The library as an intelligence organisation: The shifting role of academic libraries and their organisational and professional expertise in the field of research metrics and intelligence

18 Mar 2020
13:15 - 13:45
Henry Wellcome Auditorium

The library as an intelligence organisation: The shifting role of academic libraries and their organisational and professional expertise in the field of research metrics and intelligence

Recent years have seen an increasing number of so-called ‘intelligence databases’ on the market, in which the publishers use sophisticated interfaces to make available analytics and visualisation based on their own publication information and bibliometric data (e.g. SciVal, InCite, Dimensions, Cortellis, Altmetric). Despite some scepticism, regulators, funding bodies and universities themselves embrace these products for many purposes, from measuring research performance to identifying research opportunities, consequently changing broader research cultures and practices. With such a shift, the organisational role of many academic libraries have developed and transformed from being curators and providers of information and access, to that of analysts of intelligence and the producers of narratives to suit the specific purposes and interest of their institutions.

Based on the experience of the author at the Hargrave-Andrew Library, the STEMM library at the research intensive Monash University in Australia, this paper will discuss the transformative effects of the emergence and prevalence of research intelligence, as well as how such broader changes in the cultures and practices of research communities permeate into the day-to-day practices of librarians both professionally and organisationally.