publication preference and citation rate was determined. On the other hand cost-related metrics provided at eigenfactor.org and journalprices.com–namely cost-effectiveness as well as relative price index were tested in regard of their usability as potentially valuable tools for acquisition management purposes of an academic library.
High correlations could only be found between citation and download rates. The usability of the tested costrelated metrics is unfortunately limited in practice due to inconsistent or outdated pricing information, incomplete explanations for calculations and lacking consideration of the prevailing acquisition practices of scientific journals in bundles. This study’s journal evaluation approach is valuable in terms of gained knowledge but hardly feasible in practical acquisition management.