Reclaiming Resonance Through Research: Academic Libraries Create New Ways to Service their Growing Campus Community
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At the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, a new service has been created by the librarians in the Faculty Services and Online Engagement (FSOE) department. This new service is focused on tenured or tenure track faculty to assist them with developing their digital identity, broadening their research impact, and boosting their scholarly profile. The University of Texas at Arlington has recently gained R1 status among Texas universities for achieving significant growth in research activity. With the encouragement of library administration, librarians in FSOE saw a need and wanted to provide leadership in the development of new and relevant ways in which to support its faculty and students in their research, while at the same time, helping the library play a role and contributing to fulfilling the campus strategic plan. In turn, the library was searching for new innovative ideas and programs to reclaim its resonance and relevancy within the campus community. The team of liaison librarians developed a metrics consultation service that not only supports faculty with tenure and promotion by providing citation metrics and impact factors, it goes far beyond and also focuses on other factors and tools that can boost the scholarly profile of their faculty. By using new metrics software such as PlumX, Publish or Perish, ORCID scholarly identifiers, social media platforms, website development, and its own Research Commons institutional repository, the program is aimed at faculty of all ranks, and has branched out to Ph.D. students as well. The service has been a success that is still developing but has reached over 100 faculty members to date. The program is also aimed at educating researchers on lesser-known elements of scholarly communication such as open access, author rights, predatory publishers, and alternative metrics. This presentation will discuss the road to the development of this service, its implementation, its current successes, roadblocks along the way, and plans for the future. The presentation will highlight the outreach measures that have been employed to gain faculty buy-in and challenge the perceptions of many senior faculty members. Changing the perspective of researchers by testing out new techniques for outreach, as well as employing old fashioned relationship building through more personal interactions. These goals will also be analyzed on a larger scale that applies to advancing academic libraries into the future through new avenues of support and collaboration. The developing librarians aimed for a goal of supporting the university, but also have taken their library down a path of renewed value, relevance, and reverberation.