The Institute for Humane Studies, an independent non-profit affiliate of George Mason University, has been collaborating with faculty and graduate students for over the past 60 years, bringing together scholars, granting fellowships and small grants to those interested in the ideas of classical liberalism and working across a range of academic disciplines. In 2021, we began using Digital Science products Dimensions via Google Big Query and Altmetric. Being a non-profit organization that invests in scholarly research and builds scholarly community across institutions and disciplines, we have distinctive uses for the products.

We host academic research conversations that bring together an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of scholars to address some of the most significant questions of the 21st century. We hope to foster creative collaborations and unite scholars from a range of disciplines and perspectives who might otherwise be isolated by geography or department. The data furnished by Dimensions and Altmetric has proven to be immensely valuable in these efforts.

Dimensions data for fostering collaborations

The Dimensions search function enables us to discover which scholars are working on specific issues, and with the built-in integration with VosViewer, we can quickly see the level of engagement of scholars and disciplines in the academic literature through citations and coauthorship links. This can highlight potential areas to convene relevant, but presently disconnected, scholars. We also aspire for our gatherings to stimulate collaboration and knowledge sharing, and we can use the same data to ascertain whether or not new scholarly connections have been established after our events. This is achievable due to our ability to combine Dimensions data with information from our own CRM system within Google Big Query.

Dimensions for building better partnerships

Our dedicated relationship management team builds on the information gathered from Dimensions and engages with faculty partners to develop our scholarly programming and events. The knowledge gained by conducting events are captured in our own internal CRM, allowing us to combine the bibliometric information in Dimensions with the firm-specific knowledge gathered by our own team. This improves our use and interpretation of Dimensions data in understanding the academic landscape and fostering productive convenings.

Dimensions and Altmetric for strategic grantmaking

We also use Dimensions to assess the impact of our grantmaking. Awardees are assigned a grant number, which when mentioned in the text or acknowledgments of an article, can be identified in a Dimensions search. In addition we apply the Altmetric integration to determine whether the work has received media attention. Linking this data to our internal grant data makes generating reports on the impact of our grantmaking considerably simpler and aids in conveying the story of our impact to donors and other stakeholders – a matter of utmost importance for any non-profit organization.

Supporting non-profits in strategic decision-making

Discover how the Institute of Human Studies leveraged Dimensions data for strategic decision-making.