Citation indexes and users’ (in)formation needs. The University of Milan biomedical librarians experience

Bernardini, Elena Citation indexes and users’ (in)formation needs. The University of Milan biomedical librarians experience., 2017 . In Medical Libraries as High Quality Learning Centres, Department of Oral and Maxillo Facial Sciences Sapienza University - Rome, 20 January 2017. (Unpublished) [Conference paper]

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English abstract

The University of Milan has a 40 years long citation experience. The library of Pharmacy (then library of the Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, director: Prof. Rodolfo Paoletti) purchased the Science Citation Index (SCI) in 1979 (Printed Science Citation Index since 1979-93, CD-Rom in 1994-2000; Journal Citation Reports (JCR) 1981-2000). The online version has been available since 2000 for Web of Science (WOS) and JCR, following the University of Milan subscription. Scopus has been available since 2009, after an agreement between Elsevier and the CRUI (The Conference of Italian University Rectors). Since its inception, SCI and JCR (which were quite expensive) attracted external users interested in assessing citations and in the Impact Factor (IF). Conversely, the use of such indexes for research evaluation had been minimal among professors or reseachers, until the debut – in 2012 – of the Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale (ASN; National Scientific Qualification). At the end of 2001, the Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo (SBA; University Library System) activated courses on the use of WOS and JCR. Scopus was introduced in 2010, under the supervision of biomedical librarians. At the beginning, the majority of participants were only interested in traditional bibliographic searches, with the exception of some researchers who spent some time abroad and some questions on the IF. With the activation of the ASN, the attendees’ profile has radically changed. In addition to the increasing number of participants to the courses on WOS, JCR, and Scopus, their (in)formation needs also greatly changed. Specifically, instead of a mere bibliographic search most users are now interested in bibliometrics, i.e. calculate the H-Index and contemporary H-index, or in solving ambiguities with authors’ names, cleaning up erroneous data, adding missing data, and learning how to use Google Scholar. The average users’ age is decreasing; there are more graduate students and researchers than professors, and participants take more active part to the lessons than before, asking questions about citation analysis and their CV. Following an analysis of participant satisfaction surveys and according to the most common questions asked by attendees, librarians fine-tuned their programs to greatly increase the proportion of citation database use vs. a traditional bibliographic search.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: Scholarly communication, bibliometry, medical libraries
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BH. Information needs and information requirements analysis.
Depositing user: Dr Elena Bernardini
Date deposited: 16 Oct 2017 10:59
Last modified: 16 Oct 2017 10:59

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