In an effort to expand the NOAA Central Library’s exposure and to promote a growing bibliometrics program, LAC Group employees Sarah Davis and Jennifer Fagan-Fry submitted a poster to the Maryland and Delaware Library Associations Joint Conference held in Ocean City, Maryland, May 4-6, 2016. NOAA Central Library is an LAC Group client.
Despite being a multi-state association event, the conference is small. Most MLA/DLA members are public and academic librarians, making up a majority of the conference’s attendees. The focus of this year’s conference was unlocking libraries’ potential and offered a number of panels and discussions about expanding library services and staffing issues. Most sessions were geared towards public libraries, exploring ways to improve their services and expanding the resources they offer patrons.
Spotlight on NOAA Central Library bibliometrics program
Our poster, From General to Granular: Adding Value and Meaning to a Large-Scale Bibliometrics Program, outlines plans for increasing the granularity of the NOAA Central Library’s (NCL) current bibliometrics program. At this time the NCL tracks all peer-reviewed publications authored by NOAA researchers, providing a high-level analysis of approximately 2,000 publications annually. Data for the bibliometrics program is gathered weekly through Web of Science (WoS) using a customized search of the author address field. Results from this search are exported to EndNote and the citations are reviewed for quality assurance and metadata is added including fiscal year and quarter, line office and lab affiliations, and any available NOAA-related funding information. Once collected and edited, data can be parsed using any number of factors, exported to MS Excel or the Science of Science Tool (Sci2) for analyses, and then visualized using tools such as Gephi.
This citation analysis, while providing a snapshot of NOAA’s research output as a whole, offers only a cursory understanding of the work done by NOAA’s numerous line offices, labs and programs. Through minor changes and minimal effort, the NCL hopes to give more meaningful analyses by providing smaller, more detailed sets based on programs, office or laboratory. In addition to creating more detailed and useful information for offices and programs, the new analyses will also help illustrate to funders the value of the program and increasing their return on investment. Furthermore, expanding the program in this manner increases the value of the library within the organization as a whole and added guidance enhances the library’s long-term sustainability plan.
Bibliometric analyses for increased awareness and collection development
At this time, sample bibliometric analyses have been submitted to several offices for review. We plan to use feedback received from those offices to formalize a workflow and template that can be incorporated into our reporting process. This will allow us to quickly produce reports for select offices and programs and keeping all other programs and offices on an as-requested basis. We hope that this work will increase awareness and understanding of the library’s bibliometrics program and prove to be a useful tool for NOAA’s researchers and administrators. Once enough feedback has been gathered, we hope to create a more detailed presentation or poster, complete with results and measures, to submit to a national level conference.
In designing this project, we also discovered the possibility of utilizing our bibliometric analyses as a tool for collection development, a little studied area of bibliometrics. We hope to take our current journal selection criteria and expand it based on the results of our citation analysis to include factors such as: journal impact, where NOAA authors/researchers are publishing, what journals are frequently cited, and 1-gen factor. Currently this project is in the development stage and we are working on acquiring unique software to help us manage our data sets. We hope to roll out sample criteria by the end of the year.