Tuesday, September 11, 2012


When I start a new project, the first step is usually a literature review.  I want to find out what others have learned about the problem or issue I am hoping to resolve with my project.  Given that I am starting three new projects, I have been doing a lot of reading lately, and this, of course, leads me on other tangents of ideas.  To provide some context, the three projects are:

  • Evaluating the impact of the libraries' resources on the success of grant applications.
  • Developing and implementing a Collection Assessment Plan.
  • Investigate the feasibility of essentially "classifying" the courses offered in order to more effectively assess the coverage of our collections.
So my literature reviews have covered citation analysis & bibliometrics, assessment of research and grants, collection development and assessment, and classification.  The tangents that I have wandered down include:
  • Development of a Research Impact Measurement Service (RIMS), as provided by the University of New South Wales, Australia.
    • Provide citation analysis and bibliometric analysis of publications for individual faculty, as well as departments and administrative units.  
    • See this presentation and this article for details.
  • Assessing the impact of the library on the local community by measuring links to the university on the Web sites of local organizations and public services.
    • My MLS professional paper (well, really, it was a thesis) was analyzing the distribution of links on academic medical library Web sites.  This paper from JASIST evaluates the use of different methods to count links, which is what sparked this idea.
  • Assessing the impact of the libraries' digital collections on the research and education community by citation analysis and Web link analysis.  
    • This paper, also from JASIST, lit that spark in me.  It is too easy to stay focused on books, journals and databases when assessing the collections.  While our team regularly evaluates the usability and the content of our digital collections, there hasn't been as much research into their true impact in the communities they serve.
Of course, the common theme is assessment of our collections, but the directions are from there are different, from extending into the local community to developing a new service for our faculty and administration.  This can be a very interesting job.

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