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The GAELS Information Audit

Barton, J. and Ashworth, S. and Joint, N. (1999) The GAELS Information Audit. In: 3rd Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, 1999-08-27 - 1999-08-31.

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The GAELS Project (Glasgow Allied Electronically to Strathclyde) investigated the feasibility of a joint electronic library service in support of engineering research at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, and to develop joint WWW-based information skills training for postgraduates at the two institutions. The project funding derived from the SHEFC Strategic Change Initiative and was seen as a first step towards wider electronic library collaboration. The investigative phase of GAELS took the form of an information audit. Buchanan defines the role of the audit as providing a means of identifying, evaluating and managing an organisation's information resources in order to fully exploit the strategic potential of information, and has developed a five stage audit methodology (1). This is primarily aimed at the business sector, but its emphasis on strategic issues was felt to be particularly appropriate for GAELS. Although the GAELS audit covers the full range of information services provided for and used by research engineers at Glasgow and Strathclyde, this paper focuses on one type of information, namely journal articles, to illustrate the five stages of the audit process and to evaluate Buchanan's methodology in the context of the academic library sector.