Working group helps library data management

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A new group aims to improve the quality of data available to managers in higher education libraries. The Working Group on Managing and Understanding Data in Libraries (MUDL) brings together librarians, publishers, aggregators and other relevant groups such as COUNTER.

An increasing amount of usage data is available for electronic resources and the development of COUNTER standards has enhanced the consistency and comparability of data between different suppliers. However, there remain problems with standardisation and interpretation of the data remains complex. Although its systematic use in decision-making is increasingly important, it is still a developing art.

The MUDL working group aims to bring a similar agenda to bear on wider aspects of management data associated with external reporting. MUDL aims to promote discussion around methodologies and facilitate the sharing of good practice, as well as working with publishers and aggregators to further improve the availability, accessibility and comparability of data. The group will offer a discussion list and blog as well as organising training and awareness-raising events. It also may undertake work to develop tools such as guidelines and checklists for those working with management data.

The Group was conceived following a JIBS workshop on management data held last July and has been adopted by JIBS as one of its official working groups. Nature Publishing Group has agreed to provide a small start-up fund.