There’s never been a more critical need to better understand the impact of research efforts. The challenging state of funding models (1) and an enhanced pressure on young investigators to stand out from the crowd magnify this need as well as the perceived value of locally based impact services. These services are leveraged by a diverse range of stakeholders, from individuals to university-level decision makers and strategists. Individuals often wish to better demonstrate impact of published works to promotion committees or describe the impact of research studies to funding agencies when applying for funding or complying with institution-level or federal reporting exercises. Research groups, departments, and institutions often wish to discover how research findings are being used to promote science and gain a better overall view of research publications and outputs.
Libraries are particularly well poised to meet the need to understand a more nuanced view of impact. Libraries are trusted, neutral parties with a tradition of service and support and often act as technology hubs on campus with IT and data expertise. Librarians are trained information professionals with information and searching skills and a keen understanding of the research, education, clinical landscape of their institution. This presentation will discuss general trends in the field, including an overview of resources, assessment frameworks and tools; strategies for partnering with stakeholders; and examples of library based service models, from basic services to highly integrated library-based core research units.