IATUL News Alerts
Aligning Investments with the Digital Evolution
Thursday, 29 April 2010 6:19:19 p.m.Ithaka S+R has released results from its fourth faculty survey in the last decade examining changes in faculty attitudes towards the academic library, information resources, and the scholarly communications system as a whole.
In a published report, Faculty Survey 2009: Strategic Insights for Librarians, Publishers, and Societies, Ithaka S+R analyzes responses from over 3,000 faculty members based at US four-year colleges or universities and offers a unique comparative look at 2009 against previous surveys from 2000, 2003, and 2006 on a variety of key questions facing information service organizations and their parent institutions.
Trends in faculty attitudes and behaviors on issues ranging from the library as information gateway and the need for preservation of scholarly material, to their engagement with institutional and disciplinary repositories and thoughts about open access are addressed. For the first time, Ithaka S+R also looked at the role that scholarly societies play and their value to faculty.
“Faculty views are moving in clear directions. Libraries, publishers, and societies need to be attuned to this and, in some cases, to dramatically shift gears or even to catch up.” said Roger C. Schonfeld, Ithaka S+R Manager of Research. “Based on our findings, for example, libraries could consider moving even more rapidly away from print-based holdings, and they should be very cautious in making costly investments in local finding aids for online information as their role as gateway continues to wane. They should also be aware that the value of institutional repositories remains tenuous in the eyes of faculty.”
In addition to possible areas for strategic re-thinking, the report also reveals some new opportunities on the horizon. One of the bigger questions raised is whether faculty will require tailored information solutions to meet their needs over time. Google and Google Scholar play increasingly important roles in their research, but specialized disciplinary sources for scholarship do as well. This is an area where the need for new services deeply knowledgeable about and able to serve particular research interests – whether provided by libraries, publishers, societies or others – may be on the rise.
Among the most valuable aspects of the work done by Ithaka S+R and utilized in the report, is the analysis of trend data and the study of faculty by discipline. “Faculty attitudes are changing, but it is evolutionary” said Laura Brown, Ithaka S+R Managing Director, “After ten years, we are now seeing clear trajectories emerge and the places where all faculty are aligned and where they diverge. We hope the work we have done helps organizations in the higher education community to position themselves for success in the future, armed with the knowledge of what changes can be made that will serve faculty as a whole.”
Go to source: http://www.ithaka.org/ithaka-s-r/research/faculty-surveys-2000-2009/faculty-survey-2009