Marketing methods for electronic resources in medical libraries: a study on the application of the analytical hierarchy process
Keywords:Databases as Topic, Information Services, Libraries, Medical, Library Materials, Library Services, Marketing, Marketing of Health Services, AHP
Paired with the high cost of providing access to electronic resources in medical libraries, the inefficient use of these resources highlights the need for more efforts to promote these resources than ever before. In this study, electronic resource marketing methods were prioritized and the best strategies were determined using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP).
Using an analytical survey of officials of medical libraries, the most common methods for marketing electronic resources in libraries were determined and divided into categories of strategies. Five important criteria for marketing strategies were also selected. Using AHP, pairwise comparisons were performed between the alternatives (i.e., strategies), which were evaluated against the selected criteria. Data analysis was performed using Expert Choice 11 software.
A total of 44 electronic resource marketing methods were identified and categorized into 4 strategies. On average, 43.9% of these methods were used by the surveyed libraries. The AHP showed that simplicity was the most important criterion and that communication networks were the best electronic resource marketing strategy. Home/off-campus access, group training, library search stations, and marketing by individual librarians were the most preferred methods of marketing electronic resources.
With the availability of a variety of different methods for marketing electronic resources, medical libraries must select strategies based on important criteria depending on the characteristics of the library, librarians, and users. Thus, the AHP can be an effective and practical solution to decision-making by mathematically prioritizing the selection of the best strategies from a set of alternatives based on differentially weighted criteria.
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