This toolkit helps libraries, data archives, and other cultural heritage organizations better understand the ways users engage with digital library materials.

Assessment methods

Alert services

Alert services notify you (by email or app notifications) when they detect your keywords and links shared on websites and social media.


These tools measure the amount of attention scholarly items are getting in social media, blog posts, social bookmarking services, and more.

Citation analysis

This method measures the impact of an item (typically a journal article or a book) by counting how frequently the item is cited.

Focus groups

Small, guided group discussions with users in order to elicit in-depth information.


A qualitative research method involving one-on-one conversations with users.

Link analysis

The process of identifying and counting specific URLs appearing in external websites.

Point-of-use surveys

A survey that appears at the point of use, such as a pop-up survey.

Reverse image search

A way to search for an image based on what the image looks like.


Structured questionnaires that can be completed on paper or online.

Web analytics

The collection and analysis of website usage data.

Additional topics

Ethical guidelines

Guidelines informed by the following core values: privacy, transparency, impartiality, traditional knowledge, cultural heritage, and intellectual property.

Writing a takedown policy

What to consider in your policy: audience, purpose, parameters, process, revision, and how to prevent requests for takedown.

Use and reuse

What is meant by the use and reuse of digital content? Learn more about the importance of this difference.

Telling stories of impact

Ideas for key pieces of information you can use that will build your story’s composition.

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