What is Your Impact Factor?

By Rachel Frick posted

This is the time of year when many of us reflect on what we accomplished in 2013, as we plan, strategize, and re-invigorate ourselves to dig in and dig deep for 2014.

This past year was a great one for the DLF program; the annual DLF Forum was a success, DLF community membership is up, and we invested our time and attention in many activities that I believe are invaluable to the greater digital library community, such as the ongoing E-Science Institutes, the CLIR/DLF data curation postdoc fellows, and the upcoming Leadership, Technology, and Gender (LTG) Summit, just to name a few.

Looking back at the presentations and blog posts from the 2013 Forum, especially those posts by our fellowship awardees, I am struck by how generous our community is. The Forum demonstrated how willing we are to share our expertise, time, advice and lessons learned. There is also the challenge of keeping the conversations that were shared at the Forum moving forward until we meet again in Atlanta in October. Great conversational threads included assessment and new metrics; starting and sustaining library services that support digital scholarship; and of course, data: data curation, data management, digital collections as data.

So how does the DLF as a program provide ways to increase the impact of our most valuable asset, which is by far our community?

As part of our website redesign for 2013, we launched a new service for our members, the DLF Community Spotlight series, as a way to share information about projects and services that demonstrate how we are better together. This year, we are extending this conversation space to include a place to share what our members our doing at their institutions, with members’ profiles, as well as providing an opportunity for our individuals to share their stories about what they are working on, their own contributions to our community’s success.  

We are also helping others create opportunities for collaboration and conversation, with our support of the Leadership, Technology, and Gender Summit, the ER&L Cross-Pollinator program, and other events similar to the Hackathon at the AMIA conference.

This is all part of our effort to extend and amplify the good work being done by our members, to increase the value of the contributions made.

Our work is much more than the singular task at hand; it is about the larger picture. If you have read my previous blog post, you know this is a common theme for me: How do we do more than the expected and accepted, and how do we, in the course of the everyday, make our profession richer, our community better, and our future brighter? More often than not, it is by making small changes and taking risks. It is deciding to reach just a bit higher. This is leadership: showing by doing.

Two years ago, the DLF established a Code of Conduct for our Forum and affiliated events. This year we are committing to go a little further.  The DLF as a program will support only those meetings, conferences, and events that have a clearly articulated anti-harassment policy or code of conduct.  Whether that support is in the form of sponsorship, hosting hackathons, facilitating meetings, providing travel stipends, or serving as a an invited speaker, we feel it is important to support fairness and equal opportunity across our community. This is just one way to demonstrate our values. It is a small change, but an important one.

How will you make an impact in 2014? How can we help?