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July 20, 2021

Making Streaming Media Sustainable for Academic Libraries

Launching a New Cohort-Based Collaborative Project

There has been an explosion of interest in streaming media marketed for educational purposes in recent years, and the shift to remote instruction during the pandemic has further accelerated that interest. This growing significance is also reflected in its overall share of library collections budgets: recent Ithaka S+R research found that streaming media currently represents about five percent of those budgets and that academic library directors across a diverse array of institutions project that this…
July 16, 2021

Participate in Advancing Higher Education in Prison Research

Visit Ithaka S+R’s New Online Forum

Higher education in prison programming has entered a period of great opportunity and promise. In December 2020, the nation lifted a 26-year ban on need-based Pell Grants to incarcerated undergraduates. Over the next several years, the restoration of this federal funding stream will propel the expansion of college programming to many of the estimated half million Pell-eligible incarcerated adult learners. However, nuts-and-bolts questions persist, such as how best to scale high-quality educational programming…
July 14, 2021

Why Survey Testing is Essential

Preparing to Field the US Faculty Survey 2021

Ithaka S+R is gearing up for our eighth launch of the US Faculty Survey this fall. This national survey has yielded longitudinal data on scholarly research and teaching behaviors across a variety of institutional and disciplinary contexts on a triennial basis since 2000. To maximize the value of this initiative for higher education leaders, scholarly societies, academic libraries, and publishers who have come to rely on these data, especially in light of the…
July 8, 2021

Provocative, Productive, and Collaborative: The 2021 Academic Equity Summer Institute

We gratefully acknowledge the many individuals who devoted their time, energy, and expertise to the 2021 summer institute and the insights shared below, including Randall Bass, Heidi Elmendorf, Mark Joy, Susannah McGowan, and Brittany Toscano Gore of Georgetown University, Katie Brock and Ulili Emore of the University of Texas at Austin, and Nathaniel Holmes and Richard Peters of Xavier University of Louisiana. The ongoing work of the ATI academic equity community of practice would not be possible without them. Introduction…
June 28, 2021

Evaluating Success in the Midst of a Protracted Pandemic

Four Guiding Principles

There was a “before” and there will be an “after,” but how do we evaluate success while at our current locus—somewhere in the nebulous middle of a prolonged pandemic?  More than a year into the pandemic, many evaluations are being conducted using measures of success that were established in a radically different context. The environment has shifted, and the goals and definitions of success for items under evaluation—everything…
June 24, 2021

Four Years Later: Findings from a National Technology-Enhanced Advising Experiment

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and in many cases widened socioeconomic and other disparities in higher education, making evidence-based approaches that support underserved students more important than ever before. One project that aimed to promote equity and student success across a set of large, public universities is Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS). In 2016, the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) and its institutional members began testing the effectiveness of MAAPS, an intervention consisting of intensive, proactive, technology-enhanced…
June 22, 2021

New Report: What’s the Big Deal? 

How Researchers Are Navigating Changes to Journal Access

Since 1996, the “Big Deal” has enabled academic libraries of all sizes to license bundled access to a publisher’s journal at a significant discount off the list prices. Over the years, as Big Deal spending has come to occupy a greater and greater share of materials budgets, libraries have come to question the value of their Big Deal subscriptions, with some opting to cancel or significantly alter their existing arrangements. Today we are thrilled to announce a…
June 22, 2021

Cancelling the Big Deal Project Spotlight

An Interview with Freie Universität Berlin with contributions from Dominik Hagel, Franziska Harnisch, Mario Kowalak, and Cosima Wagner

As university budgets face considerable strain and new models for providing open access to scholarly communication proliferate, academic libraries are increasingly pursuing alternatives to the “Big Deal” journal subscription model, including cancellation. But how are these strategies affecting researchers and what do they make of them? Over the past year Ithaka S+R has been studying the impact of Big Deal cancellations on its users in partnership with 11 academic libraries. Previous research has focused primarily on…
May 25, 2021

Using Data to Advance Equity in the Academic Experience

A New American Talent Initiative Case Study Series

We’re excited to announce the first publication in a new case study series from the American Talent Initiative’s Academic Equity Community of Practice, highlighting the ways in which colleges and universities have leveraged data and evidence-based research to enhance equity-related projects on their respective campuses. In Fall 2020, 37 members of the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities committed to expanding…
May 20, 2021

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science

New NSF-Funded Collaboration between Ithaka S+R and the Data Curation Network

We are excited to announce that Ithaka S+R has been awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation to support the development of infrastructures for data sharing within data communities in collaboration with the Data Curation Network.  “Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science,” will bring together scientists and information technology professionals for focused discussions about initiating and sustaining data communities.  A unique opportunity to leverage data communities…
May 13, 2021

Archiving the Black Web 2021

Black culture is regularly marginalized in institutional libraries and archives. This phenomenon has been replicated virtually with the introduction of digital technologies and social media, and is in stark contrast with how Black users drive digital trends. For the past decade or more, a growing community from technical, academic, and cultural backgrounds have built a new discipline of study around research and practice in this space (the Black Web) so that Black culture online could receive the same—or better—attention and…
May 13, 2021

Announcing the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2021

This fall, we are looking forward to fielding our triennial US Faculty Survey. This will be the eighth cycle of this long-standing research initiative through which we examine faculty research and teaching perspectives and practices across a variety of institutional and disciplinary contexts. Through this ongoing work, we have now mapped for over two decades the evolving attitudes and behaviors of scholars on a range of topics, including the discovery and access of scholarship, research dissemination and preservation, instructional methods…
May 6, 2021

Reconciling with the Past: Addressing Institutional Connections with Slavery

In a series of blog posts, I have discussed the origins and developments of postsecondary efforts to address institutional connections with slavery. This final blog post will discuss how institutions can push beyond their historical entanglements with slavery to address the current legacies of institutional racism. While a growing number of institutions have sponsored historical inquiries examining their own institutional involvement with slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries, and many have issued statements decrying systemic…
May 4, 2021

A State-by-State Snapshot of Stranded Credits Data and Policy

As the higher education sector begins to address the adverse effects of the pandemic on enrollment, institutions and policymakers alike have begun to turn their attention to a pernicious form of debt that could be preventing over six million students, especially low-income students and students of color, from re-enrolling and earning their degrees. This form of debt prevents students from accessing their transcripts at institutions they attended in the past, leading those previously earned credits to become “stranded” at…
April 28, 2021

What Will it Take to Move the Needle on Student Basic Needs?

Last year, we released a landscape review delving into how different metrics of student success are currently prioritized, defined, quantified, and used within the community college sector—examining how traditional metrics of success, like those aligning with typical college objectives like graduation, retention, enrollment, and course completion, are more often prioritized and required for funding, accountability, and accreditation purposes. Subsequent interviews with institutional research and effectiveness officers provided even…
April 22, 2021

#LibJusticePanel Recording Now Available

On April 13th, we convened a panel of leaders in the library field—Trevor A. Dawes, Patricia Hswe, and Kaetrena Davis Kendrick—to discuss newly-released results from our national survey of academic library directors on the impact of movements for racial justice on library leadership. While our study served as a jumping off point for the event, we discussed—with panelists directly and with attendees using the #LibJusticePanel hashtag—many long-standing issues related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. We invite you…
April 20, 2021

Emergent Data Community Spotlight

An Interview About Energy Modeling with the Open Energy Modelling Initiative

Fostering data and code sharing among scholars is an important component to fostering a culture of open research—but how can this work be done most effectively? At Ithaka S+R we are exploring the crucial contextual elements that optimize research data sharing. We’ve found that data communities—formal or informal groups of scholars who share a certain type of data with each other regardless of disciplinary boundaries—provide important clues to understanding how research data sharing works. Identifying and supporting scholarly communities…
April 15, 2021

Three Questions for Kara Bledsoe

On April 1, Kara Bledsoe joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team. In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to Ithaka S+R and what she hopes to accomplish through her work with us. What attracted you to Ithaka S+R? My background is in management consulting for cultural organizations. I drafted strategic plans, facilitated visioning workshops, and evaluated clients’ operations to help them optimize the balance between market forces and their missions. Most of the research…
April 5, 2021

Three Considerations for Inclusively and Responsibly Analyzing and Reporting on Demographics

Over the last several months, we’ve shared Ithaka S+R strategies for ensuring inclusivity in writing and selecting demographic questions—key steps in the early stages of the data collection planning process. But inclusivity concerns don’t stop once data collection has begun, but continue when a survey is put into the field, an interview is conducted, or administrative data collection is facilitated.  Ensuring proper care in collecting and…
March 25, 2021

The State of the Humanities

Notes from the National Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting

Each spring, the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) organizes an annual meeting and an accompanying national advocacy day, in which representatives from most states meet with congressional offices to make the case for federal funding of the humanities. In 2020, 184 individuals representing 41 states held 287 meetings with congressional offices on Capitol Hill. Ithaka S+R is committed to supporting humanists in their work, through projects such as measuring the value of a liberal arts education, the analysis of the…