College Research Libraries

Fast and Furious (at Publishers): The Motivations behind Crowdsourced Research Sharing

Crowdsourced research sharing takes place across social media platforms including Twitter hashtags such as #icanhazpdf, Reddit Scholar, and Facebook. This study surveys users of these peer-to-peer exchanges on demographic information, frequency of use, and their motivations in both providing and obtaining scholarly information on these platforms. Respondents also provided their perspectives on the database terms of service and/or copyright violations in these exchanges. Findings indicate that the motivations of this community are utilitarian or ideological in nature, similar to other peer-to-peer file sharing online. Implications for library services including instruction, outreach, and interlibrary loan are discussed.

Scholarly Metrics Baseline: A Survey of Faculty Knowledge, Use, and Opinion about Scholarly Metrics

This article presents the results of a faculty survey conducted at the University of Vermont during academic year 2014–2015. The survey asked faculty about: familiarity with scholarly metrics, metric-seeking habits, help-seeking habits, and the role of metrics in their department’s tenure and promotion process. The survey also gathered faculty opinions on how well scholarly metrics reflect the importance of scholarly work and how faculty feel about administrators gathering institutional scholarly metric information. Results point to the necessity of understanding the campus landscape of faculty knowledge, opinion, importance, and use of scholarly metrics before engaging faculty in further discussions about quantifying the impact of their scholarly work.

Faculty Use of Author Identifiers and Researcher Networking Tools

This cross-sectional survey focused on faculty use and knowledge of author identifiers and researcher networking systems, and professional use of social media, at a large state university. Results from 296 completed faculty surveys representing all disciplines (9.3% response rate) show low levels of awareness and variable resource preferences. The most utilized author identifier was ORCID while ResearchGate, LinkedIn, and Google Scholar were the top profiling systems. Faculty also reported some professional use of social media platforms. The survey data will be utilized to improve library services and develop intra-institutional collaborations in scholarly communication, research networking, and research impact.

Scholarly Communication and the Dilemma of Collective Action: Why Academic Journals Cost Too Much

Why has the rise of the Internet—which drastically reduces the cost of distributing information—coincided with drastic increases in the prices that academic libraries pay for access to scholarly journals? This study argues that libraries are trapped in a collective action dilemma as defined by economist Mancur Olson in The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. To truly reduce their costs, librarians would have to build a shared online collection of scholarly resources jointly managed by the academic community as a whole, but individual academic institutions lack the private incentives necessary to invest in a shared collection. Thus, the management of online scholarly journals has been largely outsourced to publishers who have developed monopoly powers that allow them to increase subscription prices faster than the rate of inflation. Many librarians consider the open access movement the best response to increased subscription costs, but the current strategies employed to achieve open access also are undermined by collective action dilemmas. In conclusion, some alternative strategies are proposed.

How Large Is the "Public Domain"? A Comparative Analysis of Ringers 1961 Copyright Renewal Study and HathiTrust CRMS Data

The 1961 Copyright Office study on renewals, authored by Barbara Ringer, has cast an outsized influence on discussions of the U.S. 1923–1963 public domain. As more concrete data emerge from initiatives such as the large-scale determination process in the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) project, questions are raised about the reliability or meaning of the Ringer data. A closer examination of both the Ringer study and CRMS data demonstrates fundamental misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Ringer data, as well as possible methodological issues. Estimates of the size of the corpus of public domain books published in the United States from 1923 through 1963 have been inflated by problematic assumptions, and we should be able to correct mistaken conclusions with reasonable effort.

Libraries as Content Producers: How Library Publishing Services Address the Reading Experience

This study establishes baseline information about the ways library publishing services integrate user studies of their readers, as well as common barriers to doing so. The Library Publishing Coalition defines library publishing as "the set of activities led by college and university libraries to support the creation, dissemination, and curation of scholarly, creative, and/or educational works." This area includes traditional as well as novel publication types. Results suggest that discussions of library publishing underrepresent engagement with readers but that ample room for increased attention remains. Existing reader-related efforts vary widely and may in some cases be happenstance. These efforts also face key barriers in lack of prioritization, lack of expertise, and lack of control of out-of-the-box platforms.

Academic Libraries and Copyright: Do Librarians Really Have the Required Knowledge?

A solid professional performance on the part of academic librarians at present calls for adequate knowledge about copyright law, not only for the development of their own tasks without infringing the law, but also to guide and provide pertinent advice for library users (faculty and students). This paper presents the results of an online survey of Brazilian academic librarians, the objective being to determine the level of knowledge about basic questions on copyright related to their professional activities. The case of Brazil is especially relevant, as it is one of the few countries still not including library exceptions and limitations in its copyright law. Our results make manifest important gaps in knowledge about copyright, underlining the need for a training program to remedy the situation. Moreover, because training is needed for current as well as future professionals, it should be implemented in both the professional and the educational sector.

Beyond Books: The Extended Academic Benefits of Library Use for First-Year College Students

The purpose of this paper was to investigate whether there are relationships between first-year college students’ use of academic libraries and four academic outcomes: academic engagement, engagement in scholarly activities, academic skills development, and grade point average. The results of regression analyses suggest students’ use of books (collection loans, e-books, and interlibrary loans) and web-based services (database, journal, and library website logins) had the most positive and significant relationships with academic outcomes. Students’ use of reference services was positively associated with their academic engagement and academic skills, while enrollment in library courses was positively associated with grade point averages.

The ISSAS Model: Understanding the Information Needs of Sexual Assault Survivors on College Campuses

Sexual assault is a prevalent, yet underreported and stigmatizing crime that disproportionately affects college-age students. The literature of Library & Information Studies does not currently address the ways in which survivors may seek information after an assault. Blending findings from Psychology and LIS, this study proposes the Information Seeking of Sexual Assault Survivors (ISSAS) model, which examines the seeking process through various stages of healing. The article concludes with directions for future research as well as insights on serving survivors within the academic library while being mindful of one’s appropriate professional role.

Ascending Blooms Pyramid: Fostering Student Creativity and Innovation in Academic Library Spaces

Our research examined the degree to which behaviors and learning associated with creativity and innovation were supported in five academic library spaces and three other spaces at a mid-sized university. Based on survey data from 226 students, we apply a number of statistical techniques to measure student perceptions of the types of learning and behavior associated with the selected spaces. We found that the on-campus makerspace located outside the library encouraged the most innovative behaviors and exploration of new ideas. Within the library, collaboration rooms were the best spaces for encouraging creativity. There is an opportunity for the academic library to be reconceptualized as a place to foster creativity and innovation in students. We believe that academic libraries should continue to offer a variety of spaces for students, including quiet spaces for reflection, noisy spaces for collaboration and networking, and makerspaces for experimentation.

Citations and Circulation Counts: Data Sources for Monograph Deselection in Research Library Collections

Studies of data-driven deselection overwhelmingly emphasise the importance of circulation counts and date-of-last-use in the weeding process. When applied to research collections, however, this approach fails to take account of highly influential and significant titles that have not been of interest to large numbers of borrowers but that have been highly cited in the literature. It also assumes that past borrowing activity is a reliable indicator of future usage. This study examines the correlations between past and future usage and between borrowing and citation of monographs and concludes that both data elements should be used when deselecting research monographs.

Investigating Textbook Reserves: A Case Study of Two Models for Reserves Collections

This article examines the behaviors and preferences of medical and nursing students in relation to their required textbooks and library reserves. The findings are based on an April 2015 survey at the University of Illinois-Chicago satellite Library of the Health Sciences in Urbana, where the library provides access to textbooks through traditional "closed" reserves in addition to an "open" reserves collection. Results indicate several barriers to usability regarding traditional reserves services and suggest that students prefer open reserves for convenience and savings. While broad applicability of the model warrants further investigation, academic libraries may be better able to meet patron needs by implementing open textbook reserves.

Faculty Publications and Citations: A Longitudinal Examination

This investigation seeks to study the publication and citation activity of faculty at research universities, as defined by membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). It constitutes the fourth iteration in a study of publishing behaviors, conducted over more than twenty years. The present data indicate a substantial rise in publications, both in total and as measured on a per capita basis. These data are compared with those of the previous three studies. In addition, and for the first time, citation data are also examined. The reason for the addition of citations is that there is cause to believe that citations are becoming common evaluative criteria for individuals, academic programs, and departments. There are implications for academic libraries with regard to all these data.

Gender and Information Literacy: Evaluation of Gender Differences in a Student Survey of Information Sources

Information literacy studies have shown that college students use a variety of information sources to perform research and commonly choose Internet sources over traditional library sources. Studies have also shown that students do not appear to understand the information quality issues concerning Internet information sources and may lack the information literacy skills to make good choices concerning the use of these sources. No studies currently provide clear guidance on how gender might influence the information literacy skills of students. Such guidance could help improve information literacy instruction.

This study used a survey of college-aged students to evaluate a subset of student information literacy skills in relation to Internet information sources. Analysis of the data collected provided strong indications of gender differences in information literacy skills. Female respondents appeared to be more discerning than males in evaluating Internet sources. Males appeared to be more confident in the credibility and accuracy of the results returned by search engines. Evaluation of other survey responses strengthened our finding of gender differentiation in information literacy skills.