The E-Metrics project was designed to begin addressing the need for measures of electronic information resources. This was one of the high-priority needs identified at a retreat in January 1999 in Tucson, Arizona. At the retreat, members of the ARL Statistics and Measurement committee, the ARL Leadership and Management Committee, and other interested ARL member library leaders gathered to discuss what ARL could do to assist members in developing new measures that better describe research libraries and their services under the leadership of Carla Stoffle (University of Arizona) and Paul Kobulnicky (University of Connecticut).
The E-Metrics project grew out of a follow-up retreat that took place in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2000 and was led by Rush Miller (University of Pittsburgh) and Sherrie Schmidt (Arizona State University). The project was completed in three phases:
an inventory of what libraries were already doing in this area and identification of libraries that could provide best practices;
identification and testing of data elements that could be collected and used as measures of electronic resources for trend analysis and benchmarking; and
analysis of the connection between the use of electronic resources and institutional outcomes.
The five project documents are available in the publication Measures for Electronic Resources (E-Metrics) [ZIP].
Earlier work based on the ARL Supplementary Statistics and performed by Tim Jewell, University of Washington, summarized the value of and issues involved in reporting expenditures for electronic resources. A report [PDF] and a Bimonthly Report article [PDF] summarize findings from Jewell's investigation.