C&RL Spotlight

Scott Walter

As I write this column, we are making the final preparation for the ACRL 2015 conference in Portland, including sending the special C&RL 75th anniversary issue to press. But, as you read this, we have just returned from Portland and have completed a great week of programming, including the Research Forum that included presentations from anniversary issue authors Jim Neal and Megan Oakleaf. With no time to rest on our laurels, though, C&RL turns its eyes to what’s next.

Altmetrics report from C&RL website for Jim Elmborg and Scott Walter’s January 2015 editorial, “Critical Thinking About ‘Getting Research Published’ in College & Research Libraries.

Our May issue will include articles on patron-driven acquisition, e-journal licensing, information literacy instruction, professional development programs, and more. One article of particular interest to me, as we recently completed a search for a new provost at DePaul University, is Mark Robertson’s study of the “Perceptions of Canadian Provosts on the Institutional Role of Academic Libraries.” Robertson (York University) conducted interviews with Canadian chief academic officers to explore “how they perceive academic libraries in terms of alignment with institutional mission, how they envision the future of their libraries, and what they interpret as indicators of success.” Provosts appreciate library contributions to student learning, he finds, as well as challenges and opportunities related to changing approaches to the design and use of library space. But, he also finds that there were important areas of potential library contribution about which provosts were less aware, e.g., scholarly communication services. Robertson’s observation that the provosts interviewed “struggle with identifying indicators of success related to their libraries” is relevant to ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative. The question of how aware our users are of new library service programs and models is also an important one, and one that comes up again in a study that we have just accepted on the perception of library contributions to undergraduate research programs by Merinda Hensley (University of Illinois), Sarah Shreeves (University of Miami), and Stephanie Davis-Kahl (Illinois Wesleyan University). That preprint should be available on our website by the time this issue of the News has reached you, and I encourage you to take an early look at http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/recent.

Also new with our May issue are altmetrics. Altmetrics, according to an ACRL primer on the subject, “is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of ‘alternative metrics,’ or metrics based distinctly on the opportunities offered by the 21st century digital environment.”1

Following suggestions made by C&RL readers during focus groups, ACRL staff members have been working with our publishing platform at Highwire Press to add altmetrics to the “article usage statistics” available for review on the pages for individual articles. The image reproduced on the previous page comes from the altmetrics report showing reader engagement with the editorial from our January 2015 issue across a number of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Mendeley.

If you follow C&RL on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/collegeandresearchli-braries) or Twitter (@CRL_ACRL), you might have already seen the announcement of the addition to altmetrics to our site, and you may already know that the next C&RL Online Forum is scheduled for late April. The date and time for the forum have not been finalized as this goes to press, but please go to the C&RL Online Fora homepage (http://crl.acrl.org/site/misc/fora.xhtml) for information about how to join us for our next online event.

Past C&RL Online Fora have included discussions of instructional collaboration with faculty, library contributions to international programs, the culture of assessment, and mentoring programs in academic libraries. If you see a recent C&RL preprint that you think would make a great topic for an upcoming online forum, please contact C&RL Social Media Editor Sarah Steiner at (E-mail: ).

1. Roemer, RC. Borchardt, R. , “Keeping Up with… Altmetrics,” accessed March 4, 2015, www.ala.org/acrl/publications/keeping_up_with/altmetrics.
Copyright 2015 © American Library Association

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