Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Research evaluation event brief survey results

A survey was sent out to attendees prior to the JIBS research evaluation event to find out about how institutions are supporting research evaluation and the tools they are using.

  • Most respondents to the survey are librarians indicating that the role of supporting the institutional repository (IR) or working with the Research Office on current research information system (CRIS) developments is just another responsibility to fit in with their main duties.
  • About half of respondents (25) have some kind of system for managing research most using a commercial system (16) or using in-house solutions (9). The other half does not have a CRIS.
  • Only 34 people responded to question 6 (If you do not currently have a commercial CRIS, are you investigating the possibility of buying one?), with 10 aware of plans to purchase a commercial system in their institution. The majority did not know (15) or didn’t answer (19), illustrating that the library is not always included in these decisions and much depends on the working relationship between the Research Office and the Library and whether there is already an institutional repository in place.
  • Just over half of people did not answer question 7 (If you are a librarian/repository manager were you involved in the choice of the CRIS?), because it was not applicable to their role, grade or area of responsibility.
  • A quarter of institutions have a CRIS (25) that integrates primarily with the institutional repository (20) and the web pages – staff profile pages (16) and departmental web pages (8).
  • Of the 24 people who support bibliometrics, 19 have sole responsibility for it within the library service. Only 2 people provided comments in response to the question about other departments providing support with 1 referring to a bibliometrician who carried out this function.
  • Overwhelming interest in joining an InCites mailing list (91%) indicates recognition of the importance of bibliometric tools. However take-up is likely to be hindered by budget constraints and less involvement with bibliometrics. A mailing list provides opportunities for InCites users to share information about its use with each other and the wider sector. The library can play a role in advising the Research Office to purchase InCites, rather than purchasing it as part of a library budget.

In summary, no clear picture has emerged but more discussion and sharing of experiences / good practice may see more uptake / understanding of bibliometrics and the need for repositories and CRIS to work together. But this depends on the institutional structure and level at which decisions about these services are taken and implemented.

The findings of the JIBS survey will be disseminated and available on the JIBS website after the results have been fully analysed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update on JIBS student Prize and LIRG prize winner announced

JIBS offers an annual prize for a student dissertation focusing on the area of library information systems, bibliographic databases or other resource discovery technologies and how such resources or technologies are being developed or exploited. The deadline for submissions has now past and judging will take place over the next couple of months with a winner announced in late September.

The JIBS prize is partnered with the annual LIRG Student Award. LIRG announced their prize winner earlier this month. Their prize went to Thomas Muggleton, a student at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Strathclyde University, for his study entitled "The effect of homelessness on information access, identity formation and social interaction". More information on their pages:

Friday, July 08, 2011

Research evaluation – is it our business? The role of librarians in the brave new world of research evaluation

JIBS User Group - Workshop 29 June 2010 – University of Birmingham

As the tweets (#JIBSre) appear to indicate, this JIBS workshop apparently hit just the right topic at just the right time. People came with all different levels of experience, and being so well-attended the workshop opened up many opportunities for sharing that experience. Whether embedded in your work already or not no-one could have left the day without gaining a wide array of ideas for practical action to take back to institutions. And the venue was the stunning campus of Birmingham University – on a stunning June day.

The workshop’s remit was inspired by institutions’ interest in procuring a CRIS (Current Research Information System) and the perceived and growing requirement from multiple points of view – both internal and external – for analysis of bibliometric information. Procurement of a CRIS is one solution among many (and there are as many hybrid as PURE solutions) that comprises re-tooling of current internal systems, and alternative uses to those originally intended for institutional repositories. At the centre is the librarian – or is s/he? “Is it our business?” It was one of the day’s main aims to contribute ideas to feed into librarians’ individual and collective strategies for getting involved in this new area of work; an area that is of crucial significance for institutions as they face the REF in 2014 . Equally librarians find they must step up to calls to assist in and facilitate the supply of information to researchers for enhancing the visibility of their research output and their personal and research teams’ profiles as institutions manage their internal promotions and their outward-facing impact globally.

Read a report of the workshop here.