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New Report: Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians

During the last year, Ithaka S+R interviewed more than 70 faculty members, curators, librarians, visual resources professionals, and museum professionals in order to learn how art historians’ research practices are evolving in the digital age. Today, we are pleased to announce the publication of that study’s results: Supporting the Research Practices of Art Historians. Intended primarily for the museums, libraries, academic departments, and visual resources centers that support research in art history within the U.S., this project focused on five key areas: 1) The emergence of “digital art history,” and how it is diverging from the broader understanding of the digital…


Discovery in the Library—Shifting Ground?

Helping users find content is one of the fundamental services that academic libraries have historically provided. As we have tracked in the Ithaka S+R survey of library deans and directors, it is also an area where there have been important and fast-moving changes. In the 2010 survey, library directors saw discovery as an area for increased investment, and many libraries subsequently put money into new-to-the-market index-based discovery services that promised to bring their collections together into a single search tool. Discovery services, now common, are seen by respondents as a modest success in many respects, though their impact on users…


New Ithaka S+R Research Support Services Project in Art History

This winter, as part of the Research Support Services program, Ithaka S+R is launching a new investigation of researcher practices and support services needs in the field of art history. Our goal is to examine the evolving needs of researchers on a field-specific basis in order to best understand how libraries and other information services providers meet these needs. We are grateful to the Getty Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for their joint funding of this project. Our work on this project is guided by an advisory board comprising Stephen Bury, Andrew W Mellon Chief Librarian, The Frick…


Library Assessment and the Research Support Services for Scholars Program

Last week I presented at the 2012 Library Assessment Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we previewed some of the results from two projects that are part of our Research Support Services for Scholars program. These projects take a closer look at the research support needs of historians (funded by the NEH in the US) and chemists (funded by the JISC in the UK). The conference proceedings led me to reflect on some of issues in the assessment community, and how the work we are doing can complement the assessment work that librarians already do. Keynote speaker John Lombardi argued that…


ORCID and Identity Management Systems

Nature News & Comment recently published an article that focused on some of the ways that the scholarly community could benefit from the creation of a unified identity system for researchers. Researcher disambiguation might be able to simplify the process of applying for grants and submitting papers for publication. It also opens up a whole range of possibilities with regard to measuring scholarly productivity, tracking new forms of scholarship, and using data to learn more about scholarly communications. But an identity disambiguation system  could also have important benefits for  universities, as well. Why would an academic institution need an identity…