Tenopir, C. et. al., (2010). University Investment in the Library, Phase II: An International Study of the Library’s Value to the Grants Process. [White paper]. Retrieved from Elsevier: http://libraryconnect.elsevier.com/sites/default/files/2010-06-whitepaper-roi2_0.pdf
In this white paper, Tenopir and a group of researchers study eight institutions in eight different countries using a model for measuring return on investment (ROI) previously established at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in order to quantify the “library’s contributions to the institution’s income-generating functions and demonstrate the economic value of investment in the library.” Tenopir et al. provide thorough documentation of related research and models of ROI before delving into data results and analysis. There is careful emphasis that ROI in the grants process is just one measurement and “underestimates the total value of the library.” The study had six key findings:
- For every monetary unit invested in academic libraries, the parent institutions received a return on investment of between 0.64:1 and 15.54:1 in research grant income.
- In two North American universities, regression analysis using 10 years of data shows that an increase in the library budget is correlated with an increase in grant funding.
- Faculty survey respondents cite averages of 7.5 to 41.2 books or articles in each grant proposal they write.
- At least three-fourths of survey respondents state it is “important,” “very important,” or “essential” to cite references to journal articles or books in their grant proposals.
- Most respondents access at least half of the articles and books they cite in grant proposals, reports, and publications from their institutional library e-resource collections.
- Survey respondents report that they spend at least 3.5 hours per week finding and accessing articles, and at least 9.8 hours reading articles.