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Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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October 29, 2014

Notes on Columbia's Book History Colloquium

Yesterday, I attended Columbia University's Book History Colloquium, which is sponsored by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where Andrew Stauffer, associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, spoke about “Traces in the Stacks: 19th-Century Book Use and the Future of Library Collections.” Observing the trend in academic and research libraries towards moving tangible collections offsite, and sometimes de-accessioning them, in favor of digital versions, Stauffer is concerned about the implications for scholarship.
 
Stauffer Read More...

October 29, 2014

Roger C. Schonfeld

October 13, 2014

Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs

On Monday, October 13, 2014, William G. Bowen delivered the opening address at Rice University's De Lange Conference, "Technology: Its Potential Impact On The National Need To Improve Educational Outcomes And Control Costs." We are pleased to publish it here as an Ithaka S+R issue brief. Bowen, who is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and also president emeritus of Princeton University, was the founding chairman of JSTOR/ITHAKA and continues to serve on ITHAKA's board.
 
The paper explores the extent to which higher Read More...

October 13, 2014

William G. Bowen

October 10, 2014

Notes from the ARL Fall Forum

The future of the monograph is of great interest to many humanists, scholarly publishers, and academic librarians. Last year, I wrote an issue brief, Stop the Presses: Is the monograph headed toward an e-only future?, that suggested the monograph's digital future would prove to be much more complicated than what has been experienced thus far for journals. Yesterday, ARL’s fall forum, provocatively titled Wanted Dead or Alive – The Scholarly Monograph, served to confirm that the possible transition from print to digital format may in fact be an Read More...

October 10, 2014

Roger C. Schonfeld

October 01, 2014

Discovery and the Library's Role

Last week, my new issue brief on discovery came out. Since its release, there has been some very interesting discussion on the topic. I've tried to bring together some of the commentary from Twitter and blogs here and to suggest some future directions these imply for our community. 
 
A point of departure for the paper is an analysis of library directors' responses to the strongly worded statement “It is strategically important that my library be seen by its users as the first place they go to discover scholarly content." While I have used the Read More...

October 01, 2014

Roger C. Schonfeld

September 24, 2014

Does Discovery Still Happen in the Library? Roles and Strategies for a Shifting Reality

In the age of the ubiquitous single search box, what role do libraries play in the discovery of scholarly resources? 
 
In this Issue Brief, Roger Schonfeld explores how the vision that the library should be the starting point for research—a vision many library directors hold—is often in conflict with the practices of faculty and students.  As users migrate to other starting points, librarians could invest in ways to bring them back. But there is also an opportunity for librarians to re-think their role and perhaps pursue a different vision Read More...

September 24, 2014
September 04, 2014

Apply Now for Sustaining Digital Resources: A Course for Digital Project Leaders

We knew we needed to do sustainability planning, but weren’t sure how to get up the mountain or even where the trailhead was. This course was central to get us on the path.
—2014 course participant

 
We are pleased to announce that Ithaka S+R will be offering its highly successful course, Sustaining Digital Resources: A Course for Digital Project Leaders, again in 2015. If you are responsible for the future vitality and impact of a digital initiative, we encourage you to apply. The application deadline is October 15, 2014.
 
Beginning in Read More...

September 04, 2014

Nancy L. Maron

August 27, 2014

Faster and Cheaper: Can a Digital-Centric Workflow Transform the Book Review?

Academic authors in the humanities and social sciences often wait three or more years to see the first reviews of their scholarly monographs. Why does it take so long? As Oona Schmid, director of publishing at the American Anthropological Association (AAA), describes in our latest issue brief, it is because book reviewing still relies on a print-centric system. Thanks to funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the AAA is now developing a prototype to completely re-imagine the book review process to make it both "faster and cheaper." With Read More...

August 27, 2014

Oona Schmid

August 14, 2014

Notes from the Library Assessment Conference in Seattle

The Library Assessment Conference took place last week in Seattle, a valuable forum for those gathering and using evidence in support of library management and planning. I attended, with my colleague Alisa Rod, Ithaka S+R's surveys coordinator. The program included a diverse set of presentations on topics from information literacy to space planning. Ithaka S+R's local surveys were also featured in a number of sessions on the program. 
 
Developing the Ithaka S+R Student Survey
Alisa and Heather Gendron, head of Sloane Art Library and Read More...

August 14, 2014

Roger C. Schonfeld

August 14, 2014

The Role of Assessment in Libraries

Last week at the Library Assessment Conference in Seattle, I gave a talk on "Vision, Alignment, Impediments, Assessment."  As academic libraries face a variety of strategic issues, I argued, they need to consider how to implement evidence-based decision making processes more broadly in their institutions.  There's a significant role for the assessment community in building such processes, and as libraries continue to invest in assessment, they have the opportunity to use data to address their challenges. 
 
I reviewed some of the key strategic Read More...

August 14, 2014
August 11, 2014

Dataset for UK Survey of Academics Available at ICPSR

In 2012, Ithaka S+R partnered with Jisc and Research Libraries UK to conduct the inaugural UK Survey of Academics. The report of findings was published in May 2013, and it is freely available on our website. This project was the first in several steps to internationalize Ithaka S+R's US Faculty Survey. It developed rich findings for the UK higher education sector about discovery, open access, the print to electronic transition, research methods, and other issues of strategic relevance. As with the US Faculty Survey, we plan to run the UK Read More...

August 11, 2014

Roger C. Schonfeld

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