Ithaka S+R has this morning launched the 2012 cycle of our triennial Faculty Survey for US higher education. We are sending invitation emails to tens of thousands of faculty members across the US to ask them to participate, and we are grateful to the many faculty members who will take the time to respond. Their responses will allow us provide colleges and universities, libraries, scholarly societies, and academic publishers with insight into the evolving attitudes and practices of scholars in an increasingly digital environment. This is the fifth cycle of the Faculty Survey program, which has been tracking faculty views on these issues for over a decade. The Faculty Survey 2009 reports on findings from the previous cycle.

In preparing for the 2012 cycle, we have transitioned our survey from a paper-based to an online survey methodology and revised our questionnaire to address current strategic priorities while maintaining comparability with our historical Faculty Survey findings. We plan to release our findings in a freely available report in spring 2013. We are also pleased to announce that later this fall, in partnership with RLUK and JISC, we will be implementing the Faculty Survey in the UK for the first time!

Major topics covered by the survey include:

  • Research processes: The processes through which scholars perform their research, focusing principally on the use of research materials in secondary and primary research.
  • Teaching practices: The pedagogical methods that faculty members are adopting and the ways that they draw on content and support services in their teaching.
  • Scholarly communications: Formal and informal methods by which scholars communicate with each other, the ways in which the types of materials and information exchanged in these processes are evolving, and needs for various kinds of publishing support services.
  • The library: How faculty members perceive the roles and value of their institutional library, touching on the roles the library plays in supporting many of the above activities.
  • Scholarly societies: How faculty members perceive the roles and value of their primary scholarly society, including in supporting both formal and informal communications between scholars.

This year, we are developing parallel versions of the Faculty Survey for both US and UK higher education. We will be announcing more details about the UK project later this fall and are grateful for the input and advice that our UK partners and advisors have contributed. On the US side, we are advised in the development of the Faculty Survey 2012 by:

  • D. Russell Bailey, Providence College;
  • Al Bertrand and Peter Dougherty, Princeton University Press;
  • Linda Downs, College Art Association;
  • Brinley Franklin, University of Connecticut;
  • Judy Russell, University of Florida;
  • Peggy Seiden, Swarthmore College; and
  • Charles Watkinson, Purdue University Press

The Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2012 is supported by a number of sponsors, including colleges and universities that will be implementing instances of the Faculty Survey at their institution as well as publishers, vendors, and scholarly societies; we anticipate announcing several more sponsors 2012 in the coming weeks.

We are grateful to our sponsors for their support! The 2012 Faculty Survey sponsors include:

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • American Historical Association
  • College Art Association
  • Credo Reference
  • Ex Libris
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • ProQuest
  • SAGE

We will be analyzing findings from the Faculty Survey 2012 and sharing them through a publicly available report, public dataset deposit, and a variety of webinars and conference presentations.