C&RL Spotlight

Scott Walter

As we enter the second half of our first year as a digital-only publication, C&RL continues to make progress toward goals identified by readers who participated in the focus groups conducted in 2013. Our July issue, for example, saw the first assignment of digital object identifiers (DOIs) to current journal content, and we are working with Highwire Press to assign DOIs to content from the journal’s backfile. The assignment of DOIs is also the next step in our effort to enhance discoverability of journal content and to provide authors with broader and more consistent metrics regarding the use of content published in the journal.

Journal metrics, and their relationship to perceptions of journal quality and the influence that a particular journal may have on its field, inform the argument presented in “Who Publishes in Top-Tier Library Science Journals: An Analysis by Faculty Status and Tenure,” a study by Quinn Galbraith, et al., appearing in this month’s issue of C&RL. We see C&RL as not only one of the top-tier journals to which Galbraith, et al., have turned their attention, but also as a venue for exploring and providing leadership for the future of scholarly communication in our field. The fact that this study adds to the discussion occurring in other venues this summer regarding faculty status for librarians also suggests ways in which the studies published in an open access C&RL may support and promote thoughtful inquiry being conducted across a variety of traditional and nontraditional publishing platforms in the future.1 The future of our field (and of our libraries) is also the subject of this month’s guest editorial by James G. Neal (Columbia University), who reflects on the challenges and opportunities identified as likely to shape that future by participants in a number of “visioning” efforts conducted in recent months by ALA and Association of Research Libraries. The following articles, along with Neal’s guest editorial, can be found in the September 2014 issue of College & Research Libraries:

  • Connie Strittmatter and Virginia K. Bratton. “Plagiarism Awareness among Students: Assessing Integration of Ethics Theory into Library Instruction.” Abstract: The library literature on plagiarism instruction focuses on students’ understanding of what plagiarism is and is not. This study evaluates the effect of library instruction from a broader perspective by examining the pre- and post-test (instruction) levels of students’ perceptions toward plagiarism ethics. Eighty-six students completed a pre- and post-test survey that measured their ethical perceptions of plagiarism scenarios. The survey used the multidimensional ethics scale (MES) developed by Reidenbach and Robin that is used commonly in business ethics research. The study found that the MES is a reliable tool to measure changes in ethical perceptions of plagiarism. Further, results indicate that students had higher post-test perceptions of plagiarism ethics than they did prior to library instruction. These results suggest that library instruction was effective and had a meaningful impact on students’ perceptions toward plagiarism ethics.
  • Chris Leeder and Steven Lonn. “Faculty Usage of Library Tools in a Learning Management System.” Abstract: To better understand faculty attitudes and practices regarding usage of library-specific tools and roles in a university learning management system, log data for a period of three semesters was analyzed. Academic departments with highest rates of usage were identified, and faculty users and nonusers within those departments were surveyed regarding their perceptions of and experience with the library tools. Librarians who use the tools were also surveyed to compare their perceptions of faculty tool and role use. While faculty survey respondents showed high levels of positive perceptions of librarians, they also exhibited low awareness of the library tools and little understanding of their use. Recommendations for encouraging wider adoption and effective usage are discussed.
  • Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit and Alexa Pearce. “Invoking the User from Data to Design.” Abstract: Personas, stemming from the field of user-centered design, are hypothetical users that represent the behaviors, goals, and values of actual users. This study describes the creation of personas in an academic library. With the goal of leveraging service-generated data, the authors coded a sample of chat reference transcripts, producing two numeric values for each. The transcripts were plotted on an X/Y graph where X represented the nature of the user’s information need, and Y represented the nature of the user’s motivation. A k-means cluster analysis of the plotted points produced four clusters, which served as the personas’ basis.
  • Jessica R. Page, Heather K. Moberly, Gregory, K. Youngen, and Barbara J. Hamel. “Exploring the Veterinary Literature: A Bibliometric Methodology for Identifying Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Publications.” Abstract: Veterinary medical research traditionally focuses on animal health and wellness; however, research activities at veterinary colleges extend beyond these traditional areas. In this study, we analyzed 11 years of Web of Knowledge-indexed peer-reviewed articles from researchers at the 28 U.S. American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited veterinary colleges. We had three goals in assessing the published literature of veterinary college researchers. First, we identified a list of journals and research areas outside veterinary medicine in which veterinary researchers publish. This list of journals can be customized to identify those most essential at each institution. Second, we identified collaborative work by veterinary researchers across disciplines and institutions. Using textual analysis tools and visualizations helped us illustrate and clarify these data. Last, we developed a methodology for defining an interdisciplinary serials list outside a subject core that can be customized for specific institutions and subject areas.
  • Nancy M. Foasberg. “Student Reading Practices in Print and Electronic Media.” Abstract: This paper reports a diary-based qualitative study on college students’ reading habits with regard to print and electronic media. Students used a form to record information about their reading practices for 12 days, including length of reading event, location, format used, and the purpose of reading. Students tended to use print for academic and long-form reading and to engage with it more deeply. Although electronic resources were sometimes used for academic purposes, students often used them for shorter and nonacademic reading. Students found electronic media convenient, but most of them did not wish to switch to electronic media for their academic reading.
  • Quinn Galbraith, Elizabeth Smart, Sara D. Smith, and Megan Reed. “Who Publishes in Top-Tier Library Science Journals? An Analysis by Faculty Status and Tenure.” Abstract: This study analyzes the status and background of authors publishing in high-impact library science journals. Twenty-three high-impact journals were selected in this study by both quantitative and qualitative measures, while the analysis of author background focuses on whether the author holds a faculty status position with a tenure track. This study finds that 76 percent of academic librarians have faculty status.
  • David C. Tyler, Joyce C. Melvin, Mary-Lou Epp, and Anita M. Kreps. “Don’t Fear the Reader: Librarian versus Interlibrary Loan Patron-Driven Acquisition of Print Books at an Academic Library by Relative Collecting Level and by Library of Congress Classes and Subclasses.” Abstract: Recently, a great deal of literature on patron-driven acquisition (PDA) has been published that addresses the implementation and results of PDA programs at academic libraries. However, despite widespread worries that PDA will lead to unbalanced collections, little attention has been paid to whether patrons’ and librarians’ purchasing differ significantly. This study analyzes librarians’ and PDA patrons’ acquisitions at an academic library by relative collecting level and by subject (that is, Library of Congress class and subclass) to determine whether concern over patrons’ collecting are warranted.

July also saw the continued growth of the C&RL social media program, with an online forum on “Mapping Campus Contributions to Campus Internationalization” drawing more than 100 participants. This forum demonstrated the potential for promoting engagement between C&RL readers and authors, but also for promoting connections between C&RL and other ACRL efforts, in this case the International Perspectives on Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group, whose convener served as the forum’s moderator.2

Ideas for future forum programs that focus on current or upcoming studies published in C&RL may be directed to C&RL Social Media Editor Sarah Steiner at E-mail: .

Finally, C&RL readers will note the return of book reviews to the remaining issues in the current volume. C&RL is currently conducting interviews to select a new Book Review Editor, and we hope to include a full slate of reviews with each issue beginning in 2015. Readers interested in becoming a book reviewer for C&RL should look for the announcement of a new Book Review Editor in the coming weeks.

ACRL is additionally conducting a search for the next editor of College & Research Libraries, with interviews planned for the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. For more information on the position and the search process, or to nominate a colleague for this appointment, please see the announcement available on ACRL Insider.3

1. Fister, B. , “Should Academic Librarians Have Tenure May be the Wrong Question. ,” Inside Higher Ed, July.29. , 2014 , accessed August 13, 2014, https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/should-academic-librarians-have-tenure-may-be-wrong-question.

For a recent discussion of this issue in the journal, see:

Walter, S. , “The ‘Multi-hued Palette’ of Academic Librarianship. ,” College & Research Libraries 74, no. 3 ( 2013 ): 223-226 –, accessed August 13, 2014, http://crl.acrl.org/content/74/3/223.full.pdf.

Links to the forum recording and to the C&RL preprint that served as the launching point for discussion can be found at http://crl.acrl.org/site/misc/fora.xhtml.


ACRL Insider, www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/archives/8925.

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