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December 7, 2018

The Place of Manuscript Management Systems in a Consolidating Marketplace

It was my great privilege last month to facilitate a virtual workshop on the topic of The Place of Manuscript Management Systems in a Consolidating Marketplace. These services are at the heart of the publisher workflow, and they are the basis of fascinating consolidation today. Elsevier’s acquisition of Aries has brought its competition with Clarivate, which owns ScholarOne. Can these providers integrate manuscript management into their broader publishing…
October 18, 2018

Universities Are Changing and So Are Their Libraries

New Report from OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R, both known for exploring the implications for libraries of changes taking place in higher education, joined forces to work on a research project, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that examines variations in institutional missions and how those missions affect the services offered to library users. The resulting report, University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning Library Strategies with Institutional Directions, has just been published. Our hope is that both academic administrators and librarians…
April 2, 2018

Oya Y. Rieger to Join Ithaka S+R

I am thrilled to announce that digital preservation expert and scholarly communications leader Oya Y. Rieger will be joining Ithaka S+R as a Senior Advisor on our Libraries & Scholarly Communication team on July 1.   Oya has worked at Cornell University for over 25 years and currently is the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources & Preservation Services. When Oya joins Ithaka S+R, she will continue her affiliation with Cornell, staying on as…
March 16, 2018

The Services Portfolio of an Academic Library: A Framework

Academic libraries have been rethinking their strategic directions and services portfolios. I have argued recently that academic libraries face certain essential transformations, as they move beyond print general collections towards a variety of other roles. In a current project, Ithaka S+R and OCLC Research have been developing a typology of higher education institutions to explore the different ways that libraries are evolving at a service level. An essential…
January 23, 2018

Making Strides towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Examples from Four Art Museums

Over the past three years, Ithaka S+R has conducted three wide-scale analyses of employee diversity in cultural organizations. These have included academic research libraries, the cultural sector in New York City, and American art museums. In all three studies, a common picture has emerged: staff in professional–and especially leadership–roles are more predominately white than is the population more broadly. But, as…
January 12, 2018

Essential Transformations

The academic library is transforming. This diagram illustrates some of what I see as its most essential transformations. Libraries are transforming in terms of their collections – towards electronic collections, towards shared collections, towards open access, and towards distinctive holdings. Complexities abound for discovery, access, processing, and preservation. And libraries are also transforming beyond collections, towards a partnership with scholars and students in support of research, teaching, and learning workflows. This…
January 10, 2018

Research Infrastructure and the Strategic Decisions of Universities

For the past several years, I have been writing about the turn to research workflow tools. These tools reach deeply into the laboratory and are increasingly important to scientists and other scholars, and they impact the university research office and scholarly communications programs. Scholars need seamless end-to-end research solutions. Major publishers are making substantial investments in this area as they seek to pivot their businesses beyond content licensing. The strategic choices that universities make today…
December 13, 2017

What is Researcher Workflow?

Over the past two years, I have been urging that academic information professionals, including librarians and publishers, give greater attention to how they might support a growing share of the researcher workflow. But what is researcher workflow? The researcher workflow can be defined in a number of ways. For laboratory scientists, it includes research design and funding, moves through data collection and analysis, and takes them to assessment and showcasing. This very rough schematic offers…
October 17, 2017

Putting the Red Light, Green Light Model Into Practice

Last week, ASERL’s John Burger facilitated a webinar about licensing scholarly content. I provided an overview of the “Red Light, Green Light” model for internal library alignment that I proposed earlier this year. John Ulmschneider of Virginia Commonwealth University reflected on some the challenges that research libraries face and endorsed proceeding with a model of increasing alignment. Participants discussed the strengths of the Red Light, Green Light model and some of the ways…
October 11, 2017

The Preservation of Government Publications

Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond

I was honored to be asked to testify before the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration, as part of a hearing on “Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond.” The hearing also included testimony from Robin Dale of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and R. Eric Petersen of the Congressional Research Service. A video of the hearing is included below along with the written testimony I submitted to the committee. Written Testimony Chairman Harper, Ranking Member Brady, and…
August 30, 2017

Diversity within ARL Member Libraries

Today, Ithaka S+R is releasing a report in conjunction with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation examining employee diversity within the libraries that are members of the Association of Research Libraries. This is the latest part of a collaborative series between Mellon and Ithaka S+R to support efforts in US higher education and cultural institutions to identify diversity strategies. This report, intended to serve as a benchmark against which future progress can be measured, finds that substantial…
August 29, 2017

The Center for Open Science, Alternative to Elsevier, Announces New Preprint Services Today

The past year has been a momentous period for preprint-driven open access. Elsevier has made two major acquisitions, of SSRN with its edited research networks and of bepress with its Digital Commons institutional repository service. Springer Nature sibling Digital Science has worked to develop its presence too, expanding figshare as not just a data repository but as a full institutional solution and more…
August 7, 2017

Reflections on “Elsevier Acquires bepress”

Implications for Library Leaders

We are today in the midst of a profound reconfiguration of all sorts of information industries, impacting everything from journalism to entertainment. Libraries and scholarly information providers are not alone. Last week’s news of the bepress acquisition by Elsevier, which I first covered in a business analysis suggesting its strong strategic fit along with some potential risks, took the academic library community by storm. As the dust begins to settle, this is a…
May 18, 2017

Looking at Library Information Technology, Leadership, and Culture

New Issue Brief from Dale Askey and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Last year, I wrote on the changing organizational structure of academic libraries. Across my interviews with the former and current directors of large research libraries, I found a number of areas where these leaders were taking similar approaches—in redefining the role of the AUL, reallocating the staffing and materials budgets for general collections, and experimenting with new approaches to outreach and engagement roles. Their approach, however, was not as uniform when it came…
April 10, 2017

University Futures; Library Futures

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R Join Forces on New Research Project

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R have studied and written extensively about the evolution of higher education and the implications of this evolution for the organizational structure and services of libraries. Today, we are announcing a new project, “University Futures; Library Futures”, in which OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R are joining forces to carry out a collaborative project on the future of academic libraries, in the context of changes in the higher…
April 10, 2017

Taking a Closer Look at Talent Management

Findings from the US Library Survey

Last week, Ithaka S+R published results from the US Library Survey 2016. This report examines the perspectives of library deans and directors on strategy and priorities broadly. This cycle, we expanded our coverage of issues related to talent management, building on recent Ithaka S+R projects on organizational structure and inclusion, diversity, and equity. Employees are often the greatest asset of an organization, and therefore, a mindset to recruit, develop, and retain an outstanding pool of employees…
April 3, 2017

Shaping the Academic Library

Today, Ithaka S+R is releasing the US Library Survey 2016, which tracks the perspectives and practices of academic libraries whose institutions offer a bachelor’s degree or higher. We achieved strong participation by library deans and directors, with a response rate of 49%. The project examines the key strategic directions these leaders and their libraries are pursuing as well as some of the constraints against which they act. Our findings fall into a number of key categories: Library directors anticipate…
February 22, 2017

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Art Museums

Learning from the Community

How diverse are America’s art museums? In terms of one measure—employee demographics—not very. A 2014 study, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and undertaken by Ithaka S+R in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), showed that the field is much more homogenous with respect to race and ethnicity than the nation as a whole. While these findings have…
February 2, 2017

The Strategic Investments of Content Providers

Today’s news that Elsevier has acquired Plum Analytics from EBSCO provides the latest opportunity for insight into the remarkable evolution of the largest and most sophisticated academic content providers. From Elsevier and Springer to EBSCO and ProQuest, these publishers and content providers are reducing their reliance on their content businesses as engines of growth. While these businesses remain strong, they are pursuing one of two newer directions for greater growth. Aggregators like EBSCO…
November 7, 2016

Shaping a Library by Linking Planning and Budgeting

The Charleston Conference last week featured a plenary address from Jim Neal, Columbia University’s former library director and the ALA president-elect. Jim spoke about his views on the changing nature of libraries and offered a series of “commandments” about how libraries can and should evolve going forward. Among many other observations based on his years of experience in academic research libraries, Jim emphasized his views that strategic planning processes fail us too often, that we need fewer ideas and stronger…