A post by Oliver Thompson, Library Assistant.
All kinds of statistical data is whizzing around the library and being recorded, with the ultimate purpose of improving the student experience through increased efficiency. This includes the number of books in stock, the number of students in the building at any time and the number of PC’s being used in any specified area. One of the most interesting uses of statistical data is to record how many times an item has been checked out. This measures the relative popularity of a title and can indicate whether the currently held quantities of a particular title are sufficient or should be adjusted.
During the 2015-2016 academic period the most popular title borrowed from the library was Business Research Methods by Alan Bryman and Emma Bell, which was checked out a total of 684 times. This particular title is currently available from the library in four different editions, having originally been published in 2003 (HD30.4.B78) and most recently in 2015 (HD30.4.B78 2015). Adapted from Bryman’s own ‘Social Research Methods’, according to the blurb this title provides students with ‘a comprehensive introduction to the area of business research methods. It gives students an assessment of the contexts within which different methods may be used and how they should be implemented.’
Alan Bryman is Professor of Organisational and Social research at the University of Leicester, which he joined in 2005 after working at the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University for 31 years. He has contributed to numerous research publications and is well-known for his 1988 book Quantity and Quality In Social Research. Emma Bell is Head of the Centre for Economics and Management at Keele University. She is also the current joint Editor-in-Chief for Management Learning, the ‘Journal for Critical, Reflexive Scholarship on Organisation and Learning’.
The rest of the ten most popularly checked out books of 2015-2016 are mainly business research focused, reflecting the strong popularity of this subject and its importance to many Brunel students.
The following table presents the entire top ten most checked out titles from the library during the 2015/2016 academic period:
|Author in catalogue
||Title in catalogue
||2015/16 circulation counts
||Business research methods
||Research methods for business students
||Social research methods
||Business ethics : managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization
||Introduction to human resource management
||Mathematics for economics and business
|Rollinson, Derek John.
||Organisational behaviour and analysis : an integrated approach
|Keegan, Warren J.
|Hall, Susan J. (Susan Jean),
||Business research : a practical guide for undergraduate & postgraduate students
Going as far back as records will allow to the mid 1990s, the most checked out individual book is a copy of K. A. Stroud’s Engineering Mathematics (item ID 6025957295, call number QA37.S87 2001), which had been checked out 1161 times as of the time of writing. It has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide in its various iterations and is hailed as a classic in its field. Author Kenneth Arthur Stroud was a mathematician and Principal Lecturer in Mathematics at Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, England. According to Wikipedia he was ‘an innovator in programmed learning and the identification of precise learning outcomes’. Stroud passed away in 2000 at the age of 91. Engineering Mathematics continues to be updated since his passing, with contributions from Dexter J. Booth, a holder of a PhD in Theoretical Physics and a former Principal Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield.