Developing a Model for Faculty Scholarly Metrics Services Across Diverse Health Sciences Audiences: From Dreaming to Doing
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Objective University administrations are increasingly requesting evidence of impact from their faculty in annual evaluations and for promotion and tenure. Librarians are well-poised to assist faculty, scholars, and researchers with gathering and reporting scholarly metrics. This paper describes the activities that an academic medical library has undertaken to establish a scholarly communications service with its diverse clientele and shares lessons learned. Methods The task force met to brainstorm a plan to develop a new service model aimed at establishing an overall scholarly metric and impact support service for the library’s various client groups. First steps focused on sharing existing individual work and collaborating with the University Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications (ScholComm), whose director shared expertise and provided training and resources. Librarians next initiated communications with their liaison groups, “shadowed” ScholComm’s presentations to these audiences, and developed resources and services that could be shared and adapted. Librarians met with faculty and administrators to demonstrate how to develop faculties’ scholarly profiles with citation metrics resources, and created a sequence of activities and tools to build the service and engage target clientele, including the director’s charge, needs assessments, basic and advanced training modules, webinars, and templates for initiating conversations and sustaining contact with clientele. Results Formal and informal needs assessments were conducted with various colleges and schools. Survey results for the pharmacy school indicated that 50% of the faculty had limited knowledge about scholarly metrics and research impact; 73% have claimed their scholarly profiles. Nursing tenure-track faculty incorporated citation metrics into their dossiers. Presentations at medical, veterinary, and public health colleges resulted in requests for individual consultations, focused assistance with metrics and scholarly identities (ORCIDs), and accelerated development of a researcher discovery tool deployed for faculty across campus. A tool for automatic calculation of citation metrics was created, and was adapted for other schools’ needs. Conclusions The library’s partnership with ScholComm has helped establish a new service model for the research and scholarly needs of its client groups in the first of three ScholComm areas: scholarly reputation and impact, open access, and digital scholarship and publishing; the library is now augmenting the model to include the remaining two areas. The service has enhanced the library’s value to faculty constituencies into areas most had not previously associated with library activities. Along with practical and adaptable powerpoints, instruments, templates, and tools, we provide an overarching “blueprint” for partnerships among librarians, scholarly communications specialists, and health sciences academic units.
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