Targeting Disciplines for GIS Outreach Using Bibliometric Analysis

Carolyn S. Fish, Nathan B. Piekielek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Academic libraries increasingly offer geospatial services to support the teaching and research activities of all university disciplines. Ironically, services tend to be most used by those who are already routinely using geographic information systems (GIS) in their research and similar activities. We present a workflow by which library-based GIS service providers can identify, connect, and foster relationships with potential GIS users who stand to benefit the most from their services. Potential users include those who are not currently aware of GIS and its potential contribution to their particular discipline. The workflow begins with a bibliometric analysis to assess trends in the usage of GIS across a variety of disciplines. The result of the bibliometric analysis is a categorized list of those departments that stand to benefit the most from GIS services, based on Diffusion of Innovation Theory. Library-based GIS service providers can partner with liaison-librarians who serve as “change agents” to bring geospatial services into those disciplines not involved with GIS. From this, GIS service providers and liaison-librarians can connect with “opinion leaders” within each department to help diffuse GIS throughout their discipline by helping to organize seminars where library GIS service providers can educate departmental faculty. The goal of this workflow is to help library-based GIS service providers identify and collaborate with faculty who stand to benefit the most from GIS services at the library.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-280
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Map and Geography Libraries
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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