Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey results

To: UC Santa Cruz faculty

From: Elizabeth Cowell, University Librarian

This spring, the Library asked for your help to better understand your needs and attitudes with respect to your University Library. In collaboration with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Herbie Lee, we conducted the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey, and 299 faculty members answered the call and completed the survey. Our respondents well represented the diversity of the campus. Thank you.

We asked about your information discovery strategies, your perception of undergraduate student research skills, the role of the library in the university, how you manage and preserve data, and how you use scholarly communication services.  We compared the data you provided us with 2012 Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey data for Carnegie R1 “research-intensive” universities and found that you face similar opportunities and challenges as your national peers.

A plurality of you strongly agreed with the premise that undergraduate students have poor research skills with respect to locating and evaluating scholarly information. A majority of you strongly agreed that improving those skills is an important outcome for the courses you teach.

The Library shares your commitment to student success. This summer, I created the Undergraduate Experience Team charged to build relationships with students and campus stakeholders, develop virtual instruction tools to help lower division students improve their information literacy skills, and assess library spaces, services, and campus partnerships that may contribute to student success. My decision to create this group and the charge I gave it were heavily informed by your survey feedback as well as the Envision UC Santa Cruz strategic goal to advance student success.

You told us that you rely heavily on the Library to manage your access to electronic journals, databases, and scholarly monographs. You also value our work to organize and preserve collections. We take these responsibilities very seriously and remain committed to delivering the best value we can with our scarce collection dollars.

Throughout the fall quarter, Research Support Services (RSS) librarians are meeting with divisions and departments to promote the Academic Senate’s Open Access Policy. RSS is partnering with the library’s User Services & Resource Sharing Department to assist faculty in uploading their articles into eScholarship in support of the policy.

RSS is also working on redesigning the Library’s upper division research instruction offerings based on the data from the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey, the WASC accreditation standards, and the draft revision of the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education from the Association of College and Research Libraries.

A majority of you reported collecting data, images, and media for your research. You expressed strong interest in a variety of data preservation and management features like the ability to update existing datasets with new data, the ability to track academic research citing your data or datasets, and the ability to store your data with corresponding published outputs. Many of you noted that you find it difficult to preserve and store data for the long-term, and most of you are storing and managing your data on your own computers. We are working with other UC Libraries to develop best practices for naming, describing, managing, and reusing research data. We are also developing relationships and streamlining services between the Library and divisional ITS support. The Library is working with the California Digital Library to develop and promote data management tools including the Merritt preservation repository, the Data Management Planning Tool (DMPTool), and the DASH data sharing and publication site.  

We will continue to communicate about progress in these areas.

For more information about the survey results, please visit the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey LibGuide.