Thomas Jefferson University’s Reader Survey Captures IR’s Value

Dan Kipnis, Education Services Librarian at Thomas Jefferson University, has come up with an ingenious way to capture hard-to-find reader feedback on publications in their IR, The Jefferson Digital Commons. Dan explains that the results “will be used in quarterly reports and for demonstrating value to administrators and the entire community at Thomas Jefferson University.”

Dan explains the process below, in his own words and images:
How does one measure value in an online environment? Do you count downloads, hits, or page views? Quantitative data is helpful, but words still matter. Anecdotes and stories can demonstrate value and reflect a humanity that data cannot always demonstrate. The Jefferson Digital Commons, in an effort to capture human feedback, has created a link that has generated numerous value-driven comments from around the world.

The feedback link appears on cover pages throughout the JDC, so that even readers who find the materials through search engines have access to the feedback form.


We also have created buttons that are included in capstone presentations, which link to the same feedback form.


The online form prompts researchers to check for permission to reuse their comments in promotional materials for the JDC. Using Google forms is an easy alternative to the form that we have developed.


All feedback is emailed to the two Editors of the JDC and the archivist at Thomas Jefferson University. The comments are then added to a web page that we have titled: What People are Saying about the Jefferson Digital Commons and this page is linked from the JDC homepage.


Feedback received and posted on our feedback page include:
1. Student gratitude for posting a post-print article on a hard-to-find topic
2. Family members who are researching alumni who attended Thomas Jefferson University
3. A researcher locating relevant scholarship for their topic
4. A historian preparing a presentation and locating historical assets from our archives and special collections

Check out the resulting page “What People are Saying about the Jefferson Digital Commons.” Dan welcomes questions at, and your bepress consultant can help you set up similar links in your repository.