Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)

Swinburne – 28 February 2000
Responses as of 27 March 2000
Updated 17 April, 2000
Swinburne University of Technology sent out the survey because a committee has recently (late 1999) been established to look at how to relate support from information resources to its developing research interests.

A total of 18 university libraries responded to the survey, including one New Zealand library. Responses in the attached table have been abbreviated or paraphrased in some cases.

The survey should be seen in connection with the recent CAUL Materials Vote Allocation Survey (VU 7/12/99) results, sent out by Tony Arthur (University of Melbourne) and providing related information on how materials votes are divided up.


Summary of Responses

    1. Has anyone surveyed the research community at their university regarding their expectations of the library/information resources, their level of satisfaction, and their needs?
    2. Two universities had done so – Deakin, QUT Others had had more general user surveys which included research users – Melbourne, Queensland, VUT.

    3. Do you have a survey instrument which can be used for this purpose?
Some universities used focus groups or external consultants. The Universities of Melbourne and Queensland have systematic survey instruments for their general surveys.
  1. Do you have a formula which allocates funds to the library on a per capita (per EFTSU) basis? Please provide information about the formula. Note: This question is quite distinct from that asked in the recently issued Materials Vote Allocation Survey (7/12/99 University of Melbourne).
Other than Swinburne, whose formula led to this survey, only Sunshine Coast uses a formula to allocate funds. (The Materials Vote Allocation Survey has many examples of internal formulas for allocation of materials budgets, however).

3 Where research is conducted under grant funding, or through a contract with an external body, or in some other externally-funded way

    1. Does the university claim a proportion of the funds to pay for its overheads;
    2. Yes, in virtually all cases.

    3. What is the proportion?
    4. The proportion varies from 10% to 39%, and in many cases is variable within a university.




    5. Is part of this provided to the library (please explain how)?
In most cases the library does not receive a share of the funds allocated to overheads. At the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, and University of WA the library does receive a clear allocation, while in other cases the library receives funding only if the grant application specifically listed library costs.


  1. Other comments?
Universities have a variety of ways in which additional funds are received by the library to support research, or from research funding of the university, and some of these are mentioned.
 Many thanks to the CAUL members who responded.

Derek Whitehead


Surveys of the research community
Do you have a survey instrument?
Per capita formula for funds allocation? 
Proportion of grant funds for overheads?
What proportion?
Is part given to the library?
Other comments
ADFA Not as such No No. Library receives no funding for fee paying students Yes Perhaps 7% No Best of luck
Deakin University* Survey of academic staff and research students* No. Facilitated workshops were used. Library receives 7% of University operating grant and 7% (sometimes 15%) of additional income. Yes Variable No Funds traditionally received via the Research Office have eroded from ca$200,000 to nothing over the last two years. This has led to a decision to allocate resources budget by WEFTSU.
James Cook University Not recently No Library receives 2.5% of the University’s income. Yes Variable No 50% of the library resources budget is distributed to faculties and schools on the same basis as the internal research quantum distribution.
Macquarie University No. There is an annual customer survey No No Yes 10% Not directly; taken into account in allocating Library and other budgets. NA
Northern Territory University No No No Yes Don’t know No  
Queensland University of Technology Survey of PG students and staff in 1995 No. QUT used a consultant and focus groups. No. Funding is allocated on a historical basis and several formulas/ Yes 8% for university overheads and 8% to the faculty. No  
Swinburne University of Technology Yes: 1994 No Yes Yes 10% No NA
University of Canterbury No No No Yes 10% No  
University of New England No No No transparent formula exists Yes 39% Not in an identifiable way  
University of Melbourne The Library surveys its customers annually. In 1997 and 1999 a survey asked customers to rank services; this will be run again in 2000. Yes. No. Yes 30% Yes. 24% of the 30%  
University of Queensland Yes. Biennial customer perception survey, focus groups, and informal liaison. Yes. Customer perception survey deals with all customers including the research community. No Sometimes Varies For non-ARC grants UQ Library receives 17.5% of the 50% of research funds put aside for researchers overheads. Library receives a grant from internal Research Infra-structure Funds – this is $200,000 in 2000.
University of South Australia No No No. Additional funds are provided for the 19 research institutes ($300,000) Yes 10% No NA
University of Southern Queensland No No No Yes By negotiation Any library allocation is mainly for extra document delivery  
University of the Sunshine Coast No No Yes-Formula used for the acquisitions budget. No No Only if the library costs were listed in the submission. NA
University of Western


No No No Yes, usually 35% Yes  
University of Western Sydney: Macarthur No No Formulas change often. Library receives funds from earned income and from international student fees. Not known Not known No Office of Research funds unmediated document delivery; Some Research Centres provide funds to the Library.
University of Wollongong Will do so this year. Survey in 1998/99 of serials for research. No No Yes: contracts and consultancy 10%, perhaps up to 15% No  
Victoria University of Technology* Yes Focus groups were held with research users as part of the quality program. No Treated apart from the Library budget. Research support comes from University operating funds allocation to the Library and from an allocation from research infra- structure block grant. NA NA

*VUT notes that for the past three years the CAUL User Satisfaction Survey has been used to research all users including researchers.

*Deakin notes:

From the report of the Customer value workshop - Researchers, 4 September 1997, the hierarchy of value this group put onto library services and collections can be summarised in this order of priority:

These were the top 5 of 12 identified values, but were by far the most valued of the group and accounted for 75% of the responses. Each heading was developed from many comments and long discussion during the workshop.

Responses: 18 to date.

Complete to 27.3.00

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