February 26, 2021

New Research Article: “Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States”

The following article was published on July 17, 2018 by the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.

Title

Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States

Authors

Rachel Ann Miles
Kansas State University

Stacy Konkiel
Altmetric

Sarah Sutton
Emporia State University 

Source

Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication
6(1), p.eP212
doi: 10.7710/2162-3309.2212

Abstract

Introduction

Academic librarians, especially in the field of scholarly communication, are often expected to understand and engage with research impact indicators. However, much of the current literature speculates about how academic librarians are using and implementing research impact indicators in their practice.

Methods

This study analyzed the results from a 2015 survey administered to over 13,000 academic librarians at Carnegie-classified R1 institutions in the United States. The survey concentrated on academic librarians’ familiarity with and usage of research impact indicators. Results: This study uncovered findings related to academic librarians’ various levels of familiarity with research impact indicators and how they implement and use research impact indicators in their professional development and in their library job duties.

Discussion

In general, academic librarians with regular scholarly communication support duties tend to have higher levels of familiarity of research impact indicators. In general, academic librarians are most familiar with the citation counts and usage statistics and least familiar with altmetrics. During consultations with faculty, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and citation counts are more likely to be addressed than the author h-index, altmetrics, qualitative measures, and expert peer reviews. The survey results also hint towards a growing interest in altmetrics among academic librarians for their professional advancement.

Conclusion

Academic librarians are continually challenged to keep pace with the changing landscape of research impact metrics and research assessment models. By keeping pace and implementing research impact indicators in their own practices, academic librarians can provide a crucial service to the wider academic community.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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