What the University Library's Research Intelligence service can do for researchers

Performing data analyses, visualising research capacity /output and much more besides.

10/07/2019 | 2:20 PM

Recently, the University Library started a new service for researchers, managers and executive staff: Research Intelligence. Coordinator Pam Kaspers explains what her team can do for you. 'We perform data analyses and create visualisations of research plans and output in Power BI. Researchers can use these visualisations to carry out self-evaluations for research assessments or to create final reports on research projects, for example. This way, researchers no longer have to create tables and visualisations themselves, which saves time.'

Analysing and visualising data for strategy consultations
'The Power BI reports and visualisations can also be used to initiate conversations about the strategy to be followed. While Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam already has a wealth of metrics and metadata at its disposal, they are not always used to their best advantage in reports. They include data on citations, field-weighed citation impact, top 10% articles, received societal attention for scientific output, output related to the Sustainable Development Goals and network analyses. These metrics and metadata make it possible for us to explain the quality as well as the impact of VU Amsterdam's research to the outside world. For example, they allow us to demonstrate a faculty or institute's research priorities and the research areas that are potentially underdeveloped.'

Visualisations for research assessments
'As another example, we are now able to visualise received social attention for research output for the purpose of self-evaluations and research assessments. We can also perform network analyses, which offer research institutes or researchers an insight into potential opportunities for cooperation. In addition, faculties can ask us to supply data for quarterly and annual reports. This process used to be done by external parties, but we can now carry out this task in-house, saving researchers and managers considerable time and costs in the long run as well. For more complex requirements that fall outside the scope of standard reports, such as drawing up a communication strategy, we will discuss the costs beforehand.'

Input for job applications and performance reviews
The Research Intelligence team is also able to provide input for job applications and performance reviews, Kaspers adds. 'In cases where candidates are selected on the criterion of cooperation with national or international institutions, for example, we can perform network analyses on their work. If researchers want to contact their supervisor to discuss the next step in their career, we can perform analyses regarding the impact of researchers' publications and network.'

Visualisations for pre- and post-grant reports
'For researchers who want to apply for a grant, we can create an overview of their research results. For instance, we can visualise their network or media attention for their academic publications. We can also visualise the link between their academic work/output and the grant's theme. While researchers concentrate on content, we focus on gathering supporting data. Once they have been awarded the grant, we can work together with them to create a solid final report on their results.'

Create an ORCID to ensure high-quality reports
What does the Research Intelligence team require in order to create high-quality reports for you? 'To perform our analyses, we use databases and tools such as PURE, SciVal, Scopus, PubMed, Altmetric and Buzzcapture.' If the team are to create quarterly and annual reports, researchers need to keep an up-to-date record of their research output and activities, Kaspers stresses. 'Accurate records are also key to the position of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in international rankings and to attracting national as well as international researchers and students. For this reason we recommend that researchers create an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). You can connect all your research output to your unique ORCID, so all databases know which research works are yours. This option will save you a lot of record-keeping and allow Research Intelligence to work with a clean data set.'


Would you like to know more?
Visit the University Library website to discover how bibliometrics can help you and which tools the University Library has to offer.

Any questions?
If you have any questions, please contact Pam Kaspers.

The University Library's Research Intelligence team:
- Pam Kaspers
- Jordy Gevers
- Yasin Gunes
- René Otten
- Maurice Vanderfeesten