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Publications

Research Report
November 16, 2022

The BTA 2022 Art Museum Trustee Survey

The Characteristics, Roles, and Experiences of Black Trustees

The Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA) has partnered with Ithaka S+R to examine the experiences and demographics of art museum trustees from museums in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Through a shared interest in representation in the arts, BTA and Ithaka S+R fielded the Art Museum Trustee Survey to board members in the fall of 2021. The report investigates the characteristics, roles, and experiences of Black trustees in North American art museums.
Research Report
November 16, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2022

With support from the Mellon Foundation and in partnership with AAM and AAMD, Ithaka S+R conducted a third cycle of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey. As museums have struggled with revenue losses due to the pandemic, many in the field expressed concern that museums would grow less diverse. This study shows that the opposite is true. Findings shed light on the trajectory of demographic changes and the impact of the pandemic on staffing.
Research Report
October 27, 2022

Art Museum Director Survey 2022

Documenting Change in Museum Strategy and Operations

In April 2022, with funding from the Kress Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, and in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Ithaka S+R launched the second iteration of the Art Museum Director Survey. One hundred and eighty-one art museum directors completed the attitudinal survey, sharing perspectives about the institution they represent, as well as the museum sector as a whole.
Research Report
September 27, 2022

Fostering Data Literacy

Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences

“Fostering Data Literacy: Teaching with Quantitative Data in the Social Sciences” explores why and how instructors teach with data, identifies the most important challenges they face, and describes how faculty and students utilize relevant campus and external resources. Full details and actionable recommendations for stakeholders are offered in the body of the report, which offers guidance to university libraries and other campus units, faculty, vendors, and others interested in improving institutional capacities to support data-intensive instruction in the social sciences.
Research Report
August 30, 2022

Borrowing During a Time of Crisis

Examining Institutional Debt During the Great Recession and COVID-19

Although a great deal of attention is paid to student debt, colleges and universities have increased their institutional debt substantially over the past several decades. While institutional borrowing is an important tool colleges can use to meet strategic goals, unchecked or irresponsible debts can undercut a college’s ability to adequately serve students. Ithaka S+R conducted a mixed methods study, with the generous support of the TIAA Institute, to better understand how institutional borrowing decisions are made during periods of crisis.
Research Report
August 22, 2022

A*CENSUS II All Archivists Survey Report

Five thousand, six hundred and ninety-nine archivists and memory workers across the United States took the time to share their experiences within the archives profession by completing the A*CENSUS II All Archivists Survey. The All Archivists Survey, fielded 17 years after the original A*CENSUS collected foundational data for the field, provides a measure of how far the field has come in nearly two decades as well as introduces new or expanded areas of exploration.
Research Report
August 9, 2022

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science

Findings from an Incubation Workshop Series

Several recent studies have indicated that large numbers of researchers in many STEM fields now accept the value of openly sharing research data. Yet, the actual practice of sharing data—especially in forms that comply with FAIR principles—remains a challenge for many researchers to integrate into their workflows and prioritize among the demands on their time. In many disciplines and subfields, data sharing is still mostly an ideal, honored more in the breach than in practice.
Research Report
July 19, 2022

The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems

In August 2020, with funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), Ithaka S+R launched an 18-month research project to examine and assess the sustainability of these third-party digital preservation systems. In addition to a broad examination of the landscape, we more closely studied eight systems: APTrust, Archivematica, Arkivum, Islandora, LIBNOVA, MetaArchive, Samvera and Preservica.
Research Report
July 14, 2022

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2021

The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey has tracked the changing research, teaching, and publishing practices of faculty members within higher education triennially since early digital transformation at the turn of the century. This project has aimed to provide actionable findings to help colleges and universities, among other relevant stakeholders such as academic libraries, learned societies, and scholarly publishers, make evidence-based decisions for their planning and strategy.
Research Report
June 9, 2022

Streaming Media Licensing and Purchasing Practices at Academic Libraries

Survey Results

Researchers have undertaken several important efforts to track how libraries are approaching the streaming media market and troubleshoot the challenges they are encountering, focusing especially on strategies for balancing patron demand with managing costs. Building on those data gathering efforts, this report shares findings from the most comprehensive survey to date of academic library streaming media approaches at four-year institutions in the US and Canada.
Research Report
May 25, 2022

Overseeing the Overseers

Can Federal Oversight of Accreditation Improve Student Outcomes?

Since the passage of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, the federal government has relied on the accreditation process to ensure quality at postsecondary institutions receiving federal dollars. Ithaka S+R began a pilot study in 2021 to assess the feasibility of using publicly available data on the accreditation process and outcomes to evaluate the impact of federal oversight mechanisms on institutional and student outcomes. In this report, we provide an overview of accreditation in the US.
Research Report
April 12, 2022

Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy

Ithaka S+R was commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) to examine the strategic directions of research universities with the objective of identifying common themes that research libraries can consider in aligning to advance the research and learning mission both individually and collectively. This project draws on interviews and other forms of engagement conducted in 2021 with more than 60 university leaders across research libraries in the US and Canada.
Research Report
March 31, 2022

The Impacts of Emergency Micro-Grants on Student Success

Evaluation Study of Georgia State University’s Panther Retention Grant Program

The Panther Retention Grant (PRG) program at Georgia State University (Georgia State) is one of the nation’s pioneering examples of a retention or completion grant program, a type of emergency financial aid program aimed at supporting students with immediate financial need. The program, which specifically targets students who are in good academic standing and have exhausted all other sources of aid, automatically awards up to $2,500 to clear students’ unpaid balances and allow them to remain enrolled for the term.
Research Report
March 30, 2022

Underrepresentation of Black and Latino Undergraduates at America’s Most Selective Private Colleges and Universities

Attending a more selective college or university matters because these institutions graduate a larger share of their students. Attaining a bachelors’ degree increases expected lifetime earnings by roughly 65 percent over attaining only a high school diploma. Who has access to these selective institutions therefore has an impact on economic and social mobility in America, an objective that justifies the federal, state and local support of higher education. However, evidence suggests that selective schools could be doing more.
Research Report
March 17, 2022

Playbook for Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts

How to Design and Implement Statewide Pathways from Community Colleges to Independent Colleges

Bachelor’s degree attainment for community college transfer students is one underutilized but essential pathway for reducing equity gaps in higher education. One way to achieve this at scale is through state-level initiatives dedicated to supporting transfer from community colleges to not-for-profit independent colleges. The Teagle Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts initiative aims to create such pathways in 20 states in the next five years. This playbook draws on the experience of grantees…
Research Report
March 1, 2022

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Materials During the Pandemic

Cultural heritage materials can offer rewarding learning opportunities and impactful experiences for students across a variety of disciplines, especially in the humanities and social sciences. These learning opportunities create important historical and/or cultural context within a discipline, allowing students to deepen their engagement with a discipline, or see themselves, perhaps for the first time, as a scholar. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant move to online instruction at many colleges and universities, disrupted pedagogical practices and the ways that…
Research Report
February 2, 2022

Archiving Degree Audit Data to Measure and Reduce Lost Transfer Credit

Since June 2019, the Articulation of Credit Transfer project (ACT) has focused on streamlining the information, advising, and administrative processes concerning how credits from one City University of New York (CUNY) institution transfer to another CUNY institution. This work addresses a critical challenge at CUNY, and indeed, across American higher education. When students transfer from one college to another, they frequently are unable to count their previously earned credits toward degree requirements at their new institution, jeopardizing their ability to…
Research Report
December 6, 2021

What Is a Research Core?

A Primer on a Critical Component of the Research Enterprise

As clusters of state-of-the-art instruments and research enablement services, research cores are not only the cornerstone of research activities at university campuses but also critical assets that provide competitive differentiation for their host institutions. However, these research cores are highly expensive for academic institutions to manage. Despite the growing recognition and impact of these research cores, there are few studies that describe the business models for sustaining and funding research cores or their increasing significance to the larger academic community.
Research Report
December 1, 2021

Big Data Infrastructure at the Crossroads

Support Needs and Challenges for Universities

Ithaka S+R’s Research Support Services program explores current trends and support needs in academic research. Our most recent project in this program, “Supporting Big Data Research,” focused specifically on the rapidly emerging use of big data in research across disciplines and fields. As part of our study, we partnered with librarians from more than 20 colleges and universities, who then conducted over 200 interviews with faculty. These interviews provided insights into the research methodologies and support needs of researchers working…
Research Report
October 18, 2021

COVID-19 and the Future of the Annual Meeting

In February 2020, the Biogen conference in Boston, Massachusetts, became one of the first superspreader events in the United States—one now linked to perhaps 300,000 cases of COVID-19. By mid-March, in-person conferences, a staple of scholarly communication and community, came to an abrupt halt. For the many professional societies for whom a conference is a core offering, the necessity of charting a new path for their annual meeting was among the most difficult organizational challenges created by the pandemic. As…