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Reminder: Call for Proposals for SPEC Survey Topics 2018—Deadline July 14, 2017


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is seeking proposals for 2018 SPEC survey topics. For more than 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, the Association works with librarians in the US and Canada to develop surveys of the 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 member libraries are surveyed.)

Criteria for selecting a 2018 survey topic include:

Examples of current areas of interest to research libraries that could fit the SPEC survey model include, but are not limited to:

  • Public scholarship and civic or community engagement
  • Metadata services, including linked open data
  • Student success and retention (library contributions to)
  • Open access investments and funds (beyond article processing charges)
  • Creating and maintaining inclusive climates through design of spaces or services, and involving participation of diverse, underrepresented communities
  • Workforce development
  • Acquiring and managing new forms of scholarship
  • Innovations in engaging users with collections
  • Measuring organizational success/impact

Include the following elements in your proposal, which should be brief (2–5 pages total):

  • A short bio of yourself and any additional authors indicating your 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 later to introduce the survey to respondents.)
  • A paragraph indicating the strategic relevance of the research topic to ARL members
  • 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

Submit proposals online by Friday, July 14, 2017, for consideration for 2018. ARL will review proposals and notify authors of the four topics selected for the 2018 survey cycle by August 18, 2017.

Questions about the SPEC survey program and proposal development can be directed to Lee Anne George, publications program officer, at leeanne@arl.org.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s 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 ARL.org.