Assessment of journal usage based on the cited journals in the published documents of an institute: a collection development perspective

Naik, Umesha ; E R, Prakash


Journal collection in special libraries plays a vital role in imparting the R&D programmes of any research institute. Building a good journal collection which suits the research needs and within the available fund needs evaluation of subscribed and to be subscribed journals in terms of usage and cost-benefit. There are many ways to assess the usage of journals for taking collection development decisions and they are mainly categorized as ‘User-centred approaches’ and ‘Materials centred-approaches’. Many journals are well used in terms of citing, publishing by the library users but they may not be subscribed by the library and the journals subscribed by the library may not be much used by the users. The present study assumes that the journals referred to in the publications of an institute may be of relevance to the user community and treated as one type of usage. The study has analysed the publications of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, India published during 2015-2019 and identified 753 journals which are cited more than 40 times. Among them, 463 journals are not being subscribed by BARC Library. The 753 journals are categorised in three zones based on the number of times cited: Zone 1 of 26 journals which are cited by BARC scientists and engineers heavily (minimum 2193 times and a maximum of 6882 times); Zone 2 of 99 journals which are moderately cited (minimum 402 times and a maximum of 1446 times); and Zone 3 of 628 journals which are less used. The journals in the first zone are of greater importance to the user community which are all there in the list of subscribed journals except two as they are open access journals. Moderately used Zone 2 journals which are not being subscribed by BARC Library may be considered for the next year subscription by replacing the subscribed journals which are less used subject to funding availability.


Journal usage; Collection development; Referencing; Institutional publications; Journal collection

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