Teaching Advanced Literature Searching Skills

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July 27, 2023, 11 a.m.
The Research Impact Team works with University researchers of the future, ensuring they have the information literacy skills they need to effectively keep impact at the forefront of their minds.
outside of Bird Library

Republished from © 2023 Elsevier B.V.

By Emily Hart, Liaison Librarian and Research Impact Lead at Syracuse University Libraries

Since 2020, the Research Impact Team at Syracuse University Libraries has been making great strides toward improving the research reputation of Syracuse University and supporting its research enterprise. The Research Impact Team works with Syracuse University’s researchers of the future, ensuring they have the information literacy skills they need to effectively keep impact at the forefront of their minds. As liaison librarians, they work with upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, teaching them how to use the Libraries’ resources and tools. One of the key things researchers learn is advanced literature searching, and Scopus is one of the primary tools used for this. Liaison librarians talk about how Scopus is structured differently than things like Google Scholar, they show researchers the filters, and they explain how preprints are now indexed at the author profile-level in Scopus, so that they can easily discover what is cutting edge in their field. Liaison librarians also explain what the Scopus author profiles contain, and how they can be used to find other researchers, potential collaborators or even a future advisor. Students learn about how they can follow these researchers and set up alerts so that they are notified when the researchers they follow publish something new.

Scopus is also one of the databases the Research Impact Team uses for comprehensive literature searches when co-authoring systematic reviews, or scoping reviews with research groups and lab groups on campus.

The Research Impact Team is also working to improve the university’s ability to track and report on Syracuse University’s impact beyond these uses cases. For example, they are developing outreach initiatives to make people across campus aware of the importance of sharing their data and hosting unique materials publicly. They encourage researchers to ask questions of publishers like where will their publication be indexed? What are their author rights? Will there be an open access version available? Will it get a digital object identifier (DOI)? All these steps combined can make a big difference to the Research Impact Team’s ability to track the impact of the researcher’s work and how it is being used. The team also helps authors identify potential journals for their manuscript submissions — especially when it is a multidisciplinary publication. Scopus is one of the tools used to help find those journals that cross disciplinary borders.

For more information or to inquire about support from the Research Impact Team, email riteam@syr.edu.

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