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Increase the impact of your research How information specialists can help you

What can an information specialist do for you and your research? The library and its function have changed, digitisation has become an integral part of our work and so has the work of an information specialist. Hanneke Becht, an information specialist at LISA and lecturer in academic skills at S&T, explains what she can mean for you and your research.  

Digital library

‘I was appointed information specialist at the library in 1998. At the time, it was all about finding information. Of course, everything was still on paper, and I was mainly asked to find citations in scientific articles. I was one of the few who had access to a digital version of the Chemical Abstracts. I helped employees to search for scientific literature in it. With the advent of digitisation, I started working with colleagues in the library to develop and set up a digital library. We built a website so that information would be available online and could be found by anyone.’

Teacher of academic skills

‘The fact that information is available online does not mean that everyone can find it and knows how to use it. To support students in using digital search engines, I started working as an academic skills tutor. In the beginning, that was mainly about showing how a digital catalogue works and how to use the internet. Nowadays, it's mostly about how to deal with online information, how to judge what is good and what is not good, how to use new databases, what to find where, etc. It's literally about finding information and learning how to deal with it, in writing as well as in words.’

Information specialist: impact in a new sense of the word

‘As an information specialist, I work on making an impact in the new sense of the word. In the past, quality was determined based on the number of publications or citations in a journal with impact factor X or Y. Nowadays, several indicators can be used to measure impact. Nowadays, there are several indicators that we use to measure the quality of a paper. These indicators are being developed further all the time and can be used, for example, to give content to a narrative CV. I can support scientists in this. In addition, I am mainly involved in making impact analyses.’

Impact analysis

'What happens in the environment? What do competitors do? What do we do? Which publication sources are most suitable for research? Which audience do you want to reach and how and where do you do this best?’ These are some of the questions I answer for scientists in an impact analysis. The goal: increasing impact together. Do you, as a scientist, need support in this area, a narrative CV or tips to increase the impact of your research? I would love to help you! You can reach me at hanneke.becht@utwente.nl