The University Libraries’ research impact team is conducting two pilot projects to assist the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) in analyzing the productivity and impact of their faculty’s research.

The goal of the projects is to obtain a holistic view of research in the college by collecting information about faculty research and scholarship, and uploading it to the Elements activities database to make the system’s information more complete and gain a more comprehensive view of faculty output and impact.

College administration will then be able to extract research output data through Elements’ analytics. In addition, data users and librarians will be able to export the data and analyze it in specialized research analytic tools, such as VOSviewer. 

For faculty, having this comprehensive record of their research and scholarship in Elements, will mean that their Elements list of scholarly and creative works is more up to date if they choose to opt in to displaying a Virginia Tech Experts public profile sourced from their Elements pages. It will also mean that they can use a quick deposit method via Elements to more easily deposit works to the university repository, VTechWorks, providing global open access to their work. 

Finally, college and university reporting will better represent the scope of faculty work. Alternatively, when university or colleges rely on commercially available databases, there will always be some amount of research and scholarship that is not included. With a combination of automatic importing from multiple databases and manual entry in Elements, the team is building college-specific databases that attempt to cover all faculty research outputs. 

Librarian Rachel Miles is manually entering and automatically importing research output data from 86 CNRE faculty members to ensure it is documented in Elements. She has been collecting curriculum vitaes, researcher profiles, and researcher IDs, and then cross-referencing them with research databases and profiles such as Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, Crossref, ORCID profiles, and Google Scholar Profiles. 

“CNRE and the College of Veterinary Medicine are ideal for these pilot projects because they have the ideal faculty size. We are doing this for the first time and working through challenges as we go. Both of these colleges see the value in this work and will benefit from the holistic view of their research impact,” said Miles.

CNRE Associate Dean Keith Goyne said capturing this information is vital to communicating his college’s impact. 

“Faculty within the College of Natural Resources and Environment are studying and developing solutions to 21st century challenges - sustainability, climate change, changes in biodiversity, disease transmission, products made from renewable resources, natural resources-human interactions, and water quality and quantity,” said Goyne. “Fully capturing scholarly activity in the college is critical for accurately communicating the breadth, depth, and importance of faculty activities to stakeholders, the public, funding agencies, and campus leadership.”

By using a web form, Veterinary Medicine Librarian Kiri DeBose is working with faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine to ensure that their information is up to date and complete in Elements. 

“The first page gives an overview of the project and the second includes information that can be added to their profile. The third page is where they can include links to their curriculum vitaes or other lists of scholarship, as well as any research profiles or IDs that we can connect to their Elements profile to auto-claim publications in the future,” said DeBose. 

Once the form is submitted, DeBose’s team creates citation lists to be checked and then see what citations have been claimed or what citations need to be claimed. The team also checks citations for descrepencies between the faculty's curriculum vitae listing and the final published citation. DeBose’s team verifies if the item is the same or if it needs to be added to Elements or the faculty's curriculum vitae. Debose is also working with others in the college to include professional contributions, university service, and grants, to name a few other areas where Elements can demonstrate the work faculty do.  

According to College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dan Givens, this project is key to communicating the reach and impact of the college’s work.

“Faculty of the college create a broad and significant impact through their scholarship in applied veterinary medicine, biomedical science, and public health,” said Givens. “To rapidly and effectively summarize the cumulative scope and impact of this work at the level of the college, the appropriate collation of scholarly output is necessary in a single summarizable format. Once effectively summarized, we can better communicate the exciting narrative of how our college is improving the lives of animals, people, and communities.”

These library services  are available to all College of Veterinary Medicine faculty. Some may choose to enter and manage their information themselves; others may ask for assistance while they enter their information or have DeBose work on certain aspects of data.

“Because of Kiri’s work, faculty are able to focus primarily on their area of scholarship while investing limited quantities of their time to ensure that the summary of their scholastic efforts in the Elements system is accurate and comprehensive,” said Givens. “Thus, more scholarship is completed and the narrative of our success is communicated most appropriately and effectively.”

By Ann Brown