Managing the Changes Brought by New Technologies: Ithaka`s
Managing the Changes Brought by New Technologies:
Ithaka’s Research Program
Roger C. Schonfeld
Manager of Research, Ithaka
August 22, 2008
• Quick introduction – Ithaka and its research unit
• Key strategic issues facing academia
• Relevant Ithaka research initiatives
• Discussion: other key strategic issues
Brief Overview of Ithaka
• Ithaka promotes innovation in higher education by helping
pioneering initiatives to thrive.
• Our roots are in the foundation community and the
development of JSTOR and ARTstor.
• We pursue our mission by creating, nurturing, and assisting
innovative organizations and projects that use technology to
facilitate change in the scholarly community.
• Focus on sustainability.
Objective: To understand the strategic impacts of new
technologies on higher education and to help colleges
and universities adapt.
We structure our research around a variety of strategic
issues that we see facing higher education in the medium
term in an attempt to provide valuable intelligence to
help colleges and universities respond effectively.
Guided by an Advisory Committee
Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
Amy Friedlander, Director of Programs, Council on Library and
Catharine B. Hill, President, Vassar College
Ronald Larsen, Dean, School of Information Sciences, University of
Wendy Lougee, University Librarian and McKnight Presidential
Professor, University of Minnesota
Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked
Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian for Collections and
International Programs, Yale University
Sarah Porter, Head of Development, JISC
Bradley C. Wheeler, Chief Information Officer, Indiana University
The Format Transition
Assumption: There is a massive, rapid, and inevitable format
transition underway for scholarly publications – away from print
and towards electronic-only collections.
Concern: The organizational imperatives associated with this
transition are deeply complex, and many academic libraries and
scholarly publishers are not well-equipped to exercise the
leadership necessary for this transition to occur with maximum
efficiency and minimum losses.
Research goal: Providing academia with the policy basis needed to
transition effectively and responsibly away from print and
towards increasingly electronic-only collections.
Projects: Economic and decision-making studies;
histories; infrastructure optimization analyses
Scholars’ Needs and Practices
Assumption: Digital content, tools, and services are permitting
rapid changes in the needs and practices of scholars, albeit
unevenly distributed by institutional type and discipline.
Concern: Many community information-services organizations,
both campus libraries and IT groups and affiliated providers
such as JSTOR and Project Muse, lack the resources to analyze
these changes with sufficient speed and depth to react in a
timely and effective manner.
Research goal: Helping information-services organizations meet
the needs of scholars by understanding their changing attitudes
Projects: Faculty surveys; analysis of changing scholarly
Assumption: The networked environment affords powerful new
opportunities to expand access to learning and scholarship.
Concern: Amid widespread enthusiasm, it is sometimes difficult to
design initiatives that are most likely to benefit potential users
and prove sustainable in the long term.
Research goal: Examining how knowledge can most effectively be
disseminated from colleges and universities to researchers and
learners, especially using new technologies.
Projects: Analysis of university publishing; examination of
developing-world constraints; study of online course
New Resources and Methods for Teaching
Assumption: Digitization and the networked environment have led
to the creation of new resources that can contribute to
education, affording opportunities to transform teaching
practices and the learning experience for undergraduates.
Concern: Investments are not always aligned with actual
pedagogical needs, while at the same time teaching practices
sometimes evolve all too slowly.
Research goal: Studying the demand for new resources and
pedagogies while examining barriers to their adoption that may
productively be alleviated.
Projects: Image use and provision at liberal arts colleges;
faculty attitudes and practices on sharing course
1. What are discussions of these issues like on your campus?
2. How are these issues discussed in your professional
3. What other strategic priorities are you faced with in your work?
4. What other strategic priorities does your institution face today
or will it face in the future?
Roger C. Schonfeld
Manager of Research, Ithaka