Outreaching, collaborating and connecting: Specialised services supporting researchers for the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF)

Dahlia Han1, Simon Esling2

1Libraries and Learning Services of the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, d.han@auckland.ac.nz
2Libraries and Learning Services of the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, s.esling@auckland.ac.nz



Libraries; Research; Support; Collaboration; Funding; Software; Relationships, Outreach, Bibliometrics, Repository, Author identifier systems.


The Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF), launched in 2002, is a New Zealand tertiary education research funding process that assesses the research performance of Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) and funds them on the basis of their performance [1]. In the last three evaluation rounds (conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2012), Subject Librarians mostly answered queries relating to research impact metrics based on individual requests from researchers. The service was inconsistent between faculties in supporting researchers and their PBRF submissions at the University of Auckland. This paper presents the University Library’s new initiative to provide specialised services for PBRF across all faculties. The Library has identified multiple resources required to support University success in the PBRF process and has formalised the University’s PBRF support services for the 2018 evaluation round. This paper also shares the preparation and practices of PBRF Specialist Subject Librarians by considering two faculties – Engineering and Education – and the importance of outreach, collaboration and connection with key faculty PBRF personnel (PBRF Coordinators and Associate Deans) and faculty researchers. Services include training and consultations with regard to online tools such as the Research Outputs system (Symplectic), SciVal (Scopus), InCites (Web of Science), author profiles such as Scopus author ID, Google Scholar Profile and ORCiD. Furthermore, repository uploading, Open Access, publication verifications, bibliometrics and citation analyses, social media and research impact are discussed in respect to PBRF submissions and overall researcher success. As a result the Library is building excellent relationships across multiple faculties by proving its value to University of Auckland researchers via the new PBRF specialist service.


1. Tertiary Education Commission Performance-Based Research Fund. Available from: http://www.tec.govt.nz/funding/funding-and-performance/funding/fund-finder/performance-based-research-fund/, accessed 13 June 2017.



Dahlia Han has worked in academic libraries in different roles for more than 30 years, 17 of which were as an Engineering Subject Librarian at the University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services. Her current role is PBRF Specialist Subject Librarian for the Faculty of Engineering and Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), while she is also the Subject Librarian for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ABI. Her main interests include academic and information literacy (AIL), research support in bibliometrics including altmetrics, research impact, author identifier systems, open access, research data management and scholarly communication. Her ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3980-9280.

Simon Esling has worked at the University of Auckland Libraries and Learning Services for over 20 years across a number of different library divisions and in different roles. His current role is PBRF Specialist Subject Librarian for the Faculty of Education. His major interest is working with staff and students to develop their research skills. In recent years this has increasingly focused on postgraduate and academic success and identifying open access, social media and research impact as important areas for linking academe with the public.

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