By supporting university administration with reports and data needed to achieve institutional goals, the library can position itself with those key decision makers as a vital resource and engaged member of the team. These kinds of initiatives can ensure the library has a voice at the table, and a case for the budget to carry out its activities.
In 2006, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was awarded Research University status by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. Universities in Malaysia that achieve this status receive additional funding for research activities. For UKM to maintain its Research University status, our researchers need to publish more articles in top tier journals - this is one of the most important criteria assessed by the Research University audit team.
Researchers are not the only members of the university who need to respond to the Research University challenges. In aligning ourselves with the Research University needs, the library is introducing new services to researchers and university management in support of the publications' monitoring process.
UKM needs data to monitor the overall number of publications by university authors and at an individual faculty level. Who are the prolific authors? How many publications did they produce? Where did they publish and were they cited? These are questions librarians can answer using a citation analysis database such as SciVerse Scopus. Together with local databases, we can transform data into useful reports.
At UKM Library, we produce reports on publication performance, research group performance, and individual researcher performance for university management. These reports help university management in making decisions and creating new policies on research.
One crucial feature in Scopus that assists in producing such reports is the Affiliation Search. It helps to simplify searches and to avoid missing publications that are published under different affiliations. UKM affiliations are grouped into three main areas: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Faculty of Medicine Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; and Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which helps in reporting an accurate number of UKM publications. It also helps when producing reports that benchmark UKM publications with other universities within Malaysia, Asia or other parts of the world.
“The ability to provide comprehensive and information-rich reports helps to demonstrate the value of library services to the university's top management.”
Another important feature within Scopus is Author Search with Affiliation. One great challenge in producing individual researcher reports is ensuring they reflect only that researcher's publications. It is common for UKM authors to publish under more than one name; some even have name variations when publishing in foreign vs. local journals. Adding UKM affiliation reduces hits and increases accuracy when searching for individual researchers. In addition, Malaysian authors who have more than one name variation can group their names.
Advance Search is used to produce reports on the university's niche areas and research group performance. Searches based on a combination of related keywords, author ID numbers and UKM affiliation will generate reports on publication numbers, citations and h-index on various research groups' publications.
Although a citation analysis database such as Scopus makes it easier for librarians to produce publication reports, report generating is still tedious and time consuming. To produce reliable reports, verification and sorting are necessary. Librarians need to have sound knowledge of academic publication, a researcher's field of expertise and the database itself. But the effort is worthwhile. The ability to provide comprehensive and information-rich reports helps to demonstrate the value of library services to the university's top management.