Impact, promotion and press releases

Journal Impact Factor graphic

Summer is Impact Factor (IF) season. Publishers, societies, and journal editors the world over anxiously await the outcome of the latest version of the Thomson Reuters® Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Will their journal IFs have increased or decreased? How will they compare with the competition? Has a new journal made it into the JCR for the first time? Many faculty are equally interested in the JCR rankings – universities and funders use this data to help inform decision-making about tenure, promotion, and appointments, as well as research funding.” From: DORA and the Impact Factor Debate by Iain Craig (July 2013)

The Scholarly Kitchen notes that we are celebrating 50 years of Science Citation Index which lead to the all-powerful Journal Impact Factor.

Making sense of the world often involves making connections between thoughts and ideas. Sometimes those connections are obtuse. This month those connections are hitting me upside the head, let’s call it impact!

These articles had impact! Scholarship, impact measurement, and genre by  Alex Reid (May 1, 2013) is thoughtful from a humanities perspective; and from the library realm Promotional Considerations  by Barbara Fister (May 1, 2014).

“Attention is not the same thing as impact, and impact is not the same thing as insight.” B. Fister

“Nor is knowledge a commodity to be sold or to be used for personal gain. That’s not just a moral harrumph, there are practical reasons to resist the commodification of knowledge. When we insist that it have measurable impact, we tend to work with too short a timeline. Some ideas are depth charges that don’t go off for decades.” B. Fister

While Librarians are good at promoting reading, knowledge and public good – we are not not good at promotion. Librarians are also having some fun (NOT!) trying to measure ROI.

Librarians are happy when they can provide the right resource at the right time and now in multiple formats. My collection development librarian is so very happy that we provide the right title at the right time: case-in-point Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has already sold 80,000 copies in less than two months, and is currently sold out.

Notation from New York Times Book review Thomas Pilketty book at No.  15 on Apr. 27, 2014

How very serendipitous – reputation, promotion, and impact reflected as academics Benjamin Page and co-author Martin Gilens sent a press release about their new academic paper that got them a gig on The Daily Show. They went on to promote an academic journal article about wealth and political influence—not exactly your typical Comedy Central fare. Read about their appearances here:  A Northwestern Political Scientist Does a Star Turn on The Daily Show  by Whet Moser (May 1, 2014); Frightening Policy Research Suggests that America Might Not Be a Democratic Society by: Sarah Jones  (April, 16th, 2014.)

What would a librarian press release look like?


About Kimberly Hoffman

Twitter: KMH_nowinVA
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