Universities are becoming more sophisticated in their management of the research enterprise, a significant element of their mission and also a major source of revenue that remains strong even during this year’s disruptions. This year, my colleagues and I at Ithaka S+R have been examining the state of the academic research enterprise — how it is managed, the strategic priorities that universities are pursuing for it, and the disruptions caused by the pandemic. We recently had a chance to present a summary overview of our findings at this year’s virtual CNI meeting, and the video of our presentation is available here

You can also read the two papers from which we presented. Our landscape review of the pandemic’s disruptions to the research enterprise emphasized financial and budgetary impacts, research project impacts, and the human impacts. This project, sponsored by Springer Nature, was principally conducted by Jane Radecki, and I also contributed to it. 

Additionally, Oya Y. Rieger and I examined the role of the senior research officer, a generic title for the vice provost, vice president, or vice chancellor of research. We interviewed 44 of these research leaders from the largest research universities in the US, examining the nature of the role itself, key responsibilities and collaborators, and strategic priorities and challenges. Ex Libris sponsored this project.

Given the importance of research support and enablement for so many scholarly publishers and academic librarians, I hope you will find something of interest in this work. We will continue to dig deeper into the research enterprise and welcome your ideas for further subjects of inquiry. 

Roger C. Schonfeld

Roger C. Schonfeld

Roger C. Schonfeld is director of Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums for Ithaka S+R. Roger leads a team of subject matter and methodological experts and analysts who conduct research and provide advisory services to drive evidence-based innovation and leadership among libraries, publishers, and museums to foster research, learning, and preservation. He serves as a Board Member for the Center for Research Libraries. Previously, Roger was a research associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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