Promoting Faculty Publications
by Yvonne Jones
“Faculty research and scholarship represent invaluable intellectual capital, but the value of that capital lies in its effective dissemination to present and future audiences.” --Excerpt from “The University’s Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship—A Call to Action.”
How can we make faculty scholarship more evident to students and colleagues, and in that way encourage academic engagement on campus? During the past year, JMU Libraries have started highlighting faculty publications on the library web page.
The library serves as a central location, in both its physical and virtual forms, for promoting and providing access to scholarly information. Our faculty publication feature on the library’s web page highlights recent faculty publications. The feature includes the faculty member’s name, department affiliation, and a congratulations message, along with an image of the journal or book cover. The image displayed is a link to the full text content (if we have a subscription to the journal) or the catalog entry for the book. If we do not have a subscription or own the item, the image links to an interlibrary loan form or to commercial content on the web describing the item.
Gathering faculty publication information can be a daunting task. No centralized comprehensive repository or notification of faculty publications currently exists (although the JMU Office of Public Affairs’ publication Madison Scholar does collect a monthly list of grant awards, presentations, publications, and other professional awards). In the library, we are using search alerts in major databases to search for authors with affiliation with James Madison University and complementing those results with information reported directly from the faculty member or from departments.
In addition to displaying the publications and congratulations statement, we send a copy of the image to the liaison librarian for the department. The librarian can then contact the faculty member and let them know when the image will be displayed. The liaison librarian can add a personal congratulations as well. We are finding this is a positive mechanism for additional contact between the library and faculty. Liaison librarians have received numerous supportive responses from faculty and administrators about the project.
CFI’s January Symposium provided three additional opportunities for promoting awareness of faculty work, this time using the physical spaces in East Campus Library. Faculty visitors could find a display of books by JMU authors in the browsing book area of the ECL lobby; these books were also available for checkout. Articles by JMU faculty participating in the Writing Lock-Down part of the symposium were highlighted in the glass display case by the first floor elevators. Notebooks for each college containing copies of a sample of faculty publications also were created and placed on the browsing shelf area for convenient review.