Our second round of competition is complete, and only eight conferences remain standing! And yes, our tournament Cinderella, Big South, is still with us! Details below, but here are the Round of 16 results:
Competition in this round was on book length – which conference has the thickest books?* Big South, continuing its magical tournament run, ended up with the thickest books of all the conferences, averaging about 292 pages and ousting the powerful Big Ten from the tournament! West Coast also continues on to the next round, with a convincing victory over the Ivy Leaguers! Summit League, Ohio Valley, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, and Big Sky will also move on to the Round of 8. Conference USA and American Athletic had the tightest battle, with Conference USA coming out on top by less than 10 pages!
While Big South had the thickest books of all the conferences competing in this round (averaging about 292 pages), the Ivy League had the thinnest books, averaging about 225 pages. Does this surprise you? It turns out that the larger the size of the collective collection, the thinner the books. Take a look at this:
Big South had the smallest collective collection among the conferences competing in this round; the Ivy League had the largest. As the chart shows, there is a pretty strong correlation between collection size, and the percentage of the collection accounted for by books with less than 100 pages. Got any ideas why? Put them in the comments!
By the way, in case you were wondering, the average length of a print book in WorldCat is about 255 pages.
Bracket competition participants: Remember, if the conference you chose has been ousted from the tournament, do not despair! If no one picked the tournament Champion, all entrants will be part of a random drawing for the big prize!
The Round of 8 is next, where the tournament field will be reduced to just four conferences! Results will be posted March 31.
*Average number of pages per print book in conference collective collection. Data is current as of January 2015.
Brian Lavoie is a Research Scientist in OCLC Research. He has worked on projects in many areas, such as digital preservation, cooperative print management, and data-mining of bibliographic resources. He was a co-founder of the working group that developed the PREMIS Data Dictionary for preservation metadata, and served as co-chair of a US National Science Foundation blue-ribbon task force on economically sustainable digital preservation. Brian’s academic background is in economics; he has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics. Brian’s current research interests include stewardship of the evolving scholarly record, analysis of collective collections, and the system-wide organization of library resources.