March Madness affects library use

I simply can’t resist blogging about research that combines two of my all-time favorite topics: March Madness and research libraries.
Charles Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy Studies at Duke University (naturally) examined how March Madness affects the rate of usage of JSTOR articles. Rate of JSTOR usage fell the week after Selection Sunday, providing “quantitative evidence of the NCAA tournament’s power to influence patterns of work.” As someone who uses vacation days every year so I can stay home and watch hoops all day on the first two days of the tournament, I am not personally surprised by these findings. But, as Clotfelter notes “Examining the amount of work done in research libraries before, during, and after the tournament can provide a window for assessing whether such a media event effect is real or imagined.”
I love the fact that Clotfelter used viewing of journal articles via a Library database as the measure of productivity on college campuses.

And for the record, I’m picking Stanford to win the women’s tournament, and Duke to win the men’s.

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