Monday, August 09, 2010

Investment in the library leads to grant funding

Elsevier conducted a research study to determine the value of an academic library to the institution and concluded that there is a strong correlation between investment and the ability to generate grant income (press release)

Of the 8 institutions participating from around the globe, 6 demonstrated a greater than one-to-one (1:1) return in grant funding, with results ranging from 15.54:1 to 0.64:1. Equally significant is the result that 2 institutions showed a significant positive correlation between an increase in library investment over time and an increase in grant funding to the university.

Dr. Carol Tenopir, Director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee (, led a team of investigators over a 16-month period. "Libraries bring value and returns on institutional investments in many ways," explains Dr. Tenopir. "Although the exact monetary amount of the returns in grants varies with the mission of the institution, our research shows that the collections and services of all university libraries help faculty write better grant proposals and articles and help them do better research."

The results of the study, funded by Elsevier, are available through a newly published Elsevier Connect white paper, University Investment in the Library, Phase II: An International Study of the Library's Value to the Grants Process ( (

"The results reinforce the contribution of libraries and information to the research enterprise," notes Chrysanne Lowe, Elsevier's Vice President of Customer Development and Engagement. "Universities have always known this, but it's useful to see value articulated in terms of grant income ROI as well."

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