Understanding IR Impact: What Do Users Do With Our Content?

This poster is part of the Open Repositories 2021 Poster Session which takes place in the week of June 7-10. We encourage you to ask questions and engage in discussion on this poster by using the comments feature. Authors will respond to comments during this week.


Wendy Walker

Poster description:

Like many institutions, the University of Montana’s institutional strategy includes a focus on the impact of faculty and student work. It is relatively easy to use quantitative data such as download counts, location information, and citations to help demonstrate the IR’s reach and impact; however, there are limits to using these numbers5, especially when attempting to understand impact outside an academic context. Could knowing more about how or why users use IR content address our own curiosity, help us understand the IR’s impact more completely, and help us contextualize and describe its impact more effectively than we can by reporting quantitative data alone? In April 2018 we added a link to the cover pages that are included with most of the downloadable items in our IR. The link directs users to a form where they can tell us how access to the IR item benefitted them. To date, we have received just over 200 responses. While we now know more about the wide range of uses of our IR content, we are still determining if/how to utilize this information to help demonstrate impact. Our initial evaluation has raised a host of new, useful questions that will inform next steps.

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About the author:

Wendy Walker, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Montana (UM), manages and provides services that help UM faculty, students, and staff share and manage their research and creative scholarship. In addition to managing the institutional repository, she leads OER efforts, offers support for research data management, and oversees digitized collections.

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