A bibliometric approach to evaluating the impact of national libraries

David Hunter, Paul Hambelton


In order to understand the value to society of a national library, it is essential to go beyond counting usage figures and understand impacts; 'the difference that the library makes'. The paper suggests that, for the National Library of Scotland (NLS), a key impact is the generation of new knowledge. A viable proxy for measuring this impact is establishing the number of publications produced in which the authors cite the use of NLS collections or services. The paper proposes a simple methodology for estimating the number of such research outputs through a bibliometric analysis of Google Scholar and other research resources.


impacts; evaluation; bibliometrics; performance measurement

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29173/lirg474

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)