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Ithaka Survey Results Overview
In Spring 2014 the UCLA Library administered the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey to better understand the impact of digital technologies on research, teaching, and publishing. The results will help shape the future of Library services and inform campus planning and decision-making with respect to research and teaching resources.
A total of 2,584 ladder-rank faculty members received personalized invitations to take the survey; thirteen percent, or 340, completed it. Following are selected excerpts from the summary of key findings provided by Ithaka.
Faculty members from the social sciences, medical and health sciences, and science and engineering are embracing digital research methods; the survey questions defined these as: “computational analysis of text (text mining), analysis of quantitative data that you generate in the course of your research; analysis of pre-existing quantitative data that you do not generate in the course of your research, writing software or code, and using models or simulations.”
The use of these methods among faculty in the arts and humanities is not widespread, nor are they perceived broadly as relevant to the types of research that UCLA humanists conduct.
Research dissemination and scholarly communication
UCLA faculty are interested in reaching a relatively traditional audience of peer scholars and tend to choose journals for their articles that are likely to achieve this objective. In addition, arts and humanities faculty are relatively more interested in reaching a student audiences, and science and engineering faculty report being especially concerned with the speed of publication.
UCLA faculty are more likely than those at peer institutions to receive help making their publications freely available online, and a higher share reports using the university’s repository.They also report the importance of help regarding the legal landscape of scholarly communication.
The role of the library
Overall, respondents value the role of the UCLA Library. Arts and humanities faculty measured highest on "engagement" metrics, which encompassed Library services supporting faculty research, teaching, and the development of undergraduate research skills. Science and engineering faculty measured lowest on engagement metrics.
Respondents gave uniformly high marks to the Library's role in acquiring collections. Respondents indicated the importance of digital collections, most notably in expressing the importance of digitized primary source collections for both teaching and research. Many entities support research data management, with substantial variance by discipline and department in terms of where Library services are most needed.
The full results are currently under discussion, and next steps are being planned to gather more qualitative information from faculty to explore the results in greater depth. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Susan Parker, deputy university librarian, by email or by phone at 310.825.0746.
About Ithaka S+R
Ithaka S+R is a research and consulting service that helps academic, cultural, and publishing communities make the transition to the digital environment. It pursue projects in programmatic areas that are critical to the advancement of the academic community. Ithaka S+R is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes JSTOR and Portico.
This is the fifth iteration of this faculty survey, which Ithaka S+R has run regularly since 2000, and the first time it has been implemented at UCLA. Findings from earlier versions of the survey have been extremely valuable for libraries, scholarly societies, academic publishers, and universities in understanding how the attitudes and practices of faculty members are evolving in order to most effectively support their needs and priorities.
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