Analytics and measurement

  • Research information management systems - a new service category?October 26, 2014 – It has been interesting watching Research Information Management or RIM emerge as a new service category in the last couple of years. RIM is supported by a particular system category, the Research Information Management System (RIMs), sometimes referred to by an earlier name, the CRIS (Current Research Information System). For...read full entry...
  • The decentered library network presenceApril 20, 2014 – Think of two trends in the development of the library's network presence. These have emerged successively and continue to operate together. A centripetal trend producing a library network presence centered on the institutional website, as the library wants to offer an integrated service. A centrifugal trend, unbundling functionality and placing...read full entry...
  • Roses are red .... the top love stories?February 13, 2014 – One of the nice things about WorldCat is that is has sufficient scale to be a good proxy for a large part of the scholarly and cultural record. The aggregate holdings of thousands of libraries contain not just books, but movies, music, and so on. It is not complete but...read full entry...
  • Systemwide organization - sourcing and scaling reduxFebruary 01, 2013 – Libraries are increasingly taking a system-wide perspective of their roles and services. This can take different forms. Think of the close collaboration within the Orbis Cascade Alliance for example, where academic libraries in Washington and Oregon are moving to a shared systems infrastructure. Or think of the various initiatives looking...read full entry...
  • The President, the election and big dataNovember 11, 2012 – A little over four years ago I wrote a post about the presidential primary results, suggesting that an important political threshold had been crossed. The network - and notably the use of social and mobile - was centrally influential. Whatever your political orientation, it is clear that Obama has been...read full entry...
  • Big data .. big trendFebruary 04, 2012 – [I spoke at the Lita Top Technology Trends at Dallas. I had a trend in reserve - big data - but did not use it. Here is something along the lines of what I might have said ...] Big Data is a big trend, but as with expressions for other...read full entry...
  • Spotify and Klout: fungible influenceJuly 19, 2011 – Popular music streaming service Spotify has just launched in the US. For some background see the Ars Technica story. One of the interesting aspects of the launch was the tie-in with Klout. Klout is one of several services which provide analytics around social media activity. It aims to be the...read full entry...
  • Analysing influence .. the personal reputational hamsterwheelMay 28, 2011 – Analysing influence has been a central part of academic life. We are very familiar with citation analysis. This is possible because the system allows that metric to be measured and it is seen to be meaningful. As new measures have become possible in a web environment they too have been...read full entry...
  • Academic reputation enhancement ... reduxMay 12, 2011 – Two things prompted this note .... First, there is an interesting report in the current issue of Nature on the 'online image' [editorial] or 'online reputation' [article] of researchers and what their attitude is to it and to managing it. More of this later. Second, I have recently returned from...read full entry...
  • Managing down collections ...January 21, 2011 – I was interested to read this from Karen Schneider a while ago: "Centralized mass storage for legacy print materials (paper-based books and journals) is by far the most under-observed trend in libraries today". I agree, with the friendly qualification that the trend is about managing the relationship between local, mass...read full entry...
  • Emerging network level management of the collective print collectionSeptember 12, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes in these pages is that systemwide coordination of print materials is necessary as libraries begin to retire collections - to offsite storage or removing them altogether. There are various drivers here: the demands on space, the emergence of a digital corpus, the cost of managing...read full entry...
  • Information management on campus: CRIS, IR, CERIF, CRM, PIPALSeptember 05, 2010 – One of the consequences of our network world is that more and more activities are 'informationalized': they generate data and the management of data is an important part of their operation. We will increasingly see applications which want to mix information about researchers and publications with information about projects, organizations,...read full entry...
  • Sorting out demand ... Top tech trend 3August 08, 2010 – [This is 3. Here is 1 and 2.] I was pleased to participate in LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In...read full entry...
  • Navigation structure: web sitings ...August 03, 2010 – The following graphic was noted in a variety of places recently. It clearly struck a chord! My own bugbear on library websites is physical address (I sometimes want to know where the library is) and director or staff contacts (which are sometimes really quite hard to find!). This reminded me...read full entry...
  • Research analyticsMay 15, 2010 – Analytics is big business. Organizations are increasingly turning to the analysis of transactional and other data to inform decision-making. Websites are refined based on analysis of traffic. Companies may use analytics to optimize inventory. And so on. I was struck by the parallel with business analytics when reading some brochures...read full entry...
  • Patterns of publication and library collections as measure of technology shifts?February 06, 2010 – We were pleased to welcome Dr Michelle Alexopoulos from the University of Toronto to OCLC last week. Michelle is an economist whose recent research has focused on creating and analyzing new measures of technical change for developed economies. The abstract of her talk gives a flavor of some of this...read full entry...
  • ReconfigurationsJanuary 16, 2010 – Readers will have noted recently that I have been interested in reputation management and impact, and in how libraries may support institutional goals in these areas. In this context I was interested to read the following in a thoughtful reflection on future directions for research libraries by Susan Gibbons: Another...read full entry...
  • Reputational surveyJanuary 06, 2010 – As university rankings attract more attention and as national/regional policy discussions continue about whether and how to concentrate research excellence, Thompson Reuters have provided a little more detail about their plans to work with Times Higher Education to develop their own framework to support university profiling and ranking. Our aim...read full entry...
  • Where are the numbers? The impact of the economic recession on university library and IT servicesJanuary 03, 2010 – 'The impact of the economic recession on university library and IT services' [pdf] is a report by market research company Ipsos Mori for several UK higher education organizations. A summary and a briefing paper are also available. It documents possible approaches to cost saving based on interviews with librarians and...read full entry...
  • Institutional researcher pages: an exampleJanuary 02, 2010 – I have written a couple of times recently (here and here) about institutional and indvidual reputation management. Think, for example, of faculty profiles: the managed disclosure of expertise and research activity. This has often been an informal personal or departmental activity. However, there is now a variety of institutional initiatives...read full entry...
  • Research assessment and the library ...December 27, 2009 – I am pleased to note the appearance of a new report on research assessment and the role of libraries. This has been prepared as part of our Research Information Management stream of work in support of the RLG Partnership. The study is a comparative review of formal assessment regimes in...read full entry...
  • The importance of books ..December 20, 2009 – I read the interesting Communicating knowledge: how and why UK researchers publish and disseminate their findings and its supplementary reports (literature review and bibliometric analysis) on a transatlantic flight the other day. (Incidentally, it must have been the most cramped large-plane seat I have ever been on - I could...read full entry...
  • QOTD: Spiders and flies and classicsDecember 13, 2009 – Reading Concerning E.M. Forster by Frank Kermode, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes, Forster's response to Eliot's criticism of his remarks about D.H. Lawrence ... So they corresponded and respected one another, and after Lawrence died Forster wrote that the regarded him as 'one of the glories...read full entry...
  • Choice is hard work: an anecdatumDecember 06, 2009 – We got an iMac for family use in the Summer. I never liked the keyboard and the mouse keeps sticking as crumbs and so on get lodged in it. Myself and my son headed off to Micro Center the other evening to explore replacements. They had sold out of the...read full entry...
  • Counting books ...November 29, 2009 – I have been careful in recent posts about numbers to note that the term 'book' has no precise referent. One person's book is another person's pamphlet, or ... Brian Lavoie and I have an article in the current issue of DLib Magazine which uses Worldcat to estimate the number of...read full entry...
  • Discoverability .. a report that's worth a lookOctober 07, 2009 – We are awash in assisted thinking, as I may have remarked. One document that is worth a look is Discoverability produced earlier this year by a team at the University of Minnesota. In October 2008, the Web Services Steering Committee at the University of Minnesota Libraries created the Discoverability exploratory...read full entry...
  • Reputation enhancementSeptember 29, 2009 – Reputation management on the web - individual and institutional - has become a more conscious activity for many, as ranking, assessment and other reputational measures are increasingly influenced by network visibility. In particular, it raises for academic institutions an issue that has become a part of many service decisions: what...read full entry...
  • On books againAugust 23, 2009 – 'Book' is a big word. It has a lot of power as it is intimately bound up with our intellectual and imaginative histories. More parochially, the book is also strongly bound up with the professional practice and identity of the library and librarians. At a more prosaic (sic) level, the...read full entry...
  • Counting titles and authorsAugust 16, 2009 – The proposed Google Books settlement has created a strong interest in quantifying publications and authors, to get a better sense of the scale of impact. We have been looking at Worldcat and hope to publish an analysis later this year. Here is an issue that came up this week: how...read full entry...
  • QOTD: small books August 06, 2009 – From Larry McMurtry's reminiscences as a bookseller: Books: a memoir. At Booked Up one of our favorite eccentrics was a gentleman we called the "little book" man.Once or twice a year this customer would show up at the shop with a ruler and work his way around the main room,...read full entry...
  • Ranking, rating and recommending July 05, 2009 – We are now accustomed to being able to rank or recommend on websites. More importantly, we are accustomed to seeing resources ranked, related or recommended. To the extent, I suggested in a recent talk, that when we don't see these features on a site it is as if as if...read full entry...
  • In English?July 02, 2009 – I thought I would post some numbers here which were prepared by my colleague Brian Lavoie for another purpose. The question was: how many of the books in US libraries are in English? First of all, what is a book? Deciding what a book is involves some choices (are theses...read full entry...
  • Audience levelJune 05, 2009 – I have written about the Audience Level measure in these pages a few times. In this initiative we are using the pattern of holdings across different types of libraries (school, research, etc) to give a 'hint' about the level of interest of an item (juvenile, research/specialist, ...). You can read...read full entry...
  • What's on your mind ...March 31, 2009 – Ohio State, our neighbors to the South, have a nice tag cloud feature on their home page. I am not sure how they are generating it, but they have clouds based on the behavior of different classes of audience. Here are students ... Here are faculty/staff ... Update: I see...read full entry...
  • A Columbus triangleMarch 01, 2009 – I appear to live near the middle of a triangle whose corners are the offices of LibLime, OCLC and OhioLINK ;-)...read full entry...
  • QOTD: "the occasional young adult Christmas paranormal love story mystery"February 10, 2009 – The Public Lending Right is a mechanism for distributing funds to authors based on circulation of their books in UK public libraries. It provides an interesting measure of popularity. The PLR has just released the list [pdf] of the highest circulating authors in 2007/2008. James Patterson is now the most...read full entry...
  • Looking at DarwinFebruary 02, 2009 – I was interested to look at Charles Darwin's Worldcat Identity given his bicentenary next week. The event is being widely marked and there is a long list of celebratory activities at Darwin Online, the site of his digitized papers. The year 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of...read full entry...
  • Library website analyticsJanuary 20, 2009 – I have just been looking at the presentation [ppt] given by Tony Hirst and Hassan Sheikh to Internet Librarian International last October. They report the results of their analysis of traffic to the home page of the Open University Library using Google Analytics. Here are some of the things that...read full entry...
  • A referenceable listJanuary 19, 2009 – My colleague Constance Malpas has created an interesting Worldcat List in support of ongoing work: Selected print-only, refereed scholarly journals in the humanities with fewer than 50 aggregate library holdings. Holdings count limited to recs containing ISSN and English-language cataloging. [RLG Prospective Journals Preservation Project - sample titles] This is...read full entry...
  • Affinity strings, personalization and recommendationJanuary 11, 2009 – I heard about 'affinity strings' on a visit to Minnesota some time ago. I was pleased to see that they have written up what they are doing in the recent issue of The Code4Lib Journal: The University of Minnesota Libraries have created a MyLibrary portal, with databases and e-journals targeted...read full entry...
  • Museum studiesDecember 19, 2008 – The UK academic world was in a frenzy yesterday as the results of the Research Assessment Exercise were published. In this process, the work of academic departments is graded on a scale from 4* ('world leading') down. It is important for both reputation and revenue, as the results are keenly...read full entry...
  • SEODecember 14, 2008 – I have mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a few times as an increasingly important area of interest for librarians. However, as I have suggested, I come across resistance on the grounds that this is some sort of base or mendacious activity. We are very interested in interoperability, however, and for...read full entry...
  • Library valueDecember 11, 2008 – We are seeing more interest in demonstrating value. Here are two rather different items on this topic. The first is an article on ROI in the current LIBER Quarterly by Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries at UIUC. University administrators are asking library directors to demonstrate their library's value to the...read full entry...
  • User behaviorsOctober 21, 2008 – My colleague Lynn Connaway has been working on several collaborative projects looking at user behaviors over the last few years. Together, she and colleagues have produced a nice body of work looking at user attitudes and behaviors to library services, and to information work more generally. I thought it would...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0 againOctober 05, 2008 – I have just got around to looking at Programming Collective Intelligence [O'Reilly][Worldcat] by Toby Segaran. This fascinating book demonstrates how you can build web applications to mine the enormous amount of data created by people on the Internet. With the sophisticated algorithms in this book, you can write smart programs...read full entry...
  • Who's on TwitterAugust 25, 2008 – Interesting story on TIme.com from the Hitwise folks about Twitter demographics. I figured that the service would appeal exclusively to youngsters with nothing better to do. The user data, however, tell me I'm wrong, and reveal a very specific user profile: for example, males make up 63% of Twitterers, specifically...read full entry...
  • Metrics and visibilityAugust 22, 2008 – I was interested to come across the Service Level Definitions page at the Library at the London School of Economics. Additionally, we have a number of Service Targets which we monitor on a monthly or termly basis. You can see our general service standards and the full results for our...read full entry...
  • Library analyticsAugust 21, 2008 – The indefatigable Tony Hirst has an interesting post about using Google Analytics to analyse library website traffic. He looks at the Open University Library website. This is in preparation for a fuller paper he is preparing with Hassan Sheikh of the Library for Internet Librarian International 2008. Something to look...read full entry...