Dangerous Liaisons - UW Libraries

June 30, 2017

Summer Projects: Analyzing “High Impact” Resources in Our Departments

Kian Flynn

Summer is here, and that means you’re probably embarking on projects that have been simmering on the back-burner over the course of the busy academic year. For one such project, I’m diving into the bibliographic weeds and doing a statistical analysis of resources that my liaison department (Geography) uses for their teaching and research needs. As the new fiscal biennium gets underway, I’m hopeful that this analysis can help shine a light on what library (or non-library) resources students and faculty in my department are using and help inform collection development decisions. Ultimately, I want to see if our collections are successfully (and efficiently) meeting the evolving teaching and research needs of the Geography department.

For this analysis I’m primarily focusing on:

  1. Citations in published journal articles from UW Geography faculty and graduate students for the past academic year; and
  2. Readings from undergraduate UW Geography course syllabi for the past academic year.

I’m focusing on course readings and citations from published journal articles because I see these as “high impact” resources that tell a deeper story about the utilization of our collections than simple usage statistics do.

I’m still in the process of collecting a representative sample of citations, but some early number-crunching of the citations that I’ve gathered reveals a few trends that I’ll be keeping my eye on to see if they hold up as the sample size increases:

citation statistics

As the Dangerous Liaisons blog heads into the month of July, it would be fun to hear about more summer projects that liaisons are undertaking. The blog moderator for July will be UW Bothell’s Laura Dimmit (lkd8@uw.edu). Send your ideas her way!