ARL is seeking proposals for 2014 SPEC survey topics. For 40 years ARL has gathered and disseminated data through the SPEC survey program to assist libraries in the continuous improvement of their management systems. Each year, ARL works with librarians in the US and Canada to develop six surveys of the ARL membership on strategic topics related to research library policies and practices. (Survey authors do not need to work at an ARL member library, but only ARL libraries are surveyed.)
Criteria for selecting a survey topic include its currency and insightfulness; its strategic importance to research libraries; its relevance to ARL’s three strategic directions (Influencing Public Policy, Advancing Scholarly Communication, and Transforming Research Libraries) or ARL’s programs promoting diversity, leadership, or assessment; and whether documents that illustrate current policies and practices can be gathered from survey respondents.
Examples of current areas of interest to research libraries that could fit the SPEC survey model include, but are not limited to:
- Workforce implications of new services
- Competencies for new roles
- Approaches to library collaborations
- Non-traditional expertise among library professionals
- Prevalence of disciplinary expertise among staff
- Acquiring and managing new forms of scholarship
- Outcomes influenced by library research across the curriculum
- Budget restructuring and reallocation, including funding sources, development, and fundraising
- Strategies for articulating value and impact of library services
- Use of new tools and metrics for evaluation of scholarship
Proposals should include the following elements and should be brief (two to five pages total):
- A short bio of the author(s), indicating qualifications to carry out research on the proposed topic.
- A brief overview of the topic with a discussion of why it is important to examine it at this time and a description of what you hope to learn from the survey data. Include a statement such as “The purpose of this survey is to…” (This text could be used to introduce the survey to respondents.)
- A paragraph indicating the relevance of the research topic to ARL.
- A list of the main categories of survey questions—reflecting your description of what you hope to learn—along with a sample question for each category.
- A list of the types of supporting documentation you would request from survey respondents.
For consideration for 2014, submit proposals online by Friday, July 12, 2013. Proposals will be reviewed and successful authors will be notified by August 21, 2013.
Questions about the SPEC survey program and proposal development can be directed to Lee Anne George, ARL publications program officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARL’s Strategic Plan with descriptions of the strategic objectives
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.