Recent literature on researcher profiles often focuses on describing the merits of various tools or overviewing library research support services in general. Rarely do these discussions feature researchers’ voices nor do they include an evaluation of the effectiveness - for a researcher - of creating and maintaining a multi-channel social media researcher profile. This paper aims to do both these things, through a discussion of two highly customised, and individualised, research support initiatives:
The Pimp my Profile initiative was developed by the Creative Industries (CI) Faculty Liaison Team (QUT Library) in tight collaboration with the Research Leaders in the Creative Industries Faculty (CIF). The initiative was seen as relevant by CIF researchers and gained momentum precisely because it was commissioned and moulded by these key Faculty stakeholders. It represented one of the Library’s contributions to the Faculty’s strategic and ongoing realignment of its research dissemination culture. In this way, the CI Library Team customised and aligned Library research support activities closely to the CIF’s strategic vision for developing the visibility of its researchers.
The Pimp my Profile initiative led to the Researcher Profile Health Check Service. Both initiatives are very practical; Pimp my Profile takes researchers through a three step guide to creating a researcher profile (based on achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold levels); the Researcher Profile Health Check provides individualised feedback and practical suggestions on how researchers can maximise their online identity and visibility. In both cases researchers do something, and get something at the end. Both are also mechanisms through which emerging researchers were prioritised by the Faculty for targeted support by the CI Library Team. The CIF Research Leaders are further operationalising the Researcher Profile through the university’s mandatory Performance Planning and Review (PPr) process.
Both initiatives were developed and implemented in October 2015. Evidence of impact will be gathered via a focus group and a survey in the third quarter of 2016. This evaluation will focus on gathering researchers’ perceptions of the initiatives, as well as attempting to identify positive change over the course of the year, in the visibility of and activity around those researchers who developed their online researcher identity according to the Create Your Researcher Profile guide.
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