Compelling Evidence: New Tools and Methods for Aligning Collections with the Research Mission

Joelen Pastva*, Bart Davis, Karen Gutzman, Ramune Kubilius, Aaron Sorensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Librarians at the Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center evaluated citation data from clinical trials and patents as potential indicators of library collection strengths and research trends at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. These under-examined resources were of interest because of their relation to translational research, which is a central area of focus in the library’s mission. Digital Science Dimensions (Dimensions) was used as a data source to capture the clinical trial and patent data as part of a collaboration between Galter Library and Dimensions. Upon completing a brief pilot using clinical trials to identify collection gaps, various analyses were applied to data for all patents that had Northwestern University as an assignee from 2008 to 2017. The findings were compared with traditional metrics such as Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources (COUNTER) compliant usage statistics and journal impact factor to identify core resources and trends unique to patents. This study is potentially of interest to libraries supporting research-intensive organizations where patents may shed new light on collection use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalSerials Librarian
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Collection development
  • bibliometrics
  • citation analysis
  • clinical trials
  • patents
  • usage statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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