Research impact is at the heart of institutional performance and reputation and is increasingly gaining prominence in academic library services. The University of Wollongong (UOW) Library implemented a Research Impact Analysis Service (RIAS) in 2011 to help researchers, research centres and the University strengthen their impact by providing detailed, strategic reports based on citations analysis drawn from numerous datasets. As demand intensified, consideration needed to be given to issues of scalability and capacity to sustain and grow the service. An opportunity for collaboration arose, connecting the Library’s business need with the software development skills of JoindUp, a local start-up company under the umbrella of UOW’s iAccelerate business incubator program. The vision: to introduce efficiencies and innovation in the production of our Journal Impact Reports. The project brief: develop an application that draws journal metrics together to empower academics in their strategic publishing decisions. The Library’s foray into innovative product development had begun.
A project team was established to drive this opportunity forward. Key requirements were outlined in terms of data elements, data sources and functionality. These criteria were based on data points from our existing Journal Impact Reports in response to researchers’ articulated needs. The product development process also offered the opportunity to introduce new service elements to provide synergy with UOW’s Research Active and Open Access policies. A prototype of the app was developed and extensive User Acceptance Testing took place to address data integrity and functionality issues.
The Publish for Impact app has been released and allows researchers to access a range of journal indicators in a user-friendly interface, providing simple, yet efficient comparison of relevant titles.
A year on, we will evaluate the success of the project and explore the tangible outcomes the release of Publish For Impact has delivered to the Library business need and the strategic benefits it has brought to the academic community.
The Publish for Impact app has demonstrated the capability of academic libraries to embrace the development of new technologies to bring strategic benefits and add value to Library services. The result is a product that introduces workload efficiencies and flexibility and provides a leading edge resource enabling academics to make informed decisions when choosing where to publish.
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