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June 9, 2022

Academic Libraries’ Streaming Media Trends in the US and Canada 

New Survey Results Available

Libraries are the major purchasers of streaming media for their universities, and they face numerous challenges meeting the growing demand for these resources from students and instructors. Understanding how libraries are currently responding to these challenges and planning for future acquisitions of streaming media are important for both university decision makers and vendors hoping to serve this market. Today Ithaka S+R releases the findings from the most comprehensive survey to date of academic…
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…
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…
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 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…
August 5, 2021

Deadline Extended: Call for Proposals on Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science

Ithaka S+R is currently accepting applications from researchers interested in participating in Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science, an NSF-funded workshop developed in partnership with the Data Curation Network. Participants will receive funding to attend a two-day incubation workshop in 2022, as well as expert guidance from information professionals about how to create sustainable infrastructures to support voluntary data sharing across disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Applications are due October 1, 2021. Please see the following CFP for full…
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…
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 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…
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…
March 3, 2021

How Can Community College Services Be Organized to Best Meet Student Needs?

Over the course of their attendance, community college students must navigate through an array of services—delivered through student affairs departments, academic affairs departments, libraries, and their instructors—to find the support they need. Whether they find that support depends in part on whether their institutions have developed effective service models and organizational strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant necessity for increased remoting learning amidst enrollment declines and budgetary strains, also creates new challenges for students as well as…
January 28, 2021

Convening the Cohort

Teaching with Digital Cultural Heritage Materials in the Pandemic

Last summer we announced a Mellon funded project to study how higher education instructors are adapting their practices of teaching with cultural heritage materials during the pandemic. In this post we share how our project is developing and the issues we are tracking as our research gets underway. Why are we doing this project? We remain in a similarly unprecedented landscape six months later, as the COVID-19 virus remains a terrible threat. Technology has allowed certain types of activities…
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…