Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services (MINES for Libraries or MINES) is an online, transaction-based survey that collects data on the purpose of use of electronic resources and on the demographics of users. It is a point-of-use survey technique that integrates usage data about electronic resources such as digital collections, open access journals, pre-print and post-print servers, and institutional repositories, to give an inclusive picture of the library's supported networked electronic resources. MINES is a valid and reliable method for assessing electronic resource usage.

MINES has been administered at more than 50 North American libraries since 2003, and more than 100,000 networked services users have been surveyed.

MINES for Libraries aims to:

  • Measure the value and impact of digital content
  • Determine how specific user populations apply digital content to their work, based on demographic and purpose-of-use analyses
  • Identify where library use originates in the networked environment and tailor services accordingly
  • Gather digital collections use data to justify increased funding for digital content and to make informed collection development decisions
  • Assign a monetary value for the amount of an academic library's networked service costs that support funded research, instruction, patient care, public service, and other activities
  • Assess the impact of networked electronic resources and services on teaching, learning, and research

MINES employs a Web-based user survey methdology that "mines" digital content usage to determine users' demographics, location of virtual library use, and purpose of use. A short survey, 3-5 questions, is delivered at the point of use of an e-journal, database article, or digital collection or service. With this single tool, libraries can measure the use of commercially available digital content, electronic resources served via consortial arrangement or portals, and digital collections mounted on library servers.

MINES addresses the need for libraries to demonstrate outcomes and library contributions to teaching, learning, and research. It is managed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), which has a long-standing role in the development and application of performance measures and management tools.