Category Archives: Project plan

Announcing Phase 2 of the Library Impact Data Project

In November 2011 the University of Huddersfield was approached by JISC to submit a proposal for an extension to the original project.

We are very pleased to announce that in late December 2011 funding was approved to take the proposal forward into phase II of the project, which will run from January 2012 to July 2012. The aim of phase II is to build upon the work carried out in phase I and will cover 6 aims, which will further exploit the data, investigate possible causal aspects and disseminate findings from both phases as follows:

  • Addition of other relevant data such as UCAS points, demographics, retention data etc.
  • To study the impact of in house projects
  • To use the enriched data to provide better management information
  • Investigate three case studies of courses exhibiting non/low usage of library resources
  • To conduct a feasibility study on the viability of a JISC shared service that involves collection and analysis of library impact data for all UK HE libraries, including a workshop with SCONUL and RLUK to discuss opportunities with usage data and possibilities for shared services
  • To build on the phase 1 toolkit by offering a number of training courses and podcasts aimed at other librarians in UK HE

For further information please see our project proposal and watch out for more posts over the next 7 months.

The legal stuff…

One of the big issues for the project so far has been to ensure we are abiding to legal regulations and restrictions.  The data we intend to utilise for our hypothesis is sensitive on a number of levels, and we have made efforts to ensure there is full anonymisation of both students and universities (should our collaborators choose to remain so).  We contacted JISC Legal prior to data collection to confirm our procedures are appropriate, and additionally liaised with our Records Manager and the University’s legal advisor.

Our data involves tying up student degree results with their borrowing history (i.e. the number of books borrowed), the number of times they entered the library building, and the number of times they logged into electronic resources.  In retrieving data we have ensured that any identifying information is excluded before it is handled for analysis.  We have also excluded any small courses to prevent identification of individuals e.g. where a course has less than 35 students and/or fewer than 5 of a specific degree level.

To notify library and resource users of our data collection, we referred to another data project, EDINA, which provides the following statement for collaborators to use on their webpages:

“When you search for and/or access bibliographic resources such as journal articles, your request may be routed through the UK OpenURL Router Service (, which is administered by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh.  The Router service captures and anonymises activity data which are then included in an aggregation of data about use of bibliographic resources throughout UK Higher Education (UK HE).  The aggregation is used as the basis of services for users in UK HE and is made available to the public so that others may use it as the basis of services.  The aggregation contains no information that could identify you as an individual.”

Focus groups have also been conducted with a briefing and a consent form to ensure participants are fully aware of data use from the group and of their anonymisation and advising them that they can leave the group at any point.

Our first project team meeting

On Friday the 11 March, all 8 project partners met for the first time. In a packed agenda we discussed the project in detail – we’ll be blogging the minutes soon.

We also approved the project plan and discussed the hypothesis in some detail – look out for our first blog on that soon too! We are now working on getting the focus group questions out to everyone in the next few days.

The meeting went well, and it was good to meet up face to face before we really get started on gathering the data, we started under a pile of biscuits and ended with a civilised drink in the Head of Steam at Huddersfield railway station before the long journey home for some.