Qualitative Analysis of Faculty Opinions on and Perceptions of Research Impact Metrics

Caitlin Bakker, Kristen Cooper, Allison Langham-Putrow, Jennifer McBurney


We present a qualitative analysis of the results of a survey of faculty and researchers at a large Midwestern R1 university around their understanding of and attitudes toward scholarly metrics. The survey included opportunities for participants to provide free-text responses regarding their use of metrics and concerns they have about the use of metrics for assessment. Participants indicated they understand metrics and use them in a variety of ways, but they have concerns about administrators’ potentially inappropriate use of metrics in assessment. Participants expressed a desire to be involved in decision making around the use of metrics in evaluation processes. With the end goal of improving our library’s research impact–related services to better support faculty and researchers across campus, this exploratory qualitative analysis offers a more nuanced understanding of the current landscape of opinion around research impact metrics. To develop tools and services that actually address faculty and researcher needs, librarians must develop a comprehensive understanding of their interests and concerns around metrics.

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Copyright Caitlin Bakker, Kristen Cooper, Allison Langham-Putrow, Jennifer McBurney

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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