The Provost of the University of Florida invites all faculty to participate in an important study of their attitudes and practices relating to research and teaching in a rapidly changing environment. This local instance of a national survey will provide specific insight into how faculty are managing their major responsibilities under increasingly digital conditions and using new electronic resources. The survey will also enable a comparison of UF faculty attitudes and practices with national data. Finally, it will help the Senate’s University Libraries Committee, together with Library Administration, strategically shape the future of information services at this University.
Risks and Benefits
There are no foreseen risks to those who choose to participate in this study. There are potentially great benefits to both faculty and to the UF academic community. The national Ithaka Strategic Consulting + Research (S+R) survey has been conducted every three years in the past decade, most recently in 2012. It has provided great value to college and university communities in tracking how scholarly practices and attitudes are shifting.
To build on this value, the UF Senate’s University Libraries Committee recommended a local UF study. We hope that the aggregated dataset resulting from this survey will represent the responses of a broad representative sample of University of Florida faculty in the context of the national survey. The findings will have great value to UF in understanding current scholarly practices and views, and help the UF academic community develop and implement successful strategies to support faculty needs.
The Provost will launch the survey by way of an email invitation, and his message will contain the anonymous electronic link to the questionnaire. Responses will not contain names, but will contain demographic information such as age, gender, department, and academic status. This survey is being implemented by Qualtrics, a third-party survey platform vendor, through a contract with Ithaka S+R. Only Ithaka S+R staff on the survey project team will have access to individual responses hosted on this system through a password-based authentication system. After the survey closes, the local implementation team will receive the set of individual responses as well as a summary report providing findings in the aggregate. Except as otherwise required under Florida Public Records laws, Ithaka S+R will not report publicly on individual responses, and any public reporting on institutional findings by Ithaka S+R, Library Administration, or the Senate’s University Libraries Committee will treat the University of Florida as a whole.
Right to Decline or Withdraw at Any Time
As with all studies respecting informed consent, faculty may decline or withdraw from the study. Any questions regarding the study or the rights of participants should be referred to Dr. Isabel Silver, Director, Academic & Scholarly Outreach, Smathers Libraries at email@example.com. Faculty responses will be shared for analysis in non-identifiable aggregated form with the UF Libraries and Ithaka S+R, which is administering the survey on the University’s behalf.
All members of the UF community are welcome to share their views and opinions directly with the UF Faculty Senate University Libraries Committee or with Library Administration at any time.