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September 16, 2019

Building Data Skills across the Globe

A Virtual Roundtable with Library Carpentry

As scholars across disciplines increasingly turn to data-intensive research methods, academic libraries are considering how to adapt to meet the growing demand for research data instructional and advisory services. In a recent blog post, I observed that among R1 institutions in the United States overall staffing levels for research-data-dedicated library roles remain low, with over half of R1s sporting zero or one data librarian in their university libraries. But hiring dedicated data librarians…
September 12, 2019

How Can Academic Libraries and University Museums Effectively Collaborate?

Ithaka S+R is conducting a study on the relationship between academic libraries and campus museums, looking specifically at how they are governed and structured. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are in the process of inviting forty universities to participate, and over the Fall will interview the directors of both their museum and library in order to learn more about how these campus units operate in relation to the university and to one another.  …
September 10, 2019

Emergent Data Community Spotlight II

An Interview with Felicity Tayler and Marjorie Mitchell on the SpokenWeb Project

For all today’s technological affordances, research data sharing remains a fundamentally social activity, dependent on building “data communities” from the ground up. Danielle Cooper and I argued as much in a recent issue brief, and since then, I’ve been seeking out pioneers who are at the forefront of efforts to grow emergent data communities in a variety of research areas. What does it take to get a successful data sharing movement off the…
September 3, 2019

Ithaka S+R Student Surveys: 2020 Edition

Ithaka S+R is gearing up to update our local student surveys and we are now accepting expressions of interest from libraries to field the surveys in the spring 2020 semester. Our student surveys, which have been fielded at dozens of institutions since 2014, were developed to complement our local faculty survey. They cover the perspectives of undergraduate and graduate students on their objectives for pursuing higher education, their coursework activities, and their use…
August 27, 2019

Powerful Partner Questions

Survey Design Strategies from the Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey

When responding to a survey, do you ever have a sense of déjà vu, as though you already answered a very similar question a minute before? There might be a very good reason for the repetition. Across seven cycles of the US Faculty Survey and in our implementation of this instrument with more than 100 institutions across the globe, we have often found great value in approaching the…
August 15, 2019

US Faculty Survey 2018 Reveals Uncertainty about Fraudulent Research Practices

A report published earlier this year from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine disclosed findings from their recent assessment of reproducibility and replicability across different fields of research. Congress requested this collaborative study because of prolific media exposure on data misconduct and the inability of scientists to replicate important research. Additionally, there has been extensive media coverage of researchers who fabricate…
August 6, 2019

Inside an Ithaka S+R Training Workshop

In 2016, Ithaka S+R began collaborating with libraries to extend our deep dives into the research needs of faculty in a variety of fields, including, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Asian Studies, Religious Studies, Public Health, and Indigenous Studies. Having partnered with 75 university libraries for these studies, last year, we began using a…
July 30, 2019

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion through the Rare Book School

I’m thrilled to share that Ithaka S+R will be serving as an evaluator on the The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage, a six-year program which aims to advance multicultural collections through innovative and inclusive curatorial practice and leadership at the Rare Book School. Through this fellowship, 45 fellows who identify with diverse racial or ethnic communities and/or who work primarily with collections that document minority, immigrant,…
July 29, 2019

Announcing Two New S+R Projects on Supporting Data Work

Evolving data practices are re-shaping the academic landscape. Here at Ithaka S+R we’ve been tracking how scholars’ data support needs are evolving more widely through our triennial U.S. faculty survey and through deep dives into specific disciplinary practices, such as our recent report on Civil and Environmental Engineering. We’ve also uncovered how scholars’ work in data communities challenges the traditional disciplinary and institutional siloing…
July 29, 2019

Counting Data Librarians

How many data librarians does the average research university have? As data science methodologies are embraced by more and more academic fields–and as funders and administrators increasingly prioritize big data projects–academic libraries are staffing up to meet a growing demand. “Research data services” is a term that encompasses a broad range of support functions that help students and scholars conduct research with data. Some of these include: Directing users to…
July 22, 2019

Emergent Data Community Spotlight

An Interview with Dr. Vance Lemmon on Spinal Cord Injury Research

Encouraging scholars to share research data with one another promises to increase research efficiency, reproducibility, and innovation. In a recent issue brief, Danielle Cooper and I argued for a new conceptual framework for understanding and supporting research data sharing: data communities. Data communities are formal or informal groups of scholars who share a certain type of data with each other, regardless of disciplinary…
July 18, 2019

Improving Articulation of Transfer Credit at CUNY

Although over 87 percent of new community college students at the City University of New York (CUNY) intend to transfer and complete at least a bachelor’s degree, only 11 percent do so within six years. Whether and how a student’s credits articulate during transfer can have significant consequences for these students’ educational trajectory.  Students who transfer most or all of their credits are 2.5 times more likely to graduate compared to those who…
July 17, 2019

Gearing Up for the Ithaka S+R National Library Director Survey

This fall, we will field the triennial Ithaka S+R Library Survey for the fourth time. The survey examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors, and through this project, we aim to understand the opportunities and challenges they face in leading their organizations. This project serves as a strong complement to our work with a variety of other communities of academic librarians and is intended to ensure…
July 10, 2019

Studying the Organizational Structure of the Art Museum

In recent years, American art museums have faced a complex set of institutional demands, from scrutiny over ethical issues concerning donor relations, to hiring practices and efforts towards making the museum more accessible to the public. At the same time, museums enjoy a high level of public trust at a time when most American institutions are actively mistrusted. The sector produces over 700,000 jobs, adding over $50 billion to the…
July 9, 2019

To Seek Knowledge Together

How Libraries in Hawaiʻi Can Better Support Indigenous Studies Scholars

In 2017, the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) was invited to participate in an international qualitative study organized by Ithaka S+R that sought to examine the research needs of Indigenous scholars. Our research team—Kawena Komeiji, Keahiahi Long, Shavonn Matsuda, Annemarie Paikai, and Kapena Shim—focused on how libraries can better support the research and teaching activities of Hawaiian Studies scholars whose scholarship contributes to the advancement and well-being of the Indigneous people of Hawaiʻi. There were several reasons…
June 27, 2019

What we’ve learned so far from a national technology-enhanced advising experiment

Many higher education institutions are implementing advising interventions, if not complete redesigns, in an effort to advise their students in a more timely and targeted manner. While the approaches can take various forms, they have increasingly relied on technology to alleviate the burden of large caseloads by helping advisors easily and quickly identify which students need what type of support, and when. In an ambitious experiment, the 11 institutions that form the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) are testing such an…
June 27, 2019

Measures that Matter: Review of State Public Libraries Survey Now Available

Last Tuesday, the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) released Measures that Matter Action Plan Step 2.1: A Review of State Public Library Survey Data Elements. We were excited to conduct this phase of work on COSLA’s behalf and believe the findings from this important systematic review of current state public library surveys, as well as states’ data collection and reporting practices, will be helpful for a wide range of libraries.
June 12, 2019

(PR)EBLIP

Gearing up for EBLIP10

I’m looking forward to learning and sharing research next week at the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) Conference being held in Glasgow, Scotland. This is an international, biennial conference that aims to promote the use of best available evidence to improve library and information practices within all types of libraries, and this year’s theme is “using evidence in times of uncertainty.” The conference is held over two and a half days with…
June 12, 2019

An Interview with Dr. David Tandberg

“North Star” Attainment Goals

David Tandberg is the Vice President for Policy Research and Strategic Initiatives at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). Dr. Tandberg is a leading expert on state higher education policy. He currently leads SHEEO in its work to connect empirical research with state policy to improve higher education opportunities for students. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Tandberg for sharing his thoughts regarding state “north star” attainment goals. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. How…
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June 6, 2019

Legacy Missions in Times of Change

New Issue Brief on Library Collections

Regardless of the rapidly changing information and technology landscape, collections continue to be at the heart of academic libraries, signifying their role in providing access to our cultural heritage. But in an increasingly networked, distributed, licensed environment, how do we define the library collection? What do collections imply? What is involved in building a collection?  The purpose of the brief…