Operationalizing Bibliometrics as a Service in a Research Library

Published: June 11, 2018


Susan L. Makar, Amy Trost


During the past year, librarians in the Information Services Office (ISO) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) expanded ISO’s bibliometric analysis services to include topic analysis and more customized services. The new services help NIST divisions and offices systematically assess research portfolios, document internal and external collaborations, and identify strategic areas for future research. While quantitative analysis has been the key to conducting bibliometric analyses and creating visualizations, collaborative relationships with customers are just as critical to understanding impacts and delivering the right answers to the right questions. This paper describes several use cases highlighting the new services, including: • a network visualization and cluster analysis to identify emerging research topics • an exploration of keywords in a single research area over the course of a decade • a structured evaluation of collaborations within and outside of our institution. Elements that facilitate these new bibliometrics as a service include: identifying the appropriate paper set using the right search strategy and resources; a deep understanding of the breadth and range of analytical tools available; and engaging the customer in an iterative process that ensures all the customer’s needs are met. Identifying a paper set for text analysis and topic modelling is very different from conducting a literature review on a specific topic. Practitioners need to be comfortable with a variety of tools for network visualization, scientometrics, and text analysis. The creation of new support services, which tie closely to a customer’s existing research portfolio, requires a degree of interaction beyond that of a simple reference interview. This paper shares the research and methodologies behind ISO’s portfolio of new bibliometric tools and demonstrates how you can operationalize these bibliometrics in your own library.
Pub Type: Talks


Bibliometrics, data visualization, impact analysis
Created June 11, 2018, Updated June 08, 2018