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Topic: Libraries

Blog Post
November 18, 2020

Four Strategies for Crafting Inclusive and Effective Demographic Questions

At Ithaka S+R, we regularly re-evaluate the quality and inclusivity of the demographic questions we include in our surveys, just as we do with all of the items in our instruments. These questions undergo a rigorous, iterative revision process: we conduct desk research, gather feedback from advisors, test all questions with potential participants prior to launching, and pay attention to trends in open-ended responses to our questions. All of these approaches, along with following trends in research and…
Blog Post
November 18, 2020

Counting Research Data Services

How many, and what kinds, of research data services do US higher education institutions offer? Where are these services located within institutional structures? How do different types of colleges and universities differ in research data service provision? Academic institutions are in a data arms race, vying to produce cutting-edge, data-driven research across a wide range of disciplines. But the provision of research data services— support offerings which enable and improve data research…
Research Report
November 18, 2020

Research Data Services in US Higher Education

As data-driven research methods proliferate and become more sophisticated across disciplines, supporting researchers who work with data is increasingly a top priority for academic institutions. However, research data services—support offerings which enable and improve data research—are currently provided in an ad hoc manner by a variety of campus units, including libraries, academic departments and institutes, labs, and IT or research computing units. And the provision of research data services varies significantly from campus to campus. For data-driven research to thrive,…
Blog Post
November 11, 2020

The Relationships That Drive Campus Collaborations

How Museums and Libraries Grapple With Institutional Barriers Towards Working Together

As collecting institutions on campus, libraries and museums have a great deal to learn from each other. Libraries have excelled in adapting to digital environments, a development that has served them especially well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic museums have grown increasingly sophisticated as public spaces, serving as an access point for local communities and visitors of all kinds on otherwise exclusive campuses. In this way, notable competencies have emerged in the library sector towards breadth of access…
Research Report
November 10, 2020

Structuring Collaborations

The Opportunities and Challenges of Building Relationships Between Academic Museums and Libraries

In 2019 Ithaka S+R received funding from the Mellon Foundation to study the structural relationships between academic museums and libraries. Ithaka S+R conducted interviews with museum and library directors, and in some cases other senior staff, at thirty universities. Based on these interviews, three institutions were selected for short case studies as examples of effective collaborations: University of Iowa, the Atlanta University Center, and Princeton University.
Blog Post
November 5, 2020

In the Eye of the Beholder

What’s a Digital Preservation System Anyway?

Today in celebration of the World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD), we would like to update you on a Ithaka S+R research initiative on the preservation front. Held on the first Thursday of every November, WDPD aims to promote greater awareness of the critical role preservation plays in providing enduring access to knowledge. Times like this further underscore the importance of preservation, given the imperative to archive diverse sources of information about the pandemic–not…
Blog Post
November 2, 2020

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R

Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our…
Blog Post
October 21, 2020

Structural Models and Emerging Priorities in Academic Health Sciences Libraries

New Report

How does the organizational structure of an academic health sciences library (AHSL) impact its provision of services? While once AHSLs were established as separate entities, many are now consolidated under a larger university library. Their roles are expanding, particularly in the areas of research support, data management, bioinformatics, systematic reviews, assessment of research impact, and community outreach. In order to explore the impact and consequences of reporting structures, we held interviews with individuals from…
Research Report
October 21, 2020

Academic Health Sciences Libraries

Structural Models and Perspectives

Over the past twenty years, the place of the academic health sciences library (AHSL) within the university has changed markedly. These institutions include libraries that may support schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and public health. Once, they may have been established as separate entities, serving a single school or campus, but many are now consolidated under a larger university library. Have these consolidations and mergers improved the services offered or impacted cost or service quality? What new…
Blog Post
October 8, 2020

Indications of the New Normal

A (Farewell) Fall 2020 Update from the Academic Library Response to COVID-19 Survey

This is the fourth and final analysis of results from the Academic Library Response to COVID-19 survey, which we deployed on March 11 in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Libraries were encouraged to not only log their current status but to also come back to retake the survey as circumstances evolved.  In past posts, we have presented an analysis…
Blog Post
October 6, 2020

Ithaka S+R Is Hiring

Two New Analyst Job Openings

Are you passionate about higher education and the arts? Our work helps these organizations and their support providers—including libraries, publishers, scholarly societies, and museums— enhance scholarship, instruction, community engagement, and student success. Ithaka S+R is hiring for two new positions that will work on some of our most exciting research and advisory projects. Both roles will work collaboratively on research projects that lead to publications including grant-funded research…
Blog Post
September 9, 2020

Supporting Language and Literature Scholarship in the COVID-19 Era

The latest installment in Ithaka S+R’s series of Research Support Services projects investigates the research practices and support needs of scholars in the field of languages and literature. Today we are excited to publish the project’s capstone report.  The research that underlies this report was conducted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we believe our findings resonate now more than ever. The field…
Research Report
September 9, 2020

Supporting Research in Languages and Literature

Ithaka S+R’s Research Support Services program investigates how the research support needs of scholars vary by discipline. From 2018 to early 2020, Ithaka S+R examined the changing research methods and practices of language and literature scholars in the United States with the goal of identifying services to better support them. The goal of this report is to provide actionable findings for the organizations, institutions, and professionals who support the research processes of language and literature scholars.
Blog Post
August 19, 2020

Exploring the Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Services

Announcing a New Research Project Funded by IMLS 

With generous funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), we are pleased to initiate an 18-month research project to examine and assess how digital preservation and curation systems (DPCS) are developed, deployed, and sustained. Because our cultural, historic, and scientific heritage is increasingly being produced and shared in digital forms, libraries, archives, and museums are increasingly dependent on digital platforms to support the curation, discovery, and long-term management of digital…
Blog Post
August 17, 2020

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Online During the Pandemic

New Mellon-Funded Project

Today we are excited to announce a new project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will explore how teaching and learning with cultural heritage collections and materials is evolving in response to the pandemic. Instructors who seek to use cultural heritage objects from museums, archives, and special collections face unique challenges when adapting to remote teaching. What is needed is deeper understanding of, and better support for these instructors in this current moment.  This…
Blog Post
July 8, 2020

What about Research? Scholarship and COVID-19

While there have been a number of research initiatives centered on supporting faculty in shifting to virtual instruction in light of the COVID-19 pandemic—and deservedly so—we have learned far less about the challenges that faculty are facing as researchers during this disruptive time. Back in March, our colleague Danielle Cooper speculated on the ways that “technologies at hand” could partially alleviate disruptions to research, and…
Blog Post
July 1, 2020

Transforming Library Leadership Strategy in a Time of Crisis

Introducing the Special Edition Library Survey 2020

Since the Library Survey 2019 survey was fielded, the COVID-19 pandemic—and more recently, organizing around the Black Lives Matter movement—has greatly impacted academic libraries and higher education as a whole. At the start of the pandemic, many libraries remained open with increases in safety protocols. Within weeks, it became clear that there would be a greater impact…
Blog Post
June 30, 2020

University Presses in the Age of COVID-19, Part 2

How Press Directors are Looking to the Future

There are so many unknowns in this pandemic that it is hard to predict the future—for the economy, for education, for so many parts of our world. The scale of change we have already experienced is frightening and could easily lead organizations to hunker down and hope for things to get better. But in the spirit of never let a serious crisis go to waste, we asked a set of university press directors how they were planning for the long…
Blog Post
June 30, 2020

Why Stakeholder Engagement Matters More than Ever

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, academic libraries have experienced unprecedented change. For many libraries, anticipated budget reductions, the realities of remote work, and responsibilities related to rapid campus closures and tentative reopenings have put a strain on resources. At the same time, libraries have new opportunities to play a prominent role on campus in supporting online learning and helping researchers work…
Blog Post
June 24, 2020

University Presses in the Age of COVID-19

How Press Directors are Navigating the Challenges of the Pandemic 

Over the past few weeks, Ithaka S+R has conducted conversations with a variety of university press directors to get a sense of how they are faring during this uncertain and challenging time. We spoke with a total of 11 directors representing small, medium, and large presses from public and private universities, all in the US. The discussions were wide ranging, touching on everything from how they were coping with the practical issues around pivoting to a remote workforce,…