The Impact of Electronic Information Resources in Portuguese Academic Libraries

Luiza Baptista Melo


Libraries have an important place in the institutions of higher education. Assess the impact of these services has become a crucial issue in Librarianship and Information Science. The main aim of this paper is to show the final results of the study “The impact of electronic information resources in higher education in Portugal: a contribution to its analysis in the context of libraries” developed during 2009-2011. We implemented methods of various areas of knowledge (Statistics, Econometrics and Information Science), and we obtained an analysis of the results produced by access to electronic scientific information provided by the Portuguese electronic scientific information consortium Biblioteca do Conhecimento Online (b-on). This article has five main objectives: i) to describe the use patterns of electronic and traditional resources in Portuguese academic libraries; ii) to estimate the value of the Portuguese electronic scientific information consortium b-on by using two alternative valuation methodologies (the value of the time saved by using this electronic resource; and the contingent valuation method to estimate how much the user is willing to pay for the service); iii) to relate the use patterns with the valuation of b-on; iv) to investigate whether the willingness to pay is influenced by a set of factors (the frequency of use, whether the user previously knew b-on or not, the type of the user, the scientific area of the user, and the institution of the user); and (v) to estimate the demand function of b-on services as function of the price and the previously mentioned factors. In order to achieve these objectives we use several regression analysis techniques – ordinary least squares Tobit model, linear probability model, Logit and Probit models.

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