ERIC Number: ED441441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Collecting Data Sensibly in Information Settings.
Gorman, G. E.
Libraries and information agencies depend heavily on statistics to describe their services, evaluate their activities, and measure their performance. In the data gathering on which statistical analysis depends, there are always assumptions and uncontrolled variables that interfere with the purity and objectivity of the data, and therefore contaminate the analysis and interpretation of that data. This paper highlights some of these variables in order to alert information managers to the pitfalls of data collection and to encourage them to develop means of controlling data so that they can use statistics more effectively. Topics addressed include: (1) whether users can be counted meaningfully; (2) the value of counting holdings; (3) counting inquiries as a substitute for counting users or holdings; (4) problems with external stakeholders; and (5) suggestions for enhancements to the standard statistical measures employed in the information sector. (Contains 12 references.) (Author/MES)
Descriptors: Data Collection, Foreign Countries, Information Management, Library Materials, Library Services, Library Statistics, Measurement Techniques, Users (Information)
For full text: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/004-120e.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A