This morning we published the US Faculty Survey 2018. Through this national survey, we have tracked the research, teaching, and publishing practices of higher education faculty members at four year colleges and universities on a triennial basis since 2000. Our aim in this project is to provide actionable findings and analysis to help colleges and universities as well as relevant support services, such as academic libraries, learned societies, and scholarly publishers, plan for the future.

What do key findings from this survey cycle reveal? As access to scholarly information and materials online are increasing, we are observing distinct changes and shifts to the function of the library, faculty instructional practices, and publication decision-making. We have tracked a continual increase in the use of online tools, not only to discover new information, but to manage and preserve research data and materials. While libraries combat rising costs of journal subscriptions, the library’s role continues to be most highly valued for its provision of resources but is increasingly viewed as important for its archiving of scholarly content. Faculty are more enthusiastic about open access scholarship than in previous cycles, though their behavior continues to be influenced by traditional scholarly incentives.

In this cycle, we also added questions about open educational resources and learning analytics tools. As students continue to be challenged by the high costs of course materials, faculty are looking to low and no cost solutions, such as OER, though far fewer are currently involved in the creation of open materials for classroom use. Faculty expressed much less enthusiasm for learning analytics tools, which both adopters and non-adopters view with some skepticism.

With an overall response rate of 7.2%, the survey findings can be analyzed by discipline, institution type, age, title, and other important demographic characteristics. We invite you to take a closer look at the full report as well as the deeper dives we will share over the coming months on our blog. We also look forward to hearing your thoughts, reflections, and questions on this latest cycle of findings, and invite you to join the conversation through the comments field.