National rankings as a means of evaluating medical school library programs: a comparative study.

Nina W. Matheson, S. F. Grefsheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A comparative study was undertaken to assess the reasons for the low rankings received by George Washington University Medical Center library in the Annual Statistics for Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada. Although internal studies showed the library was successfully satisfying user needs and meeting its primary objectives, the rankings, which include the traditional measures of quality used by accrediting bodies, indicated the contrary. Three hypotheses were postulated to account for the discrepancy. In a matched group of similar libraries: (1) the rankings of an individual library would differ from the national rankings; (2) clustering the variables would change the rankings; and (3) libraries with similar staff size would tend to rank in the same quartile in service and resource variables. All hypotheses were invalidated. Further tests led to the conclusion that the Annual Statistics and other traditional measures of quality are inappropriate and inaccurate methods for evaluating library programs, since they only measure resource allocations and not the effectiveness of those allocations. Alternative evaluation methods are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the Medical Library Association
Volume69
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1981
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Medical Libraries
Medical Schools
Libraries
ranking
school
Resource Allocation
statistics
Canada
Cluster Analysis
Research Design
resources
staff
evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

Cite this

National rankings as a means of evaluating medical school library programs : a comparative study. / Matheson, Nina W.; Grefsheim, S. F.

In: Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, Vol. 69, No. 3, 07.1981, p. 294-300.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b53fce0a0c614c6da7ff4ba7d348c951,
title = "National rankings as a means of evaluating medical school library programs: a comparative study.",
abstract = "A comparative study was undertaken to assess the reasons for the low rankings received by George Washington University Medical Center library in the Annual Statistics for Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada. Although internal studies showed the library was successfully satisfying user needs and meeting its primary objectives, the rankings, which include the traditional measures of quality used by accrediting bodies, indicated the contrary. Three hypotheses were postulated to account for the discrepancy. In a matched group of similar libraries: (1) the rankings of an individual library would differ from the national rankings; (2) clustering the variables would change the rankings; and (3) libraries with similar staff size would tend to rank in the same quartile in service and resource variables. All hypotheses were invalidated. Further tests led to the conclusion that the Annual Statistics and other traditional measures of quality are inappropriate and inaccurate methods for evaluating library programs, since they only measure resource allocations and not the effectiveness of those allocations. Alternative evaluation methods are suggested.",
author = "Matheson, {Nina W.} and Grefsheim, {S. F.}",
year = "1981",
month = "7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "69",
pages = "294--300",
journal = "Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA",
issn = "1536-5050",
publisher = "Medical Library Association",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - National rankings as a means of evaluating medical school library programs

T2 - a comparative study.

AU - Matheson, Nina W.

AU - Grefsheim, S. F.

PY - 1981/7

Y1 - 1981/7

N2 - A comparative study was undertaken to assess the reasons for the low rankings received by George Washington University Medical Center library in the Annual Statistics for Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada. Although internal studies showed the library was successfully satisfying user needs and meeting its primary objectives, the rankings, which include the traditional measures of quality used by accrediting bodies, indicated the contrary. Three hypotheses were postulated to account for the discrepancy. In a matched group of similar libraries: (1) the rankings of an individual library would differ from the national rankings; (2) clustering the variables would change the rankings; and (3) libraries with similar staff size would tend to rank in the same quartile in service and resource variables. All hypotheses were invalidated. Further tests led to the conclusion that the Annual Statistics and other traditional measures of quality are inappropriate and inaccurate methods for evaluating library programs, since they only measure resource allocations and not the effectiveness of those allocations. Alternative evaluation methods are suggested.

AB - A comparative study was undertaken to assess the reasons for the low rankings received by George Washington University Medical Center library in the Annual Statistics for Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada. Although internal studies showed the library was successfully satisfying user needs and meeting its primary objectives, the rankings, which include the traditional measures of quality used by accrediting bodies, indicated the contrary. Three hypotheses were postulated to account for the discrepancy. In a matched group of similar libraries: (1) the rankings of an individual library would differ from the national rankings; (2) clustering the variables would change the rankings; and (3) libraries with similar staff size would tend to rank in the same quartile in service and resource variables. All hypotheses were invalidated. Further tests led to the conclusion that the Annual Statistics and other traditional measures of quality are inappropriate and inaccurate methods for evaluating library programs, since they only measure resource allocations and not the effectiveness of those allocations. Alternative evaluation methods are suggested.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0019596238&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0019596238&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 7248592

AN - SCOPUS:0019596238

VL - 69

SP - 294

EP - 300

JO - Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA

JF - Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA

SN - 1536-5050

IS - 3

ER -