SPEC Kit 346: Scholarly Output Assessment Activities  · 11
Traditional measures to quantify scholarly outputs
and impact based on “counts” (number of publica-
tions, number of citations, journal impact factor scores,
etc.) are not sufficiently robust for new forms of digital
scholarship processes, nor are they meaningful for
specific audiences such as the general public. Those
measures are now being supplemented with other
metrics, for example usage or downloads on publisher,
repository, or other journal platforms; the h-index; or
non-citation metrics that represent social or academic
engagement of scholarly processes by scholarly and
non-scholarly audiences. The proliferation of these
new metrics is mirrored by the emergence of new re-
sources that provide tools for tracking and reporting
scholarly outputs and impact. Understanding the full
array of newer metrics and tools and how they play a
role in assessment of scholarly output and impact will
become increasingly important for research librar-
ies as the metrics become more widely available and
employed by funding agencies, publishers, academic
departments, and institutions.
In light of the movement towards reporting schol-
arly outputs and impact to demonstrate tangible and
meaningful outcomes, the purpose of this survey was
to obtain a snapshot of current activities undertaken
by ARL member libraries in the assessment of schol-
arly output and impact, provide examples for other
research libraries to emulate, and identify trends that
may represent promising indicators for transforma-
tive service models for ARL libraries. The survey was
distributed to the 125 ARL member libraries in early
January 2015. Seventy-nine libraries (63%) responded
by the February 17, 2015 deadline.
Seventy-six of the respondents (96%) reported that
their library provides services that relate to scholarly
output assessment, such as reports, resource guides,
consultation, and education. Two respondents report-
ed that they are considering developing services, and
one responded that another unit in the institution
provides these services.
Consultation or guidance on bibliometrics is the
most common library service (70 respondents, or 92%),
followed closely by consultation on article-level met-
rics, database usage for tracking of scholarly outputs
(79% each), and author disambiguation (75%). The
majority of respondents also provide or plan to pro-
vide publication/citation reports (54 respondents) and
institutional repository reports for authors (61 respon-
dents). Some libraries are offering graphs or charts for
illustrative purposes (20 respondents).
Other examples of services were impressive. One
library reported that, “Liaison librarians do occasion-
al large-scale bibliometrics projects, tracking faculty
publications for a center or department.” Another
reported offering bibliometrics and best practices
“based upon specific disciplines and fields.” Other
services include consultation on faculty credentialing,
assistance with scholarly network profiles and identi-
ties, tips to enhance collaboration among scholars, text
analysis, and guidance on various products such as
ORCID, Mendeley, Altmetric.com, Scopus, and Web
of Science. Most of the libraries offer scholarly out-
put assessment services to all library users. Twenty-
two respondents (29%) limit services to specific user
groups, typically affiliated faculty, students, research-
ers, and staff.
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