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Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey

Information about the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey in March 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Local Faculty Survey?

The Local Faculty Survey examines the impact of library collections and services on research, teaching, and publishing. The survey was developed by Ithaka S+R, a non-profit research and consulting service that helps the academic community take advantage of digital technologies, preserve the scholarly record, and advance research and teaching in a sustainable way.

Ithaka S+R is a part of ITHAKA, a non-profit organization that also includes JSTOR and Portico.

Have I taken this survey before?

Although you may have participated in similar research from Ithaka S+R in the past, the Local Faculty Survey has been customized for Washington University in St. Louis. Ithaka S+R conducts large general surveys of academics and faculty members every three years to provide a regular examination of strategic issues facing higher education, including changes in research processes, teaching practices, scholarly publishing, the role of the library, and the role of the learned society.

How long will the survey run?

The survey will run from March 3- 29, 2015

Who should complete the survey?

The survey should be completed by all teaching faculty on the Danforth Campus, including tenured, tenure-track, and instructional faculty. This includes adjunct faculty. The survey should not be taken by faculty with who conduct research but do not have teaching responsibilities.

How long does the survey take to complete?

The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. If you close your web browser before completing the survey, your progress may be saved provided you resume the survey using the same computer. However this function will not work on public work stations and web browsers that do not cache web browsing history and cookies.

Can I preview the survey before taking it?

Because your survey session is saved based on a cookie, revisiting the survey link additional times may not allow you to start a fresh instance of the survey, making it difficult to preview the survey.  The easiest way to see a fresh instance of the survey is to launch an incognito or private browsing window in your web browser, and paste the survey link into this window.  This should launch a fresh version of the survey.  If this is not an option, clearing your browser cookies should also allow you to reach a fresh version of the survey.

Note: the private browsing window is available under the ‘Tools’ dropdown of the Internet Explorer menu.

What kinds of questions are on the survey?

The complete Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey is composed of 15 modules, of which Washington University in St. Louis has decided to select 7. The modules you can expect to see in the Local Faculty Survey include questions regarding:

  • Formats
    Covers print and digital versions of scholarly journals and monographs.
  • Digital Research Activities
    Covers use of computational and quantitative research methods in research and teaching.
  • Undergrad Instruction
    Covers classroom formats, assignment types, and new pedagogical and communications mechanisms.
  • Student Research Skills
    Covers perceptions of students' research and critical thinking abilities and the responsibility to develop these skills.
  • Research dissemination
    Covers intended audience, journal selection, and publishing services, including academic conferences.
  • Role of the Library
    Covers perceptions of the changing role and value of the academic library. 
  • Data Preservation and Management
    Covers  data accumulated, created, or managed by faculty , and the need for organization and preservation services.

How will the survey data be used?

The survey results will help the libraries make evidence-based decisions regarding the collections, programs and services we provide to faculty. The results will benchmark the perceptions and experiences of faculty with national data as well as data from other institutions that have participated in the Ithaka S+R Local Surveys, including Princeton University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago.

Will my responses be able to be identified as mine?

Each faculty member will receive a unique link to the survey within the email invitation, but identifying information (name, email, IP address) is disconnected from collected responses in order to keep the results anonymous. Though departmental affiliation is present in the response dataset as an embedded field, there will not be any way to link responses back to individuals at that point. Deductive disclosure of an individual respondent’s identity—due to the small size of his or her department and additional demographic data collected—may be possible but is unlikely.  All achievable measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of your answers.

Does the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey meet federal definitions of research involving human particpants?

The Washington University Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) has reviewed the project and determined that it does not involve activities that are subject to Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversight. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a survey participant, you may contact (anonymously if you wish) the WU HRPO at (314) 747-6800.

Didn't I just take a library survey?

The libraries recently conducted a Service Quality Survey in 2013. This survey measured user satisfaction with library collections, services, and facilities. Administered every three years, these surveys allow us to compare our library performance with other institutions and create longitudinal studies. 

The Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey will assess topics such as the evolving role of the academic library, how scholars discover and access information resources, instruction needs, and the research and publishing.

What if I have more questions?

If you have additional questions regarding the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey, or would like to see more information on this research guide, please contact any of the following:

Thank You!