Does Urquhart’s Law Hold for Consortial Use of Electronic Journals?

Tonta, Yaşar and Ünal, Yurdagül Does Urquhart’s Law Hold for Consortial Use of Electronic Journals?, 2009 . In ISSI 2009: 12th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 14-17 July 2009. (In Press) [Conference paper]


Download (195kB) | Preview

English abstract

This paper tests the validity of Urquhart’s Law (“the inter-library loan demand for a periodical is as a rule a measure of its total use”). It compares the use of print journals at the Turkish Academic Network and Information Center (ULAKBIM) with the consortial use of the same journals in their electronic form by the individual libraries making up the Consortium of Turkish University Libraries (ANKOS). It also compares the on-site use of electronic journals at ULAKBIM with their consortial use at ANKOS. About 700 thousand document delivery, in-house and on-site use data and close to 28 million consortial use data representing seven years’ worth of downloads of full-text journal articles were used. Findings validate Urquhart’s Law in that a positive correlation was observed between the use of print journals at ULAKBIM and the consortial use of their electronic copies at ANKOS. The on-site and consortial use of electronic journals was also highly correlated. Both print and electronic journals that were used most often at ULAKBIM tend to get used heavily by the member libraries of ANKOS consortium, too. Findings can be used in developing consortial collection management policies and negotiate better consortial licence agreements.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: Urquhart Law, electronic journal use, library consortia
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BB. Bibliometric methods
Depositing user: prof. yasar tonta
Date deposited: 21 Jun 2009
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:14


Bensman, S.J. (2005a). Urquhart’s Law: Probability and the management of scientific and technical journal collections: Part 1. The Law’s initial formulation and statistical bases. Science & Technology Libraries, 26(1), 31-68.


Bensman, S.J. (2005b). Urquhart’s Law: Probability and the management of scientific and technical journal collections: Part 2. Probability in the development and management of a central document delivery collection. Science & Technology Libraries, 26(2), 5-31.

Bensman, S.J. (2005c). Urquhart’s Law: Probability and the management of scientific and technical journal collections: Part 3. The Law’s final formulation and implications for library systems. Science & Technology Libraries, 26(2), 33-69.

Bensman, S.J. (2005d). Urquhart and probability: The transition from librarianship to library and information science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 56(2), 189-214.

Gatten, J.N., & Sanville, T. (2004). An orderly retreat from the big deal: Is it possible for consortia? D-Lib Magazine, 10(10). Retrieved, 16 January 2009, from

Karasözen, B. (2008). Consortial usage of electronic journals in Turkey. Paper presented at the 37th LIBER Annual General Conference, Koç University, Istanbul, July 1-5, 2008. Retrieved, 16 January 2009, from

Karasözen, B., Kaygusuz, A., & Özen H.B. (2007). Patterns of e-journal use within the Anatolian University Library Consortium, Serials, 20(1), 37-42.

Karasözen, B., & Lindley, J.A. (2004). The impact of ANKOS: Consortium development in Turkey. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30, 402–409.

Ke, H-R., Kwakkelaar, R., Tai, Y-M., & Chen, L-C. (2002). Exploring behavior of e-journal users in science and technology: Transaction log analysis of Elsevier’s ScienceDirect OnSite in Taiwan. Library & Information Science Research, 24, 265-291.

Kurth, W.H. (1962). Survey of the interlibrary loan operation of the National Library of Medicine. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service.

Morse, D.H., & Clintworth, W.A. (2000). Comparing patterns of print and electronic journal use in an academic health science library. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 28. Retrieved, 16 January 2009, from

Nicholas, D., Huntington, P., Jamali, H.R., & Tenopir C. (2006). What deep log analysis tells us about the impact of big deals: case study OhioLINK. Journal of Documentation, 62, 482-508.

Özen, H. (2007). Elektronik dergilerde kullanım analizi: ANKOS ve ODTÜ örneği. In S. Kurbanoğlu, Y. Tonta & U. Al (Eds.), Değişen Dünyada Bilgi Yönetimi Sempozyumu, 24-26 Ekim 2007, Ankara, Bildiriler (pp. 201-208). Ankara: Hacettepe Üniversitesi Bilgi ve Belge Yön. Bölümü.

Scales, P.A. (1976). Citation analyses as indicators of the use of serials: A comparison of ranked title lists produced by citation counting and from use data. Journal of Documentation, 31, 17-25.

ScienceDirect. (2009). Retrieved, 18 January 2009, from

Tonta, Y. & Ünal, Y. (2008). Consortial use of electronic journals in Turkish universities. In L. Chan & S. Mornati (Eds.). Open Scholarship: Authority, Community and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing. Toronto, June 25-27, 2008. (pp. 203-216). Toronto: International Conference on Electronic Publishing. Retrieved, Jan. 15, 2009, from

Urquhart, D.J. (1959). Use of scientific periodicals. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Scientific Information, Washington, DC, November 16-21, 1958, Vol. I (pp. 287-300). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. Retrieved, January 15, 2009, from

Urquhart, D.J., & Bunn R.M. (1959). A national loan policy for scientific serials. Journal of Documentation, 15, 21-37.

Urquhart, J.A., & Urquhart, N.C. (1976). Relegation and stock control in libraries. Stocksfield, England: Oriel Press.


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item