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Library Quarterly Report FY20 Q1: July-Sept 2019

Spotlight: New Library Guides Support ICE Virtual Library Users

Screen capture of the ICE Virtual Library Quick Start Guide      Screen capture of the ICE Virtual Library Journals Guide

The library created two guides to support use of the ICE Virtual Library collections, a standard "quick-start" guide to ICE and a special guide to ICE journal holdings.


As part of our long-term efforts to improve self-service access to electronic journals and conference proceedings papers, the library licensed access to the ICE Virtual Library, which provides access to 40 peer-reviewed journals containing 37,000 full-text articles in subject areas like: construction, civil engineering, structures, materials, environmental science, urban planning, research and transportation history. 


During the 30-day trial last March we recorded 222 article downloads, primarily from VDOT engineers, 65 of whom completed our user-satisfaction survey. Several respondents indicated that they were able to advance current projects or research topics through the trial and a majority recommended we consider a subscription.  


However, one thing that has thrown a lot of users off is the fact that the ICE search interface reveals content that we don't subscribe to, including several expensive journals we don't subscribe to, some deep journal article backfiles we don't need (going back to 1836) and 1,500 eBooks. Long story short, when some users typed in a search term they got results for resources that were indexed in ICE, but not available in our trial. Why not test all resources? 


We omitted a few journals with very high price tags and limited utility at VDOT.  We opted not to test access to any of the eBooks because we already have access to many of those through VDOT's subscription to the database Knovel and we don't want to pay twice for access to the exact same resources.


By the end of this quarter we had logged 172 downloads from ICE, which is not a bad outcome.  We hope to increase those numbers by adding URLs to the catalog records for key ICE Journals like Geosynthetics International and Magazine of Concrete Research to the library catalog soon.  In addition, we plan to eventually create an A-Z list of core journals that will help users find full-text articles from their favorite journals regardless of what database they may be in.


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