Developing Business Cases for New Services in Research Libraries

Overview of the Case Study Methodology

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Following the publication of our initial recommendations, we plan to produce up to six detailed case studies of services that support publishing initiatives and research data curation and management. These case studies will provide the team with an opportunity to explore the planning process and related concepts with practitioners. Based on these case studies, we will review and revise our initial finding to identify best practices for navigating the inherent uncertainty of developing sustainable scholarly communications services.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The case study methodology will developed to gather data on two major areas:

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  2. Baseline characteristics, including the nature and mission of the service; products; service models; target market(s); financial income and expenditures; staffing; etc.
  3. The planning and management process, including the history and origins of the service; how the mission was developed and how it relates to the parent organization’s overall mission; market or demographic research process; pilots and implementation; definitions of success; assessment methods; changes in services; challenges to sustainability.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 We will use the planning processes outlined in our initial report and recommendations as a framework to analyze the data and structure our reporting. During our research, we expect to find a great deal of variation in how service providers planned and executed their work, which we hope will challenge and test our initial recommendations. The case study investigations will not, however, be used to test these recommendations so much as to extend and refine them. Our ultimate goal is that the cases prove useful in themselves to a readership looking for practical guidance and ideas.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Candidates for case studies will be chosen to ensure adequate representation of a variety of contexts, such as:

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  • Size of library or community it serves
  • Single organization or collaboration/consortium-oriented services
  • Publishing-related services and data preservation services
  • Revenue generating vs. self-supporting/investing
  • Started up with grant funds or other temporary money vs. all-internal investment

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Members of the team will pair up to conduct twelve case studies during a sixty-eight-month period. In each case the team members will solicit data in advance and schedule a two-day visit to a campus or office location to interview key stakeholders. These may include

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  • The staff providing the services
  • The dean, director, or other executive for the parent library or organization
  • Members of advisory boards or committees, if such exist
  • Clients of the service

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 All interviews will be conducted “on the record,” and an informed consent process will be used to ensure this understanding. IRB clearances will be obtained prior to the start of the process. Interviewees will have an opportunity to review drafts of the case study to correct inaccuracies or to redact any information it considers too sensitive to release.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Each final case study report will be 4,000–5,000 words and roughly follow this outline:

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  • Summary
  • Description of Service
  • The Planning Process
  • Implementation and Pilots
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    • Defining success and associated metrics
    • Assessment and market/service research
    • Method of data gathering
    • Assessing risk
    • Assessing demand
    • Assessing resource requirements
  • Reassessment and Prospects for Future Development
  • Analysis and Conclusion
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    • Relationship and/or challenges to our recommendations
    • Examples of novel/useful methods
    • Specific metrics or issues that seem especially challenging
    • Implications for others
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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/businesscases/overview-of-the-proposed-case-study-methodology/