USC Serial Titles Worksheet

Hi All,

I’m sharing our approach to collecting serial title data at the University of Southern California for your review and critique. We have more refining to do, but this is how we came to this year’s survey numbers.

7 Responses to USC Serial Titles Worksheet

  1. Martha Kyrillidou May 30, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    Email provided by James Mouw, U. of Chicago

    Dear Martha,

    Thanks for taking time to talk with us this morning, the conversation
    was very useful. Judi forwarded to me your message of May 16, and as
    requested I’m including in this message a brief summary of the technique
    we use to determine our current serials count.

    Working assumptions:

    1. Include all “currently received” serials, regardless of format or
    whether or not they were purchased.

    2. Include each title only once, regardless of multiple subscriptions or
    versions. (A title available in print, via publisher-based online access
    and also via JSTOR counts as ONE title).

    3. Be comprehensive, and count any title for which we’re provided
    access, either in our catalog or through another finding aid, such as

    Our procedure:

    Chicago is a highly-centralized library, and all branches share a single
    online catalog. Except for a statistically insignificant number of
    exceptions, all our holdings for a given title are on a single
    bibliographic record. The catalog contains a comprehensive record of all
    titles currently received in print as well as all electronic titles to
    which we individually subscribe. Our practice is to put the print and
    electronic version on a single bibliographic record eliminating
    duplication there. There are a very small number of titles that we
    actively receive in both print and microform editions and these are on
    separate records, but there are very few of these remaining.

    Our practice is to code the bibliographic records for “active” serials
    in such a way that we can easily get an accurate count of our currently
    received serials. We don’t need to rely on indicators such as an open
    date in the fixed field, or through some other convoluted combination of
    search criteria. We have a single distinct local code we can use to
    identify those titles that are currently being received.

    Although many aggregated titles are represented in the catalog, they do
    not contain the activity code and are therefore excluded from the
    catalog count. These are counted in the next step, when we include SFX

    The current scan of the catalog reveals 44,818 unique titles that are
    currently being received – print and/or electronic. We are very
    confident in this number.

    The second source we use is our SFX database. This database currently
    contains 49,003 entries for 37,534 unique titles. Many, but not all, of
    which are also in the catalog.

    We take the list of unique titles from SFX and dedup that against our
    catalog records, using ISSN as the match point.

    Currently, this yields 19,729 titles that are accessed via SFX but that
    not in our catalog as “active”. (Many of these actually DO have
    aggregator records in the catalog but aren’t in the set we pulled from
    the catalog since they aren’t coded as “active”.)

    We then add the two numbers (44,818 from the catalog plus 19,729 from
    SFX) to arrive at a total current serial count of 57,263. (This number
    is actually slightly larger than the one we originally submitted, and we
    will correct that submission.)

    In summary, our process is:

    1. Count active titles (unique) in our catalog
    2. Count active titles (unique) in our SFX database
    3. Dedup the two sets by ISSN.

    I hope this information is useful.


  2. Martha Kyrillidou May 30, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Serials Titles: Process Documentation
    Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 12:29:45 -0400
    From: Alicia Miller
    Organization: The George Washington University

    Hello, Martha.

    Per your 5/16 request, here is a description of the process used to count serials titles (rather than serial subscriptions) for the Gelman Library System (GLS). This description was provided by Debbie Bezanson, GLS Serials and Electronic Resources Coordinator.

    Please confirm receipt.


    “We [The Gelman Library System at George Washington University] created a giant spreadsheet with our SFX holdings, and our Voyager open order holdings sorted by ISSN and ran an EXCEL function to dedupe where the ISSN occured more than once. The major change in our holdings is that we had not previously counted titles included in aggregators and, based on our understanding of this year’s directions, this year we did count those titles.”

    Alicia Miller (
    Manager, Gelman Library System Staff Technology
    Training & Development and Strategic Planning

    The George Washington University
    2130 H Street, NW – Suite 606F
    Washington, DC 20052

    202-994-1366 (voice)
    202-463-6205 (facsimile)

    On 5/16/2008 at 12:59 PM, Martha wrote:

    To: ARL Statistics Survey Coordinators

    From: Martha Kyrillidou, ARL

    Re: Preliminary tables for ARL Statistics 2006-07

    Attached please find preliminary tables for the ARL Statistics 2006-07 in both excel and pdf files for you to review with your library director. Your corrections are needed by June 15. After June 15 we will issue the ARL Expenditures-Focused Index which will appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education later in the summer. The attached tables are also being emailed to the arl-directors listserv.

    We would like to thank you for successfully providing figures for serials titles! As expected we have identified some data anomalies you can detect from the attached files. We are in the process of following up with a number of institutions to gain a better understanding of the local issues they may be facing as a result of counting serials primarily electronic after deduplication with print titles.

    In terms of documenting the process of providing serial titles rather than serial subscriptions, we would like to bring to your attention an excellent document provided by Brian Harlan (University of Southern California) and made available at: Please take a minute to review Brian’s documentation and provide feedback on the blog as needed. Also, please do provide similar documentation of your process. Please send your documentation to my attention,, by June 1 for posting such documents on the library assessment blog.

    Our preliminary research with a couple of institutions indicates that counting serial titles is challenging because some libraries are currently in the process of changing from legacy systems they have had in place for the management of electronic resources to more sophisticated infrastructures, yet the transition is not complete and some over- or under- estimation is taking place. Discrepancies may occur because the de-duplication is only partial, especially when it involves health or other branch libraries, or because of variation in handling government documents serials.

    The ARL Statistics and Assessment Committee will be discussing on Wednesday, May 21, some of these issues. Colleen Cook, Dean of Libraries at Texas A&M University and Chair of the ARL Statistics and Assessment Committee will provide an overview and a status update during the Business Meeting on Thursday, May 22.

    At the next survey coordinators meeting Julia Blixrud will be available to lead a discussion on this year’s ARL Statistics data collection. The meeting is scheduled to take place
    FRIDAY, June 27, 2008
    3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
    ARL Survey Coordinators and SPEC Liaisons Meeting
    Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort
    Tuscany D/E Room

    Note that these preliminary tables may be used for your planning budgeting needs. Thank you for your support.

    Best regards, Martha


  3. Martha Kyrillidou June 6, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    From Hawaii:

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Re: Fwd: [ARL-DIRECTORS] ARL Statistics 2006-07 preliminary tables
    Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2008 11:00:44 -1000
    From: Wil Frost


    The following is the best we can do to document our procedure for
    counting serials this year. This came from our head of Serials.
    Unfortunately, our electronic resources librarian is on leave. She might
    have been able to provide more details.


    We began with a title list of active serial titles in all formats from
    our ILS. Although we do not use individual records for serials in
    different formats, we do retain format related information through our
    holdings record locations and call numbers. We removed duplicate formats
    and subscriptions through use of this information in the holdings
    records. We had another complication to the report from a difficult ILS
    migration in 2001, where all of our serial titles had a minimum of three
    holdings records. This duplication needed to be removed as well. From
    these steps we could determine information about our print titles.
    Following these steps, we moved to our database of electronic titles.
    Using the electronic titles stripped from the original list from our
    ILS, our Electronic Resources Librarian began to segregate the data into
    titles handled by Serials Solutions, titles counted through our ILS and
    anything not processed through our ILS.


    Wil Frost, Head
    Public Services Division
    University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
    2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2233 USA

  4. Martha Kyrillidou June 20, 2008 at 3:27 am #

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Counting serial titles – deduped
    Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 12:35:33 -0700
    From: Margaret Friesen
    To: Kyrillidou Martha
    CC: Friesen, Margaret

    UBC Library ran two reports: one from Voyager, one from Serials
    Solutions. The titles were de-duped. Unique government serials were
    counted manually, as best as we could do it. We believe we are still
    undercounting e-government documents (unique titles) and microforms, and
    need to find an appropriate way to count these titles in the future.
    I hope this is helpful, regards, Margaret

    Margaret Friesen
    Assessment Librarian
    University of British Columbia – Koerner Library
    218D – 1958 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 ph:604-822-4430 fax:604-822-3335

  5. Martha Kyrillidou June 30, 2008 at 4:03 am #

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Fw: ARL serial statistics – 05/06 and 06/07 comparison
    Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 15:07:27 -0400
    From: Anne Pottier
    To: Martha Kyrillidou
    CC: , “Janice Adlington” , “Andrea McLellan”

    Hi Martha

    As requested, I will attempt to describe what process we used to come up with our serials numbers for 06/07 since we are now to be counting titles, not subscriptions.

    For Question #4a – # of serial titles currently purchased

    Electronic: we got the number of 23,723 by taking the # of SFX active portfolio’s (32,190) as of 1/23/08 [since we had not taken this number earlier] and removed from it the 8,522 SFX portfolio’s which would fall into the FREE category + we added 55 standalone e-journals which are not included in SFX. It appears our Health Sciences library (HSL) reported 3,692 titles in this category as well, which we now realize would have been captured in the original 32,190 number. So we have made an adjustment for this question.

    The numbers reported for print + other formats remain the same as reported

    For Question #4b = # of serial titles currently received, but not purchased

    Electronic: we got the number of 8,522 from SFX, but again did not realize that HSL reported a separate number. So we have made an adjustment for this questions as well.

    The numbers reported for print + other formats remain the same as reoprted. As far as the main library here at Mac is concerned (we refer to this as UL) we looked at the number we would have reported in this area (mostly free gov pubs – 1,499, less 10% assuming this amount would have been counted as print + online for 05/06) to get a new number of 1,349 for 06/07.

    Let me know if you need anything more from us concerning serial titles at this time, OK?


    4. Total numer of serial titles currently rec’d 36,756 315 37,071
    4a. Number of serial titles currently purchased 26,885 293 27,178
    4a.i Electronic [note: number from SFX includes UL + HSL] 23,723 23,723
    4a.ii Print (and other format) serials purchased 3,162 293 3,455
    4b. Number of serial titles currently rec’d-not purchased 9,871 22 9,893
    4b.i Electronic [note: number from SFX includes UL + HSL] 8,522 8,522
    4b.ii Print (and other format) serials rec’-not purchased 1,349 22 1,371

    Notes from Anne re: Mcmaster:

    I think there was some question by ARL since Mac’s numbers went up, not down (which they might have expected), but I think the following things will have affected this:

    1. UL (the main library at McMaster) has not withdrawn any serial titles, yet

    2. UL added Business Source Complete (24,795 titles) and some others, plus would have lost access to others

    3. I think we probably double-counted UL and HSL e-journals, since we took numbers from SFX (which would include both) and I don’t think we remembered to coordinate with HSL (sorry Andrea) – we may want to submit a revised number for this

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Janice Adlington
    To: Anne Pottier
    Cc: McLellan, Andrea
    Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:08 AM
    Subject: Re: ARL serial statistics – 05/06 and 06/07 comparison

    Hi Anne,

    More details on the process I followed for obtaining counts of electronic journals:

    Step 1: Used an SFX ‘Aleph Sequential’ export to obtain a deduped count of fulltext titles activated in the Knowledgebase. This count is not the same as ‘current subscriptions’, except in the sense that we continue to pay for the content within packages and aggregators: it includes title changes, backfiles, and ceased titles. This is similar to the initial step in TAMU’s procedure (from December’s ARL webinar).

    Step 2: Counted and subtracted ‘free’ ejournals, after overlap analyses among the targets
    Targets examined: Biomed Central, DOAJ, EMIS, Highwire, Hindawi, JSTAGE, Miscellaneous Free, Psychonomic Society, Pubmed Central Scielo. Blackwell.

    Step 3: obtained counts of ejournals not available/activated in SFX from UL serials staff and Allison.

    HSL ejournals are included in the overall totals.


  6. martha kyrillidou June 30, 2008 at 4:12 am #

    Serials counting at Colorado State
    Provided by Roberta Brown-Jones

    Serials counting at the U. of Maryland
    Provided by Irma Dillon

    Serials counting at Wayne State
    Provided by Paul Beavers

  7. Martha Kyrillidou July 24, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    RE: Serials Data for ARL 2006-07 Statistics
    “Michele Crump”
    Fri, 11 Jul 2008 17:36:58 -0400
    , “Rick Donnelly – LL” , “Cecilia Botero – HCL” , “Steve Carrico”

    Hi Les –

    In light of the changes in the ARL Statistical Survey, the University of
    Florida formed an ARL Statistics Review Group this past year to begin
    the process of defining how statistics are gathered for reporting to
    ARL. We are still developing documentation in order to maintain
    consistent reporting from year to year, particularly with the electronic
    resources. That said I’ll explain how UF arrived at its serials numbers
    since those are the figures in question. With this email, we will be
    making a correction to UF’s “Purchased electronic titles” – a change
    that came about after revisiting the deduping process in Serials
    Solutions. The following statistics are the correct entries for the
    Serials section of the ARL Survey for University of Florida:

    4. Total number of serials titles currently received – 73,747

    4. a Number of serials currently purchased – 56,302
    4.a.i Electronic serials purchased – 31,763
    4.a11 Print serials purchased – 24,539

    4.b Number of serials titles currently received but not
    purchased – 17,445
    4.b.i Electronic serials not purchased – 13,411
    4.b.ii Print serials not purchased – 4,034

    4.a.i Electronic serials purchased – unique title number from Serials
    Solutions minus titles duplicated by aggregators and titles not
    purchased (titles purchased by Florida Center of Library Automation
    (FCLA) for consortia)
    4.a.ii Print serials purchased – print serials derived from a manual
    running total count of currently received unique print titles minus
    titles cancelled, ceased or changed to e-only during the year. In
    addition we have removed print titles from the count that are received
    with electronic access (these unique titles were added to the electronic
    serials purchased title count)
    4.b.i Electronic serials not purchased – number supplied by FCLA
    4. b.ii Print not purchased – count includes titles received from Gifts
    and Exchange. The Exchange unique title count received from the
    Exchange database; Gifts serials count is derived from a manual running
    total count of currently received unique print titles minus titles
    cancelled, ceased or changed to e-only during the year.

    Please let me know if you have further questions.

    Thank you –

    Michele J. Crump
    Interim Director for Technical Services
    George A. Smathers Libraries
    535 Library West
    PO Box 117001
    Gainesville FL 32611-7001
    352- 392-7251 Fax

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