Correlation found between investment in university libraries and grant awards

Aug 09, 2010

Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, today announced the results of a new international study that demonstrates the value of the academic library to the institution in improving grant proposal and report writing and in helping researchers attract grant income. Of the 8 institutions participating from around the globe, 6 demonstrated a greater than one-to-one (1:1) return in grant funding, with results ranging from 15.54:1 to 0.64:1. Equally significant is the result that 2 institutions showed a significant positive correlation between an increase in library investment over time and an increase in grant funding to the university.

Dr. Carol Tenopir, Director of the Center for Information and at the University of Tennessee, led a team of investigators over a 16-month period. "Libraries bring value and returns on institutional investments in many ways," explains Dr. Tenopir. "Although the exact monetary amount of the returns in grants varies with the mission of the institution, our research shows that the collections and services of all university libraries help faculty write better grant proposals and articles and help them do better research."

The results of the study, funded by Elsevier, are available through a newly published Elsevier Connect white paper, University Investment in the Library, Phase II: An International Study of the Library's Value to the Grants Process.

"The results reinforce the contribution of libraries and information to the research enterprise," notes Chrysanne Lowe, Elsevier's Vice President of Customer Development and Engagement. "Universities have always known this, but it's useful to see value articulated in terms of grant income ROI as well."

Phased Research Approach

A first phase of the study was conducted as a pilot with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008. In the pilot, a model for calculating a return-on-investment, or ROI, ratio was developed. Phase 2 (results announced today) replicated and then refined the original model. The research team found that among the participants the ROI return varies according to the goals of the institution, the funding environment of the institution's country, and the availability of data provided by the institution.

Dr. Tenopir and Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are currently leading a team on a third study phase -- a 3 year project to expand on this research to include other aspects of ROI. This third study phase is being funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services ("Lib-Value," grant number LG-06-09-0152-09).

"Return on investment in the grants process is one important and convenient way to quantify the value of the academic library, but it underestimates the total value of the library to the university," says Dr. Tenopir.

This next phase of the research will look at ways to measure the value, outcomes, and ROI for the full range of library products and services to a variety of stakeholders. The library's contributions to functional areas of teaching and learning, research, and socialization will be identified and presented as a series of tools, reports, and literature reviews which university administrators and library leaders alike will find of value.

Explore further: Best of Last Week – First map of hidden universe, pursuit of compact fusion and new clues about the causes of depression

More information: libraryconnect.elsevier.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Libraries eye stimulus money for their Web access

May 05, 2009

(AP) -- The libraries in Delaware County, Pa., are trying to shift into warp speed. The county is hooking eight branches to a fiber-optic network to help meet library patrons' ever-rising demand for high-bandwidth tasks like ...

Scientific journals now available in Iraq

May 03, 2006

University of Maryland scientist D.J. Patil and colleagues have built a digital library, making 17,422 journal titles available to Iraqi scientists.

Study: Growth in research comes at a steep price

Jan 12, 2009

A study released this month confirms and quantifies what many medical school deans and financial administrators have long understood: Basic science research can be an expensive luxury. The study, which was conducted by the ...

EU launches digital library at Frankfut Book Fair

Oct 18, 2009

The European Union used the world's biggest book fair to launch the EU Bookshop's digital library, making more than 50 years of documents in about 50 languages available for free on the Internet.

Recommended for you

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

Social trust eroded in Chinese product-tampering incident

Oct 14, 2014

For about a decade, Chinese consumers weren't getting what they paid for when they purchased Wuchang, a special brand of gourmet rice that has a peculiar scent. The quality was being diluted when less expensive rice was aromatized, ...

The 2014 Nobel Prizes at a glance

Oct 13, 2014

(AP)—All winners of the 2014 Nobel Prizes have now been announced, starting with the medicine award a week ago and ending with the economics prize on Monday.

User comments : 0