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December 12, 2019

Teaching Business: New Report Explores the Needs of Business Faculty

Today Ithaka S+R is releasing the first report in a new program focused on supporting teaching practices. In it, we explore the needs of faculty teaching undergraduate business. We started with business as it is consistently one of the most popular majors in the United States, and understanding the needs of faculty in this field can have a large impact on undergraduate teaching and learning. Informed by interviews with 158 business…
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…
May 7, 2019

CNI Spring Meeting Presentation on Scholars as Collectors

Video Recording Now Available

At CNI’s Spring Meeting in April, we had the pleasure of presenting some of the highlights from the recent Ithaka S+R brief on scholars as collectors and discuss the implications, benefits, trade-offs, and other key questions that must be taken into account when considering different models for supporting scholarly collecting. It was one of the talks selected for recording and is now available on CNI’s…
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April 16, 2019

When Research is Relational

New Report on Supporting the Research Practices of Indigenous Studies Scholars

I am excited to announce the publication of the capstone report from Ithaka S+R’s Indigenous Studies project, which brought together teams at eleven academic libraries to study the research support needs of Indigenous Studies scholars. Indigenous Studies places Indigenous perspectives at the center of inquiry, with unique protocols for defining, describing, sharing, and preserving information. The project provided a unique opportunity for academic librarians to come together, learn from Indigenous…
April 9, 2019

What to Watch for at ACRL 2019: Research Data Edition

With the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) 2019 conference less than a week away, there has been some discussion about research data receiving limited attention in this year’s program. Academic libraries are at the forefront of key issues in data management, sharing, and use, so we wanted to make sure to highlight this important topic. Here’s a preview of some of the data-related sessions, lightning talks,…
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March 15, 2019

Two New Ithaka S+R Analyst Job Openings

Are you passionate about evidence-based approaches to improving higher education and the arts? Ithaka S+R has two new positions to support our dynamic research on libraries, scholarly communication, and museums. Our work helps these organizations better support scholarship, instruction, community engagement, and student success by empowering them to gather and effectively utilize evidence that supports strong decision-making about strategic direction and service offerings. Our new analyst positions provide unique opportunities to conduct and publish major research…
February 13, 2019

The Right Tool for the Job

Fostering Strategic Approaches to User Research

In October 2018 we had the opportunity to engage with attendees to at the Digital Library Federation (DLF) conference about fostering strategic approaches to digital library assessment. During the session we briefly presented a framework for thinking through various user research avenues and related methodologies (suggesting that the user survey isn’t the only useful tool libraries could employ even if we use them a lot!) and then invited participants to consider what they…
January 29, 2019

Do Physical Books Still Spark Joy?

On the Material Reality of Today’s Academic Libraries

Marie Kondo of Tidying Up, the decluttering-as-self help phenomenon, recently met controversy for declaring that she strictly limits the number of books in her home to thirty. She has since clarified that the optimal physical book collection size is a personal metric, however, the underlying controversy echoes an issue that many academic libraries are facing around the role and presence of physical books.
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January 24, 2019

A New Issue Brief on Revenue-Generating Library Services

Academic libraries are grappling with how to respond to the the continuing introduction of increasingly more business-like approaches to the academy, such as through the popularity of “responsibility center” approaches to management, and “customer” or “client”-focused approaches to service. For example, while some embrace the concept of “entrepreneurial librarianship” others are taking an anti-capitalist stance through the lens of “critical librarianship.” Undergirding these rhetorical moves are the material challenges that academic libraries, and their institutions, are facing as…
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January 16, 2019

Announcing a New Project on Teaching with Primary Sources

We are excited to announce a new research project designed to support effective teaching with primary sources. Teaching undergraduates with primary sources promotes student engagement and critical thinking skills and is a key ingredient in the current pedagogical push toward “inquiry-based” or “research-led” learning.* Although leveraging physical collections remains important, technological affordances have additionally transformed possibilities for teaching with primary sources: not only by increasing content availability, but by enabling digital discovery, curation, and annotation. The…
November 28, 2018

New Issue Brief on Scholars as Collectors

Today we publish an Ithaka S+R issue brief that is aimed at reframing how academic research support is conceptualized to better address scholars’ needs. Research support services in university settings are currently focused on aiding scholars as they work on specific research tasks or content, which is largely diffuse and often insufficiently funded. We contend that research support services would be more effective if designed to holistically reflect how scholars work. Looking to scholarly practices in a…
November 26, 2018

Library Assessment Conference 2018: What to Watch For

Every two years the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) brings together practitioners and researchers to discuss effective, sustainable, and practical approaches to library assessment. The conference and its program offerings provide an opportunity to take stock of how the library assessment field is evolving. As we eagerly wait for the 2018 conference in December, we share today what we are most closely tracking. The assessment movement continues to grow…
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October 23, 2018

Reflections on the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

From September 26-30 the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) held their third national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference is sponsored by five associations of ethnic librarians and is a crucial venue for supporting librarians of color, and by extension, fostering diversity in the profession. A group of librarians on the Indigenous Studies project, in which 12…
August 30, 2018

Dispatch from IFLA 2018

I recently presented at the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information congress on the Indigenous Studies project. For the project, Ithaka S+R is working with 12 university libraries to understand the research support needs of Indigenous Studies scholars. The project is endorsed by IFLA’s Indigenous Matters section and I presented alongside section member Camille Callison, who is serving…
August 30, 2018

Community College Academic and Student Services Ecosystem

Ithaka S+R Launches New Research Project

Thirty-nine percent of all US undergraduate students attend community colleges, with roughly nine million enrolled in public two-year colleges annually. These institutions serve a wide range of students, including underrepresented minorities, veterans, low-income, adult, and first-generation students, as well as underprepared and non-traditional learners. But with only 37.5 percent earning a degree from either a two- or four-year institution within six years of starting…
August 15, 2018

Announcing a New Project on Language and Literature

This fall Ithaka S+R is launching the tenth project in our ongoing Research Support Services program. This project will focus on the research practices of faculty in the fields of language and literature, broadly defined, and will seek to identify areas where these scholars need further support. Research in language and literature is typically delineated through sub-fields grouped by genre, theory and/or method of analysis (e.g., poetry, history of…
June 21, 2018

The Limits of Area Studies: Studying Scholars of Asia

From 2015-2017, Ithaka S+R partnered with 29 researchers at 11 academic libraries in the U.S. to study the research activities and support needs of scholars in Asian Studies. Today we are excited to release the project’s capstone report, Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Asian Studies Scholars, which provides actionable findings for organizations, institutions, and professionals who support these research activities.  Our report is complemented by the local findings (see below) that have…
April 3, 2018

Joining Together to Support Undergraduate Instruction

A New Program from Ithaka S+R

For over five years Ithaka S+R has successfully developed large-scale research projects through our Research Support Services program to study the research support needs of scholars in disciplines including history, art history, chemistry, religious studies, agriculture and public health. We are now launching…
February 15, 2018

The Humanities Digital Divide

On Friday, February 9th I attended the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Digital Humanities at the National Endowment of the Humanities. It was a jam-packed, vivid testimony to the ODH’s vision and work, featuring a keynote by Kate Zwaard, Chief of National Digital Initiatives at the Library of Congress, and John Unsworth, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Virginia, shorter remarks from leaders in the digital humanities (…
December 14, 2017

Workflows and the Highly Collaborative Public Health Scholar

Today Ithaka S+R is publishing the report Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Public Health Scholars, which provides actionable findings for organizations, institutions, and professionals who support the research activities in this dynamic field.  Our research was undertaken collaboratively with research teams at seven academic libraries in the U.S., six of which have also made their local findings publically available as companion publications. This work is part of an ongoing effort at Ithaka S+R through our Research Support…