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Topic: Research practices

Upcoming Event
April 12, 2021

Roger Schonfeld at UKSG Annual Conference

On April  12, Roger Schonfeld will discuss the impact of COVID on the research enterprise, including the impacts on how research is conducted, the implications this could have on researchers, the ability to attract the funding, and how the landscape of research disciplines could change. For more information, please see this link. …
Blog Post
January 12, 2021

Data Repository Platforms: A Primer

While scholars generally believe in the value of sharing and preserving research datasets, many do not believe it’s worth their time to do so. And, when they do invest their time in data sharing and preservation, they tend to have a preference for doing so in an independent and self-reliant fashion. These are issues that we have not only documented through our long-standing national faculty survey but ones that we have contended with in our own work…
Blog Post
December 17, 2020

What is the Academic Research Enterprise?

At this week’s CNI meeting, we presented findings from several recent studies we conducted about the academic research enterprise (video is available here). Taking an inclusive approach, we offered a broad working definition of the research enterprise: “the systems, services, policy, and staffing for the work of the university to generate knowledge.” In the session, CNI’s Clifford Lynch asked us to probe a little more deeply how this term can be scoped. Here,…
Blog Post
December 1, 2020

Leadership for the Research Enterprise

For many of the largest universities, the research enterprise is an essential component of the mission. And during this year of pandemic related disruptions, it has proved to be one of the most resilient sources of university revenue. In recent years, major universities have established senior research officers to provide a unitary source of leadership for this vital work. Today, my colleague Oya Rieger and I are publishing a major examination of the role of the senior…
Research Report
December 1, 2020

The Senior Research Officer

Experience, Role, Organizational Structure, Strategic Directions, and Challenges

The research enterprise continues to grow more complex, competitive, interdisciplinary, and interinstitutional. Although academic research often is conducted in a distributed and grassroots manner, the senior research officer (SRO) plays an increasingly central and unifying role in stewarding research activities and shaping institutional policies and strategies. The SRO—who often holds the title of vice president, vice provost, or vice chancellor for research—typically holds responsibilities including overseeing external funding, institutional research safety and compliance, core research facilities, and research ethics 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 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 27, 2020

Risks to the Research Enterprise

New Issue Brief on Global Science and the China Split

This year, the research activities of academia have been profoundly disrupted, as have the lives of researchers. Yesterday, we published a landscape review focusing on the disruptions caused by the pandemic itself. In addition, there is another source of growing disruption, caused less by a sudden event but rather by the geopolitical tensions that are causing a growing split between China and a group of liberal and democratic countries. In an issue…
Issue Brief
October 27, 2020

Global Science and the China Split

The practice of science has always been a fundamentally international activity. Even during periods of substantial geopolitical splits—such as the Cold War—science has broadly continued its international communication and even collaboration. In the post-Cold War period, science has globalized to a substantial degree. However, the looming geopolitical split between China and many of the liberal and democratic nations including Australia, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as European Union members, raises questions about…
Blog Post
October 26, 2020

Looking at the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Research Enterprise

New Report

Scholarly research is an enormous priority for many higher education institutions, serving both as a core part of the academic mission and also in some cases a major source of revenue. This year’s COVID-19 pandemic massively disrupted scientific research projects and the lives and careers of scientists themselves, and it has already begun to have profound budget consequences for some of the most research intensive higher education institutions. Some of the other impacts of this period of disruption…
Research Report
October 26, 2020

The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Research Enterprise

A Landscape Review

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruptions have had a major impact on the US academic research enterprise. This report provides a landscape review of what is known about these impacts, from March through mid-October 2020, with an aim of identifying gaps that should be addressed. Our focus is on externally funded research, and therefore we emphasize STEM fields almost exclusively. As a result, we also focus on the largest research universities, which conduct an outsized share of this research and…
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 31, 2020

Conducting Virtual Focus Groups

A Short Methodology Case Study for Social Scientists

In June of 2020, Ithaka S+R conducted 18 synchronous exploratory virtual focus groups with 46 undergraduate students and 37 faculty, to assist a higher education institution in learning from its emergency transition to online learning during the spring 2020 term due to Covid-19. We will publish our findings, a time capsule of a university community’s rapid adaptation in response to COVID-19, in a public report later this year. To conduct these focus groups in the midst of the pandemic, we,…
Blog Post
July 21, 2020

Senior Research Officers

Evolving Portfolios and Strategic Priorities

A university’s senior research officer (SRO), who may have the title of vice president, vice provost, or vice chancellor for research, can have a variety of responsibilities, including overseeing institutional research safety and compliance, purchasing advanced research equipment, grant seeking and external funding administration, research ethics and integrity, strategic research directions, and procuring research workflow tools. The scope of this role is  broadening as SROs participate in federal and state research-related policy making and develop new partnerships with…
Blog Post
July 14, 2020

Now Available: Fall Semester COVID-19 Surveys

While the challenges colleges and universities faced in the spring semester were unprecedented, it’s clear that the disruptions are far from over. Even as the fall semester approaches, institutions are still deciding how many students to bring back to campus and how to deliver instruction effectively. Over the past few months, we have partnered with over 20 colleges and universities to provide actionable insights on student and faculty needs…
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
June 15, 2020

Organizational Trends in Academic Health Science Libraries

Over the past 20 years, the organization of academic health sciences libraries (AHSL) has changed markedly. While once medical libraries—as well as libraries supporting schools of nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and public health—were separate entities, many are now consolidated under a larger university library. Have these consolidations and mergers improved the accessibility of health sciences information and other AHSL services? Have they impacted cost or service quality? What new…