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Publications

Research Report
September 30, 2020

Measuring the Whole Student

Landscape Review of Traditional and Holistic Approaches to Community College Student Success

As colleges and universities work to enhance student success, they frequently use traditional outcome-based metrics—such as graduation rates, year-to-year retention, and post-graduation employment—to define that “success.” These measurements, which throughout this report we refer to as traditional metrics, are often prioritized across higher education given their impact on and consequences toward institutional decision-making, benchmarking, and most importantly, funding. While these quantitative metrics can provide a useful—albeit limited—view into student experiences inside and outside of the classroom, they often focus on…
Research Report
June 25, 2020

Student Experiences During the Pandemic Pivot

The spring 2020 term was unmistakably shaped by forces outside of the control of higher education leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic caused colleges and universities across the country—and the world—to quickly pivot in an emergency fashion to online teaching, learning, and research while grappling with a host of complex issues in serving students, supporting faculty and staff, and ensuring their financial viability. Thousands of institutions and millions of students were impacted in the United States alone. In response to…
Playbook
May 18, 2020

Planning, Partnering, and Piloting

A Community College Library Service Innovation Playbook

Service Concept Testing As part of a multi-year student service innovation project, co-led by Northern Virginia Community College and Ithaka S+R, we developed and implemented a new mixed-methods assessment approach: service concept testing.[1] With participation from six additional community college partners and support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we designed, evaluated, and piloted a variety of service prototypes. In this playbook, we describe the services generated and piloted as a result of these collaborations and…
Research Report
April 2, 2020

Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2019

Every three years Ithaka S+R conducts our Library Survey to track the changing strategic directions and priorities of the deans and directors of academic libraries. The data are gathered during a relatively brief window of approximately four weeks. In the case of this most recent survey cycle, that moment in time was the fall of 2019, well before any of us had heard of COVID-19.
Research Report
December 5, 2019

Organizing Support for Success

Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE) project examines how academic and student support services at not-for-profit associate-degree granting colleges are organized, funded, and staffed, and how these services can most effectively advance student success. In spring 2019, we surveyed 249 chief academic and student affairs officers at community colleges across the United States on success measures, services offered, resource challenges and constraints, and vision for future service provision.
Issue Brief
November 6, 2019

What Do Our Users Need?

An Evidence-Based Approach for Designing New Services

In the face of evolving user needs, many academic libraries are reimagining the services they offer. As instruction moves online, how can libraries best provide support for teaching and learning? As research becomes more reliant on data, computation, and collaboration, where can libraries best add value? As colleges welcome more diverse student populations and greater contingent faculty labor to campus, what is the library’s role? As budgets shrink, how should a library prioritize which resources and services to provide?…
Research Report
October 24, 2019

Surveying Community College Students

Strategies for Maximizing Engagement and Increasing Participation

Higher education researchers need to employ effective outreach methods in order to connect with the populations they study. For surveys in particular, low response rates can lead to non-response error, decreasing generalizability and representativeness. To combat these issues, Ithaka S+R has developed and tested a suite of outreach strategies that we have employed over the past two decades in our long-running national faculty survey as well as our local surveys of faculty and students.[1] In fall 2018, we surveyed students…
Research Report
September 30, 2019

Student Needs Are Academic Needs

Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success

The Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) project examines student success from the perspective of students themselves, what challenges they face in achieving it, and what services can be developed to effectively support them in their attainment of that success. In fall 2018, we surveyed 10,844 students across seven community colleges to assess the value of and demand for proposed services designed to address students’ expressed goals, challenges, and needs.
Research Report
April 12, 2019

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey has tracked the changing research, teaching, and publishing practices of higher education faculty members 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.
Research Report
August 13, 2018

Amplifying Student Voices

The Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success Project

The Community College Libraries & Academic Support for Student Success (CCLASSS) project examines student goals, challenges, and needs from the student perspective. Through this project, we aim to provide community colleges and their libraries with strategic intelligence on how to adapt their services to most effectively meet student needs. In spring 2018, we conducted semi-structured interviews with students at seven partner community colleges on student objectives and goals, definitions of success, challenges faced, and coursework practices. Key findings Across…
Research Report
April 3, 2017

US Library Survey 2016

The Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016 examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors. This project aims to provide academic librarians and higher education leaders with information about chief librarians’ visions and the opportunities and challenges they face in leading their organizations. In fall 2016, we invited library deans and directors at not-for-profit four-year academic institutions across the United States to complete the survey, and we received 722 responses for a response rate of…
Research Report
October 4, 2016

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Faculty Survey

Executive Summary of Findings

Since 2014, eleven member institutions from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) have administered the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey on their campuses.[1] The survey instrument covers many scholarly research and teaching-related topics, in part overlapping with the 2015 Ithaka S+R U.S. Faculty Survey and other previous iterations of the Ithaka S+R U.S. Faculty Survey.[2] Each of these Local Faculty Surveys included a core set of questions on preferences and practices related to discovery, digital…
Research Report
June 15, 2016

UK Survey of Academics 2015

Ithaka S+R | Jisc | RLUK

Research is changing. New technology brings increased computational power and virtual representation of physical objects, allowing us to pose and answer previously unimaginable research questions. Big data can be mixed, linked and mined to reveal new unsuspected connections. Enhanced connectivity allows us to collaborate beyond traditional geographic and disciplinary boundaries. Funders demand greater demonstration of impact and engagement with non-academic communities and audiences. As research changes, so do researchers. Their behaviour and expectations shift, evolving to take advantage of new…
Research Report
April 4, 2016

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2015

Ithaka S+R’s survey of US faculty members has been fielded regularly since 2000. This project provides a periodic snapshot of practices and perceptions related to scholarly communications and information usage. The scholar-centric nature of the questionnaire ensures that potential changes in research and teaching inform our thinking, not only about academic libraries and scholarly publishing, but about changes in the educational enterprise more broadly. Our findings this cycle are a strong indication of the value of an ongoing tracking enterprise…