C&RL Spotlight

Scott Walter


Beginning this month, College & Research Libraries (C&RL), the official scholarly journal of ACRL, will be available as a digital publication only, with new issues available six times each year (January, March, May, July, September, November) at http://crl.acrl.org.

Even though C&RL will no longer arrive in your mailbox, there are many ways to remain engaged with content published in the journal. You can subscribe to an e-mail list alerting you to the publication of new issues, or to RSS feeds containing the newest preprints, listings of the most-cited articles, and more. You can also “like” the journal on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/collegeandresearchlibraries) or “follow” it on Twitter (@CRL_ACRL). Under the leadership of C&RL Social Media Editor Sarah Steiner, you should expect to see additional venues for discussions of C&RL content, including YouTube.

For those among our readers who still wish to see C&RL content in print, however, we are happy to bring this new feature, “C&RL Spotlight,” to the pages of C&RL News. Each month, the “Spotlight” will fall on C&RL content, including highlights of the current issue, announcements of newly available preprints, reports of enhancements to the journal website, discussions of C&RL-sponsored events, such as last month’s inaugural “C&RL Forum” on academic mentoring (http://crl.acrl.org/site/misc/fora.xhtml), and more.

This month, we feature the contents of C&RL’s first, digital-only issue (January 2014), which include the following articles:

  • Joanna Duy and Vincent Larivière. “Relationships Between Interlibrary Loan and Research Activity in Canada.” Abstract: Interlibrary Loan borrowing rates in academic libraries are influenced by an array of factors. This article explores the relationship between interlibrary loan borrowing activity and research activity at 42 Canadian academic institutions. A significant positive correlation was found between interlibrary loan borrowing activity and measures of research activity. The degree of correlation observed depended on the category of institution, with undergraduate and comprehensive universities showing the largest correlations. This is the first study to quantify the relationship between interlibrary loan and research activity, and the findings suggest that interlibrary loan plays a role in supporting academic research at Canadian universities.
  • P. Scott Lapinski, David Osterbur, Joshua Parker, and Alexa T. McCray. “Supporting Public Access to Research Results.” Abstract: We posed the question of what services an academic library can best provide to support the NIH Public Access Policy. We approached the answer to this question through education, collaboration, and tool-building. As a result, over the last four years we have engaged more than 1,500 participants in discussions of public access to research results, forged alliances with dozens of partners, and built online tools to ease the process of complying with the NIH policy. We conclude that librarians working in collaboration with other key constituencies can have a positive impact on improving access to the results of scientific research.
  • David S. Nolen. “Publication and Language Trends of References in Spanish and Latin American Literature.” Abstract: This study examined references found in three journals in the field of Spanish and Latin American literary studies. Few previous studies have examined types of publishers producing highly cited/referenced books. The data indicate that the primary publishers of scholarly monographs referenced in the journals are U.S. university presses, foreign academic trade presses, and foreign popular trade presses. U.S. university presses, foreign academic trade presses, and government entities published most of the volumes of collected essays referenced. Scholarly monographs published outside the United States represented the largest proportions of references, with large growth in references to volumes of collected essays published in the United States. References to English-language materials increased significantly from 1970 to 2000.
  • Kathrin Dodds, Donell Calender, and Cynthia Henry. “Making a Case for Technology in Academia.” Abstract: Interested in connecting users with the latest resources aimed at advancing intellectual inquiry and discovery, researchers from Texas Tech University Libraries decided to embark on a study to explore the practicality of the latest technology, the iPad, within the varying functions of academia. Using an online survey and focus groups, the researchers sought to investigate how students and faculty felt the iPad might be used in teaching and learning, as well as research. This article describes the process the researchers used to obtain iPads for research and how they explored their use in an academic setting.
  • Judith M. Nixon. “Core Journals in Library and Information Science: Developing a Methodology for Ranking LIS Journals.” Abstract: In the library science field, there is no professionally accepted tiered list of journals in the United States to guide librarians, as there is in other academic disciplines. This situation creates a challenge for both new and experienced librarians who wish to make a serious contribution to librarianship by publishing articles. This article outlines a methodology used at the libraries of Purdue University, which could be adapted by other university libraries, to create a tiered list of journals tailored to the institution. The article begins with a literature review that identifies a short list of top-level journals. This is followed by the methodology that uses expert opinion surveys, acceptance and circulation rates, impact factors, h-indexes, and journals with local faculty articles. Tables with the journals ranked into three tiers are included.
  • Sarah Buck Kachaluba, Jessica Evans Brady, and Jessica Critten. “Developing Humanities Collections in the Digital Age: Exploring Humanities Faculty Engagement with Electronic and Print Resources.” Abstract: This article is based on quantitative and qualitative research examining humanities scholars’ understandings of the advantages and disadvantages of print versus electronic information resources. It explores how humanities’ faculty members at Florida State University (FSU) use print and electronic resources, as well as how they perceive these different formats. It was carried out with the goal of assisting the authors and other librarians in choosing between electronic and print formats when performing collection development responsibilities.

Of these articles, one that seems especially appropriate to consider within the context of the changes to the journal is Kachaluba, Brady, and Critten’s study of “humanities scholars’ understandings of the advantages and disadvantages of print versus electronic information resources.” This two-stage, mixed-method study of the use of print and electronic resources by humanities faculty members at FSU uncovered a range of issues relevant to the contemporary environment both for scholarly publishing and for collection management, and many of the same issues considered by ACRL in making the decision to embrace a open-access, digital-only model for its flagship journal.

The editorial board of C&RL looks forward to engaging its readership both through this column and through the social media activities noted above. As the journal enters its 75th year, our commitment to promoting high-quality research into academic and research librarianship remains constant, and we look forward to working with you, our readers, to ensure that commitment is maintained even as we explore new opportunities for disseminating and amplifying the results of that research through our emergent, digital platform.

If you share that commitment and are an experienced researcher in our field, we conclude this month’s Spotlight with an invitation to join us and help to build the future of the journal. C&RL is currently seeking new members for its editorial board to begin a three-year term of appointment following the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Interested volunteers are encouraged to review the board’s charge at www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/editorialboards/acr-crl and to communicate their interest in serving to any member of the current editorial board.

Copyright 2014© American Library Association

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