Metalib, one of the core components of Primo, isn’t working for NTNU Library; here’s the statistics:
NTNU-Metalib total sources searched: 1440
Consider that this is not 1440 “federated-search instances”, but 1440 individual sources searched using the federated-search interface. Metalib allows up to ten sources to be searched simultaneously; therefore, the worst scenario is that Metalib’s federated-search interface has been used 144 times in the last year.
And what were people searching?
20.6% Google Scholar
20.4% BIBSYS library catalogue
5.2% ISI web of science
4.1% SpringerLink (MetaPress)
4.1% Wiley Interscience Journals
3.9% JSTOR Complete
3.5% Oxford Journals
3% ingentaconnect.com (Ingenta)
2.6% ECO – Electronic Collections Online
OK, so Metalib isn’t just about federated search, it’s also a link server (or a collection of links to databases if you will). The statistics here are more encouraging, gathering around 20–25,000 clickthroughs to native interfaces per month.
A cost-effectiveness study would show that a simple link server isn’t worth paying so much money for — there are better ways of doing this kind of work.