University Library

Formula

Our information resources budget for faculties is allocated according to a formula.

The formula is based on:

  • staff and student numbers (weighted by course type and relative use of books versus serials)
  • the average cost of books and serials ('books' includes other non-serial materials).

Funds for serials and books are distributed in the ratio of 80:20. This is the overall ratio in spending between these two types of resources that the Library wishes to maintain, even though the ratio varies considerably between faculties.

An allowance for differential costs of materials is used, based on a spectrum between equal-cash versus equal-titles per staff/student (‘equal-cash’ makes no allowance for differing costs of materials as opposed to ‘equal-titles’ which makes full allowance for differing costs of materials).

Five per cent of the total funds is allocated for document delivery and is distributed to faculties based on the number of staff and students entitled to use document delivery services.

Single budget allocation to faculties

Each faculty is given a single budget allocation for books, serials and document delivery. The faculty has the discretion to distribute the funds between its cost centres, and to determine the distribution between books, serials and document delivery.

Annual variations

No faculty is to sustain a gain or loss in its allocation of more than five per cent in any one year, and the University Librarian has the discretion to modify the formula allocation to any faculty by up to 10 per cent, taking into account differing our usage and needs.

Detail

  1. Statistics Office data
  2. Document delivery
  3. Books and journals
  4. Distribution between staff and students
  5. Equal cash factor
  6. Equal titles factor
  7. Balance between equal cash and equal titles
  8. Annual adjustments
  9. Allocation within each faculty
  10. Review process

Statistics Office data

Statistics Office data is used for staff and student figures.

  • Staff figures (FTE) are full-time equivalents for teaching-plus-research and research-only (excluding casual appointments).

Two types of student data are used, drawn from the final enrolment figures for the previous year:

  • EFTSU – unweighted equivalent full-time student units
  • LIBEFT – weighted by course type, but not by discipline.

Library data is used for average costs:

  • Average costs for journals is based on data provided each year in Library Journal’s annual periodical price survey.
  • Average cost for books is calculated by dividing total expenditure by the number of copies received, based on library data for the previous two years.

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Document delivery

Of the total available funds for faculties, five per cent is apportioned for document delivery. These funds are distributed to faculties pro rata to the number of staff (FTE) and students (EFTSU) entitled to use document delivery and inter-library loan services.

Entitled users of these services are academic staff and honours and research postgraduate students.

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Books and journals

The remaining funds available to faculties are distributed in the ratio of 80 per cent for journals (serials) and 20 per cent for monographs (non-serials). This is the overall ratio in spending between these two types of resources that the Library wishes to maintain, even though the actual ratio varies considerably between faculties and between schools in each faculty.

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Distribution between staff and students

Serials

Of the 80 per cent available to faculties for serials, 50 per cent is regarded as the staff share of the allocation and 50 per cent as the student share. As serials are more likely to be used by higher degree than undergraduate students, the student unit weighted for course type (LIBEFT) is used.

Non-serials

Of the 20 per cent available to faculties for non-serials, 25 per cent is regarded as the staff share of the allocation and 75 per cent as the student share. As use is not significantly related to course type, unweighted student units (EFTSU) are used.

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Equal cash factor

This factor is based on the notion that each faculty is entitled to the same proportion of the budget pro rata to its number of staff and students. Each faculty’s share is based on the following formula:

Serials (80 per cent)

(Faculty’s FTE / Total FTE for all faculties) X 50 per cent

+

(Faculty’s LIBEFT / Total LIBEFT for all faculties) X 50 per cent

= Serials Budget A

Non-Serials (20 per cent)

(Faculty’s FTE / Total FTE for all faculties) X 25 per cent

+

(Faculty’s LIBEFT / Total LIBEFT for all faculties) X 75 per cent

= Non-Serials Budget A

The serials and non-serials amounts are added together to form a single Budget A amount for each faculty.

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Equal titles factor

This factor is based on the opposing notion that each faculty is entitled to the same number of titles pro rata to its number of staff and students. Because average costs vary widely between disciplines, each faculty’s share is determined with average costs as an additional factor:

Serials (80 per cent )

(Faculty’s FTE X average serial cost / Total for all faculties of these factors) X 50 per cent

+

(Faculty’s LIBEFT X average serial cost / Total for all faculties of these factors) X 50 per cent

= Serials Budget B

Non-Serials (20 per cent)

(Faculty’s FTE X average book cost / Total for all faculties of these factors) X 25 per cent

+

(Faculty’s EFTSU X average book cost / Total for all faculties of these factors) X 75 per cent

= Non-Serials Budget B

The serials and non-serials amounts are added together to form a single Budget B amount for each faculty.

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Balance between equal cash and equal titles

Faculties which have relatively high average costs in their disciplines are disadvantaged by the Equal Cash (A) calculation, which makes no allowance for cost differentials. On the other hand, Equal Titles (B) – which makes 100 per cent allowance for costs – does not provide a satisfactory outcome for faculties where the average costs are relatively low.

Representing the two extremes as two ends of a spectrum between A and B, the point at which there is a 40 per cent allowance for average costs is used to determine each faculty’s budget figure.

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Annual adjustments

The transition from funding levels current in 1997 to those reflecting staff and student numbers with a 40 per cent for differential costs is to be implemented in such a way that the allocation to any faculty will not increase or decrease by more than five per cent compared with its previous level of funding in any one year. This is after allowing for any overall variation in the total amount available for the faculties budget.

In addition, the University Librarian has the discretion to modify the formula allocation to any faculty by up to 10 per cent of that faculty’s allocation in any one year, taking into account differing Library usage and needs.

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Allocation within each faculty

Each faculty is given a single budget allocation comprising its document delivery and books and journals amounts. The faculty then has the discretion to further distribute the funds between its schools or other cost centres, and to further determine the distribution between serials, non-serials and document delivery.

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Review process

The formula was implemented for an initial three-year period (1998-2000) and extended for a further year. In 2002 it was reviewed for 2003 by the then Library Committee in consultation with faculties and schools. Changes introduced to the formula at that stage (proportion of funds allocated to serials has been increased from 65 per cent to 80 per cent) address the imbalance caused by rapidly rising prices of serials in recent years.

Additional weightings were given to Law (1.6) and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (1.1) to reflect the heavy reliance on information resources within these faculties.

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