ACRL 2013: Research Funding & Practicing Researchers

ACRL sessions are made up of multiple short presentations. In this first group I attended:

  • Academic Library, e-Science/e-Research, and Data Services in a Broader Context
  • Research Funding And Implications for Universities and Their Libraries
  • Studying practicing researchers 

Academic Library, e-Science/e-Research, and Data Services in a Broader Context
Minglu Wang, John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , Newark , NJ

Academic Libraries – changing. Data services as a model for future academic libs? Mix of services we’re good at coming together in this area – reference, curation, digital content management expertise. We’re already involved all the way through.

e-Science changed term to e-Research – allows us to include e-Social Sciences and e-Humanities (digital humanities?). all have diverse data types & formats. New methods for analysis and visualization.

The individual researches don’t think of themselves as doing “e-Research” though, so there is a terminology problem in talking about this sometimes.

Historical and comparative perspective. UK has an umbrella model – national visions and centers. Distributed nodes in many universities. US  – pyramid model with various communities tiering from institutional to regional to national level. Now looking at a spiral model – more complex, connected and sophisticated. But not as structured like a pyramid model.

Common challenges. How to invest in this infrastructure? How to let the research community adopt the structure and tools and make it work for them. Researchers prefer to have local control of their work, hard to motivate them to collaborate. Funding and reward system isn’t set up to do this.

Further development depends on building connections between researchers, funding agencies (and their requirements). Connections between campuses and between technology and subject studies

Data management services. UK has national data archives. National research councils develop policies to support researchers, outline best practices. National vision and design for data services. Digital Curation Center (funded by JISC).

US academic libraries have a special position – our skills and relationships with researchers structurally positions us well.

2012 ACRL survey report – Academic Libraries and Research Data Services: Current Practice ans Plans for the Future. Strong connection between our traditional practices and the current common data services. Only larger or doctoral institutions are likely to offer additional data services or consultations for them. Funding agencies’ data management policies have been driving this.

Data services – data reference, data curation, data management plan consultations. Researchers need to be understood and connected to the available methods, tools, systems.  Local workflow and project management.


Research Funding And Implications for Universities and Their Libraries
John Budd, University of Missouri , Columbia , MO
Kristine Stewart, University of Missouri , Columbia , MO

All orgs must be “fed money in order to live and survive.” Project to examine external research funding for faculty. Looked at Science and Cell. Had a hard time finding dollar amounts for some of the research. Even so total was over $32 million for Nov – Dec 2011 in Science.

Federal spending for FY 2012 – Hopkins led with $1.7 billion. ($700 million alone for Applied Physics Lab). Table is from the Chronicle but data from NCES.

2011 – about $65 billion on research by US gov’t departments. Estimated $12 billion less in FY2013 vs FY2012 due to sequestration. Things that used to happen are not happening.


Studying practicing researchers: How research within scientific industry can impact and influence information literacy among graduate students in STEM departments
Jenny Emanuel, University of Illinois , Urbana , IL
Charlotte Roh, University of Illinois , Urbana , IL
Margaret Hentz, Dow Chemical Corporation , Indianapolis , IN

Study involving Dow Chemical vs faculty – re: library research.  (Dow and UI have a partnership in place to help with Dow recruitment.) Common issues and frustrations emerged. Most users just fumbled around – of 27 interviews only 3 really had sophisticated strategies. So how to help grad students learn all this stuff so they are ready no matter where they work?

Corporate libraries are also constrained re: funding, etc. They have a lot of the same needs but don’t always have the same resource. Many of the same issues as academic libraries. (ex: no OpenURL! They don’t want to solve the money. No proxy server so no one-step log in.) Lots of researchers are using workarounds to access university resources because the corporate library isn’t providing what they want. Going to local university library, paying for alumni access, etc. way less streamlined access at corp library than at university.

Ideal interface – corp researchers are describing discovery layers. They just want one interface to search everything. Want fewer steps to download – just get me the full text as quickly and easily as possible. Dow’s collection is super focused on exactly what they did, so researchers on the edges of that have trouble.

User-centered training. Have been working with Dow to try and help their instruction program (they were doing lots of slide presentations with old screen shots). Helping to create videos. Basically make it user-centered training – they’re stuck in the classic “I must show them everything” librarian training rut. But really they need the same stuff as our faculty & students. Training should be more hands on, better real-life examples. They want quick-reference resources to help them at the point of need when they get stuck. Very short videos, short handouts, etc.

Also learned that these Dow researchers do a lot of patent research – so univ is looking to do more of that to prep students.