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January 18, 2022

Turning on the TAP

Restoring Tuition Assistance for Incarcerated Students in New York

In her first State of the State address since taking office, New York Governor Kathy Hochul outlined an agenda that included repealing the 27-year ban on college tuition assistance, also known as TAP, for incarcerated students. In 1995, when the ban was first instituted, incarcerated students accounted for less than 1 percent of TAP funding state-wide. The ban dovetailed with the 1994 Crime Bill’s elimination of federal Pell grants for incarcerated students and…
January 18, 2022

Ithaka S+R is Growing: Join Us!

Over the past few years, the scope and breadth of Ithaka S+R’s work has grown substantially. The Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums program has seen increases in cohort projects that explore critical issues facing libraries; grant funded initiatives focused on digital preservation, higher education in prison, student success, and museum leadership; national surveys of faculty, community college administrators, and archivists; and sponsored work on topics including the health of the research enterprise and diversifying collections.  To…
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January 13, 2022

15 Best Practices for Basic Needs Data Collection and Management in Higher Education 

Over the past two years, we have been examining how community colleges define and measure student success. Through an extensive landscape review, interviews with institutional research and effectiveness officers, and a national survey of community college provosts, it has become clear that student success is often tied to whether students’ basic needs are being met sufficiently. But collecting data on basic needs—such as…
January 12, 2022

Preprints: Their Evolving Role in Science Communication

New Publication

We are pleased to announce the publication of Preprints: Their Evolving Role in Science Communication by Iratxe Puebla and Jessica Polka, both of ASAPbio, and Ithaka S+R’s Oya Y. Rieger. It is part of the Charleston Briefings: Trending Topics for Information Professionals series. This briefing discusses the history and role of preprints—scholarly manuscripts posted by the author(s) to a repository or platform to facilitate open and broad sharing of early work without any limitations…
January 5, 2022

Providing Library Services for Higher Education in Prison

An Interview with Jessica Licklider and Jeannie Colson

In a previous blog post I interviewed Jeanie Austin of the San Francisco Public Library about their new book on providing library services to incarcerated people. With the restoration of Pell funding for incarcerated students set to take place in 2023, the field of higher education in prison (HEP) is currently grappling with how to prepare for this long-awaited expansion of funding and opportunity, and academic libraries that wish to serve this student group must likewise prepare to meet…
December 20, 2021

Leading by Diversifying Collections

Announcing a New Project to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Academic Libraries 

As academic libraries seek to meaningfully engage with calls to improve practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) it is important that the library’s collections align with that mission. Yet, Ithaka S+R’s recent survey of library directors found that most libraries have not developed criteria for evaluating and making decisions related to the diversity of their collections. A library-wide strategy for diversifying collections also involves leveraging staff and resources in new ways…
December 15, 2021

Building Sustainable Data Sharing Communities

Announcing the Participants in an NSF-Funded Incubation Workshop

Across the country and around the world, communities of researchers are voluntarily sharing data across disciplinary and institutional borders. Understanding the motivations, practices, and challenges faced by members of these communities is important to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other funders seeking to promote and normalize data sharing and reuse. However, questions remain about how to best support data communities as they emerge and mature. Some of the most urgent issues involve documentation,…
December 9, 2021

Charting a Path Forward for Academic Conferences

Announcing the Cohort for Our Project on the Future of Scholarly Meetings

Conferences and meetings are among the most venerable and vital services scholarly societies provide to members. They serve as gathering places for communities and important venues for scholarly communication. They are also essential to many societies’ financial models. The global pandemic has accelerated existing pressures on academic conferences, forcing societies to adopt virtual and hybrid formats. It has become clear that these new modalities have tangible benefits to members and the potential to reach new constituencies, but financial…
December 8, 2021

A Sustainable Solution to Settle Students’ Debt and Release Stranded Credits

Ithaka S+R and Eight Ohio Public Institutions Announce Promising New Pilot

Since publishing our first report on the subject in October 2020, Ithaka S+R has been at the forefront of defining the problem of stranded credits. We are now moving ahead with testing a potentially groundbreaking solution. “Stranded credits” are credits that students have earned but can’t access because their former institution is holding their transcript as collateral for an unpaid balance to the institution. Ninety-five percent of…
December 7, 2021

Providing Library Services to the Incarcerated

An Interview with Jeanie Austin on Their New Book

Providing library services to people held in prisons and jails can be a challenging endeavor. Those who take on this work will need to navigate complex, and not always welcoming, corrections’ bureaucracies and face censorship or be themselves co-opted into censoring in ways that are antithetical to the ethical tenets of librarianship. Yet the information needs among incarcerated and detained people are immense given their limited access to the internet or other technologies…
December 1, 2021

Supporting Big Data Research

New Report Offers Recommendations for Stakeholders

As “big data” has moved from the margins to the center of a growing number of academic disciplines, how well are universities, funders, and publishers supporting researchers? To better understand how big data research is pursued in academic contexts, Ithaka S+R partnered with librarians at more than 20 colleges and universities, interviewing over 200 faculty members, to explore how researchers work with big data and identify the challenges they face. “Big Data Infrastructure at the Crossroads:…
November 12, 2021

Announcing a New Research Collaboration

Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums and Ithaka S+R Are Fielding the First Art Museum Trustee Survey this Fall

We are excited to announce the launch of Ithaka S+R’s collaboration with the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). BTA, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a membership organization working to increase the inclusion of Black perspectives and narratives in North American art museums to make these institutions more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement. Using programming, research, and strategic communications, BTA is helping its members–Black trustees…
November 12, 2021

Three Questions for Deirdre Harkins

On November 1, Deirdre Harkins joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team through a collaboration with the Black Trustees Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to BTA and what she hopes to accomplish during her fellowship.  What attracted you to the BTA fellowship? I found BTA’s mission statement of increasing the inclusion of Black perspectives in museums especially compelling. It directly coincides with the research approach…
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November 11, 2021

Engaging Undergraduates in Primary Source Research

An Interview with the Authors of Two New Books

Creating meaningful learning encounters with primary sources involves dynamic collaboration between instructors and those who work with cultural heritage collections, including librarians, archivists, and museum professionals. Here at Ithaka S+R we have been engaging in a series of studies in collaboration with academic libraries, archives, and museums to understand instructors’ support needs in this area, including how to support their teaching with digital cultural heritage materials as classes went remote during the pandemic. In addition to understanding instructors’ experiences…
November 10, 2021

Unpacking the Effects of Increasing Pell Grants

The Pell Grant is America’s most prominent tool to promote college access and affordability for low- and middle-income students. With a substantial increase in the maximum Pell award under consideration by Congress, a natural question is how that increase is likely to impact the access and affordability goals of the program. The answer, it turns out, depends a lot on the college or university at which a Pell recipient uses the grant. In a new…
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October 21, 2021

Working with Libraries to Navigate the Streaming Media Environment

The ascendancy of the streaming format has implications for how educational content is used and purchased within universities, even if universities do not appear to be a priority market for media providers. The pedagogical possibilities for streaming content extend far beyond access to feature films and documentaries, providing, for instance, the opportunity to access a wide variety of academic conference presentations, or observe lab demonstrations. Within universities, academic libraries are taking…
October 20, 2021

The A*CENSUS II: All Archivists Survey is Live

The A*CENSUS II: All Archivists Survey launched this week! This is the first broadscale survey of individual archivists and memory workers in the United States in 17 years. Nearly six thousand archivists participated in the original A*CENSUS in 2004, and the overwhelming response allowed the findings to be leveraged across the field in a myriad of ways. For institutions and professional organizations, the data informed the design of new curricula and the assessment of educational offerings; for archival institutions, the…
October 18, 2021

The Future of Scholarly Meetings

Announcing a New Cohort Project Funded by the Sloan Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic forced scholarly societies to reimagine one of their signal offerings: academic conferences. In response, societies experimented  with virtual and hybrid meeting formats on a scale that was difficult to imagine before March 2020. Societies have emerged from these experiments with an equal measure of worry and cautious optimism about the potential of these new forums to replace or supplement the traditional annual meeting.  With generous funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ithaka…
October 5, 2021

Censorship in Prisons

Recording from the San Francisco Public Library's Banned Books Event Now Available

Last week was Banned Books Week, an annual event meant to celebrate the freedom to read and draw attention to censorship and other threats to free expression. As a report by the free expression advocacy group PEN America points out, America’s prisons are the locus of the country’s largest and most extensive censorship regime. While the free and unencumbered access to literature is a challenge for all incarcerated…
September 27, 2021

An Interview with Nyree Gray, Chief Civil Rights Officer at Claremont McKenna

A deep dive on campus climate and how the Campus Climate Survey can help build a more equitable academic and social environment

Nyree Gray is associate vice president and chief civil rights officer at Claremont McKenna College (CMC). She has previously presented on a webinar for the American Talent Initiative (ATI) Academic Equity Community of Practice (CoP) and at the 2021 Academic Equity CoP Summer Institute, focusing on the intersection between campus climate and curriculum. In particular, she’s shared how she evaluates insights gained from…