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October 19, 2020

Increasing Access to Quality Educational Resources to Support Higher Education in Prison

New Project Announcement 

We are excited to announce a new project funded by Ascendium Education Group that will allow us to expand our current work on increasing access to quality educational resources for higher education in prison (HEP) programs. This grant will support both Ithaka S+R’s growing research focus in the field as well as JSTOR Labs’ innovative work on increasing access to academic resources for incarcerated students. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that both HEP programs and…
October 6, 2020

Ithaka S+R Is Hiring

Two New Analyst Job Openings

Are you passionate about higher education and the arts? Our work helps these organizations and their support providers—including libraries, publishers, scholarly societies, and museums— enhance scholarship, instruction, community engagement, and student success. Ithaka S+R is hiring for two new positions that will work on some of our most exciting research and advisory projects. Both roles will work collaboratively on research projects that lead to publications including grant-funded research…
September 9, 2020

Supporting Language and Literature Scholarship in the COVID-19 Era

The latest installment in Ithaka S+R’s series of Research Support Services projects investigates the research practices and support needs of scholars in the field of languages and literature. Today we are excited to publish the project’s capstone report.  The research that underlies this report was conducted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we believe our findings resonate now more than ever. The field…
August 17, 2020

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Online During the Pandemic

New Mellon-Funded Project

Today we are excited to announce a new project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will explore how teaching and learning with cultural heritage collections and materials is evolving in response to the pandemic. Instructors who seek to use cultural heritage objects from museums, archives, and special collections face unique challenges when adapting to remote teaching. What is needed is deeper understanding of, and better support for these instructors in this current moment.  This…
May 28, 2020

Project Launch: Canceling the Big Deal

Earlier this spring we announced that we were going to begin a new collaborative project on the impact of Big Deal cancellations on users, including their strategies for accessing content, and their perceptions of the library’s role in providing access. While at the time Ithaka S+R was only just beginning to anticipate the conditions universities and their libraries are facing now, it is already clear that the research is more important than ever. Ithaka S+R…
May 14, 2020

Launching Two Projects on Supporting Data Work

Last summer we announced that we were going to begin two new collaborative projects on data, one focused on teaching, and one on research. While we couldn’t have anticipated then the conditions we are facing now, we believe the research is more important than ever. The first project will examine instructors’ support needs teaching with data in the social sciences, while the second project will study the support needs of researchers who work…
May 8, 2020

Assessment Across Higher Ed

Join Us for a Webinar on May 13

Over the last few months, all units on campus have needed to plan in unprecedented ways for how best to support students, faculty, and other communities in response to the pandemic. As the activities related to teaching, learning, and research continue remotely during the spring term amid incredibly challenging circumstances, understanding the barriers students and faculty face has become more important than ever. Assessing and addressing community needs is also important for developing  appropriate supports for these communities…
April 14, 2020

Technologies at Hand

On Researcher Practices During a Pandemic

On March 25 I had the privilege of giving the introductory talk to NISO’s virtual conference on Research Behaviors and the Impact of Technology. The relationship between research behaviors and technology is a topic I have a birdseye view on through my work at Ithaka S+R, where I oversee a program examining scholars’ research practices discipline-by-discipline and we conduct a US-wide faculty survey triennially. The event was always already virtual and I found myself preparing amidst the…
March 16, 2020

Dispatches from the Higher Ed #covidclassroom

Teaching and Learning Edition

As the response to COVID-19 intensifies across the US and Canada, higher education institutions are responding by shifting classes online and adjusting pedagogical expectations en masse. Comprehensive tracking of campus closures and academic library responses provides an essential birdseye view of the sector’s response to the pandemic and there are a wealth of resources and case studies about best practices but what is…
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March 4, 2020

Project Announcement: Cancelling the Big Deal

As Big Deal spending has come to occupy a greater and greater share of materials budgets, libraries are increasingly questioning the status quo of their Big Deal subscriptions. Recent years have seen a number of prominent cancellations, precipitated by questions about the value of the subscription materials. In 2020 we expect this trend to continue with libraries becoming increasingly assertive in their negotiating stance with publishers. This may yield some interesting compromise agreements,…
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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…