College Research Libraries

Measuring Perceptual (In) Congruence between Information Service Providers and Users

Library quality is no longer evaluated solely on the value of its collections, as user perceptions of service quality play an increasingly important role in defining overall library value. This paper presents a retooling of the LibQUAL+ survey instrument, blending the gap measurement model with perceptual congruence model studies from information systems management research. The new survey instrument redefines service desk assessment by taking into consideration the perspectives of both service users and of service providers, to help service providers gain a more robust sense of service quality.

Search Strategy Development in a Flipped Library Classroom: A Student-Focused Assessment

Librarians at Brigham Young University compared search statement development between traditional lecture and flipped instruction sessions. Students in lecture sessions scored significantly higher on developing search statements than those in flipped sessions. However, student evaluations show a strong preference for pedagogies that incorporate elements from both lecture and flipped methodologies. Reasons for lower flipped-session scores may include a lack of student accountability, strong preference for a live demonstration, and disconnections between online tutorial content and in-class collaborative activities. Librarians using a flipped classroom should consider ways to help students make meaningful connections between online tutorials and in-class activities.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Librarian Involvement in Grant Projects

Librarians are excellent research collaborators, although librarian participation is not usually considered, thereby making access to research funds difficult. The University of Michigan Library became involved in the university’s novel funding program, MCubed, which supported innovative interdisciplinary research on campus, primarily by funding student assistants to work on research projects. This article discusses three different MCubed projects that all benefited from librarian involvement. These projects spanned across many areas from translational research to systematic reviews to digital humanities. Librarian roles ranged from mentoring and project management to literature searching.

The Language of Information Literacy: Do Students Understand?

To effectively access and use the resources of the academic library and to become information-literate, students must understand the language of information literacy. This study analyzes undergraduate students’ understanding of fourteen commonly used information-literacy terms. It was found that some of the terms least understood by students are those most frequently found in faculty-created research assignments and syllabi and that are used by librarians during library instruction. It is recommended that librarians work with faculty to make them aware of students’ lack of understanding of information literacy terms and that librarians also reinforce their meaning during library instruction and in one-on-one consultations.

Expanding Support for Graduate Students: Library Workshops on Research Funding Opportunities

This case study describes the development, implementation, and assessment of a series of grants research workshops for graduate students, which were implemented to fill a gap in graduate student support. We assessed the workshops through a series of focus groups, and findings show overall satisfaction with the grants tools and workshop. However, participants noted areas of improvement around outreach and promotion and general communication with graduate students. Additional themes emerged related to graduate student socialization and research behaviors, which suggests that librarians have an important role to serve in these areas.

Transforming Roles: Canadian Academic Librarians Embedded in Faculty Research Projects

Academic librarians have always played an important role in providing research services and research-skills development to faculty in higher education. But that role is evolving to include the academic librarian as a unique and necessary research partner, practitioner, and participant in collaborative, grant-funded research projects. This article describes how a selected sample of Canadian academic librarians became embedded in faculty research projects and describes their experiences of participating in research teams. Conducted as a series of semistructured interviews, this qualitative study illustrates the emerging opportunities and challenges of the librarian-researcher role and how it is transforming the Canadian university library.

The Internationalization of the Academic Library: A Systematic Review of 25 Years of Literature on International Students

This study is a systematic review of the library and information science (LIS) literature related to international students and academic libraries. A systematic review involves the methodical collection and analysis of a body of literature and is growing in popularity in the LIS field. Three well-known LIS databases were systematically searched for articles related to the topic, and manual bibliography searches were conducted to find additional publications. Journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers were included or excluded based on established criteria. Findings show that articles published about international students and academic libraries have increased steadily between 1990 and 2014. The majority of authors are affiliated with universities and institutions in the United States, although an increase in represented countries is apparent. Fewer than half of the articles can be considered original research, and surveys are the most popular method for data collection. The LIS field—and international students—would benefit from further exploration of this topic, particularly from original research with practical implications.

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.