Yaşar Tonta ve Orçun Madran Akademiden Notlar’ın bu bölümünde konukları İlkay Holt ve Gültekin Gürdal ile birlikte Açık Erişim Haftası, AE2020 ile ilgili konuşuyor. Yaşar Tonta hakkında: http://yunus.hacettepe.edu.tr/~tonta/ Orçun Madran hakkında: http://www.madran.net/

Posted by: bluesyemre | October 31, 2020

Akademiden Notlar 20: #PlanS #YaşarTonta #OrçunMadran

Yaşar Tonta ve Orçun Madran Akademiden Notlar’ın bu bölümünde Plan S ile ilgili konuşuyor.

Yaşar Tonta hakkında: http://yunus.hacettepe.edu.tr/~tonta/

Orçun Madran hakkında: http://www.madran.net/

Yayında geçen bağlantılar ve kaynaklar: – Plan S. https://www.coalition-s.org/about/ – ESAC (Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges) Initiative https://esac-initiative.org/ Van Voorden, R. (2020, 16 Temmuz). – Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal, Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/d4158… – Schimmer, R., Geschuhn, K. K., & Vogler, A. (2015). Disrupting the subscription journals’ business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access. http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0…. – OA2020 Progress Report. (2020, 29 Eylül). https://oa2020.org/progress-report/#info – CLOCKSS. https://clockss.org/ – Mudditt, A. (2019, 3 Haziran). Plan S and the Transformation of Scholarly Communication: Are We Missing the Woods? Scholarly Kitchen. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2…

Yaşar Tonta ve Orçun Madran Akademiden Notlar’ın bu bölümünde Akademik Teşvik Sistemleri ile ilgili konuşuyor.

Yaşar Tonta hakkında: http://yunus.hacettepe.edu.tr/~tonta/

Orçun Madran hakkında: http://www.madran.net/

Yayında geçen bağlantılar ve kaynaklar: – Ufuk Akçiğit, “Regülasyonlar ve Akademik yayınlar.” (24 Ağustos 2020). https://www.artnotlari.com/blog/akade… – Yaşar Tonta ve Müge Akbulut (2020). Does monetary support increase citation impact of scholarly papers? Scientometrics. https://link.springer.com/article/10…. – Yaşar Tonta. (2018). Does Monetary Support Increase the Number of Scientific Papers? An Interrupted Time Series Analysis. Journal of Data and Information Science, 3(1): 19-39. doi: 10.2478/jdis-2018-0002. – Performansa dayalı akademik teşvik sistemleri üzerine https://sarkac.org/2020/09/performans…

Posted by: bluesyemre | October 31, 2020

#TikTok And Your #Library

On this week’s Princh Library Blog post we have guest writer David Lee King, digital services director at Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, sharing his thoughts on why using TikTok might be beneficial for your library.

It might be time!

Apple’s iTunes is a handy gauge to see what music people are listening to. Sometimes, the most popular songs on iTunes are very different from the Billboard Top 100. For example, this week’s number one song on iTunes is Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Yes, that Dreams – from way back in 1977.

Why is a song from 1977 the most popular song on iTunes? You can blame TikTok for that. Or, more specifically, you can blame TikTok user @420doggface208. He’s a middle-aged guy who posted a video of himself on a skateboard, drinking cranberry juice, while lip syncing to Dreams.

That short video went viral – it has been viewed over 39.9 million times. When that happens on TikTok, other users join in the fun by copying the video, using the same song, or creating a “duet” video (a video of themselves and the original video in the same frame).

Weird, I know. But also consider this: that silly 15-second video was influential enough to tip the scales in a completely different industry (the music industry).

And hey – I’ll bet that Stevie Nicks is pretty happy that her song from 43 years ago is getting re-discovered.

That’s pretty impressive for a mobile app dominated by teenagers. It’s also a good indicator that you should explore the world of TikTok and see if it can work in your organization.

What is Tiktok?

TikTok is an app-based social media tool that allows you to create 15-60 second videos. What happens in these videos? There’s a lot of lip-syncing and dancing to music. You’ll also find pretty much anything you can fit into a video format, including rocket launches, parkour, comedy skits, political speeches, and musicians doing their thing. Cute babies, animals, and gag videos. For organizations with TikTok accounts, you’ll find them sharing recent news, thoughts about their industry, and information about new services.

How long has TikTok been around?

Believe it or not, some form of TikTok has been around for six years! In April 2014, the Musical.ly app was released. It focused on … well, pretty much everything that TikTok does. By 2017, Musical.ly had over 200 million users.

In November of 2017, Musical.ly was sold to ByteDance, who made a similar set of apps: Douyin (focused on China) and TikTok (focused on an international market). ByteDance merged the users from Musical.ly and TikTok, and kept the name TikTok for their global app.

How popular is Tiktok?

Here are some recent statistics:

What can your library do on Tiktok?

Are there ways to connect TikTok content to your library’s customers? I think so. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Book Reviews: You can make 15-60 second book reviews and share them on TikTok. Encourage viewers to check out the book.
  • Share your resources: Share what you do at the library! Like many libraries, yours probably has a lot of services and resources that you can share in a short video format. Invite viewers to try a new service or resource.
  • Staff being funny: I’ll guess you have at least one staff member who always makes you laugh. Get that person to “do their thing” in a TikTok video. TikTok’s algorithm is similar to Facebook and Instagram, in that if someone watches and interacts with your content (i.e., watching the video, clicking Like, sharing the video, leaving a comment, or following a user), that person will be presented with more of your content. For a library, that means that a fun video can help your more “serious” content get more views as well.
  • Library news: Can you deliver library news in 15-60 seconds in a short video format? I’ll bet you can! Do it in a fun, lighthearted way, and it will be watched.

Should your library have a TikTok account?

Right now, TikTok is an easy way to grab the attention of that hard-to-connect-with younger generation. Teens and young 20-somethings love the app. If they find other people and organizations that they like using TikTok, they are likely to follow and watch your videos, too.

It’s also easy to share a TikTok video to other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter. That way, you can create content once and share it to multiple places, which saves you time.

With TikTok, there’s nothing to really lose by trying it out. So why not set up an account and see if it works for your library?

Libraries to Follow on TikTok

There are a few libraries using TikTok:

  • Calgary Public Library (@calgarylibrary)
  • Dover Public Library (@doverpubliclibrary)
  • Regina Public Library (@reginapubliclibrary)
  • Iowa City Public Library (@iowacitypubliclibrary)
  • Mustang Public Library (@mustangpubliclibrary)
  • Great Valley High School Library (@gvhslibrary)

Influencers and Organizations to follow

Following some popular influencers and organizations can help you quickly understand what types of content work on TikTok:

  • Charli D’amelio (@charlidamelio). She’s 16 years old and is currently the most followed person on TikTok, with over 92.2 million followers.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee). Gary is an entrepreneur who shares his thoughts on running businesses and using social media to connect with customers.
  • Washington Post (@washingtonpost). Yes, the newspaper!
  • Crocs (@crocs). The makers of those silly shoes do a great job of using TikTok to promote their brand.
  • Chipotle (@chipotle). Another company promoting their brand on TikTok.
  • Me (@davidleeking). I’m not doing much on TikTok, but feel free to follow!

Other articles about TikTok



Posted by: bluesyemre | October 29, 2020

Rethinking The #Rankings

Lizzie Gadd and Richard Holmes share the initial findings of the INORMS Research Evaluation Working Group’s efforts to rate the World University Rankings.

When the INORMS Research Evaluation Working Group (REWG) was formed in 2016, Lizzie asked the representatives of twelve international research management societies where they felt we should focus our attention if we wanted to achieve our aim of making research evaluation more meaningful, responsible and effective. They were unanimous: the world university rankings. Although research managers are not always the ones in their institutions that deal with the world university rankers, they are one of the groups that feel their effect most keenly: exclusion from certain funding sources based on ranking position; requests to reverse engineer various indicators to understand their scores, and calls to introduce policies that may lead to better ranking outcomes. And all whilst fully appreciating how problematic rankings are in terms of their methodology, their validity and their significance.

So what could be done? Well, it was clear that one of the key issues with the world ranking bodies is that they are unappointed and they answer to nobody. In an earlier blog post where Lizzie describes the research evaluation environment as a food chain, she put them at the top: predators on which no-one predates. (Although some Scandinavian colleagues see them more as parasites that feed off the healthy organisms: taking but not giving back). And of course the way to topple an apex predator, is to introduce a new one: to make them answerable to the communities they rank.  So this is what the INORMS REWG set about doing, by seeking to introduce an evaluation mechanism of their own to rate the rankers.

In some parallel work, the REWG were developing SCOPE, a five-step process for evaluating effectively, so we were keen to follow our own guidance when designing our ranker ratings. And this is how we did so:

Start with what you value

Our first step was to identify what it was we wanted from any mechanism seeking to draw comparisons between universities. What did we value? To this end we sought out wisdom from all those who’ve gone ahead of us in this space: the Berlin Principles on Ranking HEIs, the work of Ellen Hazelkorn, the CWTS principles for responsible use of rankings, the Leiden ManifestoDORAYves Gingras, and many others. From their thoughts we synthesised a draft list of Criteria for Fair and Responsible University Rankings and put them out to the community for comment. We got feedback from a wide range of organisations: universities, academics, publishers and ranking organisations themselves. The feedback was then synthesised into our value document – what we valued about the entity (rankers) under evaluation. These fell into four categories: good governance, transparency, measure what matters, and rigour.

Context considerations

There are lots of reasons we evaluate things. What we’re trying to achieve here is a comparison of the various ranking organisations, with the ultimate purpose of incentivising them to do better. We want to expose where they differ from each other but also to highlight areas that the community cares about where they currently fall short.  What we didn’t want to do is create another ranking. It would have been very tempting to do so: “ranking the rankings” has a certain ring to it.  But not only would this mean that a ranking organisation got to shout about its league-table-topping status – something we didn’t want to endorse – but we wouldn’t be practising what we preached: a firm belief that it is not possible to place multi-faceted entities on a single scale labelled ‘Top’ and ‘Bottom’.

Options for evaluating

Once we had our list of values, we then set about translating them into measurable criteria – into indicators that were a good proxy for the quality being measured. As anyone who’s ever developed an evaluation approach will know, this is hard. But again, we sought to adhere to our own best practice by providing a matrix by which evaluators could provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback. Quantitative feedback took the form of a simple three-point scale according to whether the ranker fully (2 marks), partially (1 mark) or failed (0 marks) to meet the set criteria. Qualitative feedback took the form of free-text comments.  To ensure transparency and mitigate against bias as best we could, we asked a variety of international experts to each assess one of six ranking organisations against the criteria. INORMS REWG members also undertook evaluations, and, in line with the SCOPE principle of ‘evaluating with the evaluated,’ each ranker was also invited to self-assess themselves.  Only one ranking organisation, CWTS Leiden, accepted our offer to self-assess and they provided free-text comments rather than scores.  All this feedback was then forwarded to our senior expert reviewer, Dr Richard Holmes, author of the University Ranking Watch blog, and certainly one of the most knowledgeable University Rankings experts in the world. He was able to combine the feedback from our international experts with his own, often inside, knowledge of the rankings, to enable a really robust, expert assessment.

Probe deeply

Of course all good evaluations should probe their approach, which is something we sought to do during the design stage, but something we also came back to post-evaluation. We observed some criteria where rankings might be disadvantaged for good practice – for example, where a ranking did not use surveys and so could not score. This led us to introducing ‘Not Applicable’ categories to ensure they would not be penalised. One or two questions were also multi-part which made it difficult to assess fairly across the rankers. In any future iteration of the approach we would seek to correct this. We noted that the ‘partially meets’ category is also very broad, ranging from a touch short of perfect to a smidge better than fail. In future, a more granular five- or even ten-point grading system might provide a clearer picture as to where a ranking succeeds and where it needs to improve.  In short, there were some learning points. But that’s normal. And we think the results provide a really important proof-of-concept for evaluating the world rankings.


So what did we find? Well we applied our approach to six of the largest and most influential world university rankings: ARWUTHE WRQS, U-MultirankCWTS Leiden and US News & World Report. A full report will be forthcoming and the data showing the expert assessments and senior expert calibrations are available. A spidergram of the quantitative element is given in Figure 1 and some headline findings are provided below.

Figure 1. Spidergram illustrating the actual scores/total possible score for each world ranker. The full data along with the important qualitative data is available.

Good governance

The five key expectations of rankers here were that they engaged with the ranked, were self-improving, declared conflicts of interest, were open to correction and dealt with gaming. In the main all ranking organisations made some efforts towards good governance, with clear weaknesses in terms of declaring conflicts of interest: no ranker really did so, even though selling access to their data and consultancy services was commonplace. 


The five expectations of rankers here were that they had transparent aims, methods, data sources, open data and financial transparency.  Once again there were some strengths when it came to the transparency of the rankers’ aims and methods – even if arguably the methods didn’t always meet the aims. The weaknesses here were around the ability of a third-party to replicate the results (only ARWU achieved full marks here), data availability, and financial transparency (where only U-Multirank achieved full marks).

Measure what matters

The five expectations of rankers here were that they drove good behaviour, measured against mission, measured one thing at a time (no composite indicators), tailored results to different audiences and gave no unfair advantage to universities with particular characteristics. Not surprisingly, this is where most rankings fell down. CWTS Leiden and U-Multirank scored top marks in terms of efforts to drive appropriate use of rankings and measuring only one thing at a time, the others barely scored.  Similarly, Leiden & U-Multirank fared quite well on measuring against mission, unlike the others. But no ranking truly tailored their offer to different audiences, assuming that all users – students, funders, universities, would value the different characteristics of universities in the same way.  And neither could any whole-heartedly say that they offered no unfair advantage to certain groups.


The one thing university rankings are most criticised for is their methodological invalidity, and so it may come as no surprise that this was another weak section for most world rankers. Here we were looking for rigorous methods, no ‘sloppy’ surveys, validity, sensitivity and honesty about uncertainty. The ranker that did the best here by a country mile was CWTS Leiden, with perfect scores for avoiding the use of opinion surveys (joined by ARWU), good indicator validity (joined by U-Multirank), indicator sensitivity, and the use of error bars to indicate uncertainty. All other rankers scored their lowest in this section.


So there is clearly work to be done here, and we hope that our rating clearly highlights what needs to be done and by whom. And in case any ranking organisation seeks to celebrate their relative ‘success’ here, it’s worth pointing out that a score of 100% on each indicator is what the community would deem to be acceptable. Anything less leaves something to be desired.

One of the criticisms we anticipate is that our expectations are too high. How can we expect rankings to offer no unfair advantage? And how can we expect commercial organisations to draw attention to their conflicts of interest? Our answer would be that just because something is difficult to achieve, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aspire to it. Some of the sustainable development goals (no poverty, zero hunger) are highly ambitious, but also highly desirable. The beauty of taking a value-led approach, such as that promoted by SCOPE, is that we are driven by what we truly care about, rather than by the art of the possible, or the size of our dataset. If it’s not possible to rank fairly, in accordance with principles developed by the communities being ranked, we would argue that it is the rankings that need to change, not the principles. 

We hope this work initiates some reflection on the part of world university ranking organisations. But we also hope it leads to some reflection by those organisations that set so much store by the world rankings: the universities that seek uncritically to climb them; the students and academics that blindly rely on them to decide where to study or work; and the funding organisations that use them as short-cuts to identify quality applicants. This work provides qualitative and quantitative evidence that the world rankings cannot, currently, be relied on for these things. There is no fair, responsible and meaningful university ranking. Not really. Not yet. There are just pockets of good practice that we can perhaps build on if there is the will.  Let’s hope there is.

Acknowledgement: We’d like to acknowledge the hard work of the INORMS Research Evaluation Working Group, particularly the Rankings Sub-Group chaired by Justin Shearer, in developing this rating. We should also like to thank all those who acted as expert reviewers for us.

This post is licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 29, 2020

#Libraries are the last great #democracy

Even COVID hasn’t stopped the flow of information

“If information is the currency of democracy, then libraries are its banks,” Senator Wendell Ford once said.

Libraries are the great societal leveler. They welcome all people, regardless of age, race, creed, gender, education level, wealth, or political leaning. Libraries are at the core of a democratic society because they help every individual be a better citizen through community building, literacy, and equal access to resources. According to a Pew Survey conducted in 2015, over 90% of adults think of public libraries as “welcoming and friendly places,” and about half have visited or otherwise used a public library in the last 12 months. 

For those lucky enough to have a library in their neighborhood, it can become a second living space, a place to keep the kids safe after school, to keep cool as summer temperatures soar, and warm when winter storms cause power outages. And for those who have no home, the library is often a sanctuary—a safe haven when shelters are not open, a place to rest, recover, reflect.

“Libraries provide information triage and vital social services. This is where people at a serious socio-economic disadvantage get a leg up,” points out Reagan De Victoria, Board President of the Westerville Library Association. 

The importance of a library as a neighborhood hub is at the core of the Columbus Public Library’s mission. Over the last decade they have renovated and rebuilt almost half of their libraries with the goal of transforming the spaces “from vaults for books into community centerpieces where people can gather,” says CPL’s media specialist, Ben Zenitsky.

For the Main Library branch downtown this has meant a variety of modifications: adding a large reading room that could also serve to host guest lectures by famous authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Garth Stein, and local hero Wil Haygood; updating the children’s area; and connecting the library to the Topiary Gardens to allow community members another peaceful reading spot.

“In all these renovated spaces, you can see themes that reflect these principles of community building—walls of windows to provide natural sunlight and beautiful views, and wide-open spaces, to make you feel welcomed,” said Zenitsky. 

Columbus libraries focus on a wide range of populations with particular needs, including seniors, veterans, and immigrants. For children, the library offers what Zenitsky refers to as the “young mind strategy” which aims to guide children from the earliest stages of literacy, through the third grade reading guarantee, and right up to high school graduation. For adults, they offer services ranging from internet access to civic engagement workshops, and tax preparation help to assistance with government documents.

While internet access may seem like a trivial thing to some, for many without reliable service at home, Zenitsky considers it to be “a public utility, something that is needed like water, or electricity, or gas.” Many employers require online applications to apply for jobs, and library internet access allows for that. Columbus Public Libraries go one step further.

“Our staff are there to help every step of the way whether it’s creating or improving a resume, working on interview techniques, or even learning how to dress for the job,” said Zenitsky.

For new Americans who may not fluently speak the language and are not familiar with available resources, libraries are also actively engaged in helping immigrants connect with services that ease the transition and help them adapt to living in a new country.

As Covid-19 has continued to spread through our city and many institutions have had to temporarily shutter their doors, organizations like CPL have gotten creative about how they reach an audience that they can’t directly see. Over the last half year, the library has created a method for contactless curbside pick-up, hosted Ebook clubs, run a Virtual Kindergarten Summer Camp, held online storytimes for preschoolers, and provided crowdcast author lectures. 

Individuals may not have been able to walk into a library for months, but they can have one-one one time with a librarian online using the “Reserve an Expert” option to gain help with anything from assistance finding a great Sunday morning read to help finding a new job. CPL has even hosted virtual job fairs to connect employers with the ever increasing number of unemployed residents. For the services that they simply cannot provide in-house right now, they partner with a variety of local social service organizations to provide citizens with the resources they need.

Those who work in the public library system serving others also recognize that, as much as they try to creatively connect to community, there are some barriers impossible to overcome.

“We’re all kind of scrambling here and trying to figure out the best way to reach the community. Nothing is to the quality we wish we could have. We all wish we could be in person and working face-to face with our customers,” said Zenitsky.

Whetstone Youth Service Manager Kris Hickey echoes this sentiment.

“We are missing the kids, families, customers; we know that there are families that need us, that rely on us for help, and we don’t have the ability to help safely right now,” said Hickey. 

While both the librarians and community members are experiencing that loss, libraries have also been making strides towards structuring their settings so that they can begin to safely reopen their doors for limited use, including critical computer and internet access. They have partnered with Battelle to effectively rid books of virus through a four-day quarantine so that they can rapidly get them back in the hands of waiting patrons, installed plastic shields at reference desks for safe check-out, and put in place strategies for social distancing such as limiting the number of customers at a given time and browsing the shelves for borrowers. 

While that certainly won’t replace the joy of wandering through the aisles and finding treasures, it is worth the trade-off for being able to greet the staff face-to face for a friendly and much-missed “hello.”


‘We are struggling, trying to see a way forward’ … Shakespeare and Company. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/The Guardian

The landmark store has seen sales fall 80% since March, and with a new lockdown expected has asked for orders from those who can afford it

One of the world’s most iconic bookshops, Shakespeare and Company, has appealed to its customers for help as it is struggling, with sales that are down almost 80% since March.

The celebrated Parisian bookstore told readers on Wednesday that it was facing “hard times” as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps customers away. France is expected to impose a new four-week national lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to surge; large swathes of the country, including Paris, are already under a night-time curfew.

“Like many independent businesses, we are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss,” said the shop in an email to customers, adding that it would be “especially grateful for new website orders from those of you with the means and interest to do so”.

First opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919, the Parisian institution was frequented by writers including F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, TS Eliot and James Joyce in the early 20th century. George Whitman opened today’s version of the shop in 1951, with James Baldwin, Lawrence Durrell, Allen Ginsberg and Anaïs Nin among its later visitors. Whitman envisaged the shop as a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore”: writers are invited to sleep for free among the shelves in exchange for a few hours helping out, and more than 30,000 of the guests, named “tumbleweeds” by Whitman, have stayed since the store opened.

“We’re not closing our doors, but we’ve gone through all of our savings,” Whitman’s daughter, Sylvia Whitman, told the Guardian. “We are 80% down since the beginning of the first wave. We’ve now gone through all of the bookshop savings, which we were lucky to build up, and we have also been making use of the support from the government, and especially the furlough scheme. But it doesn’t cover everything, and we’ve delayed quite a lot of rent that we have.”

The store was closed for two months during France’s first lockdown, and did not sell books online over that period on advice from trade body the Syndicat de la librairie française. Whitman and staff are now waiting for the latest ruling from the French government, expected on Wednesday, and are preparing for a second closure.

“Right now our cafe and bookshop is open, but it’s looking like we will have to close both because bookshops are considered non-essential,” Whitman said. “The one big difference is that we’re adamant this time we’re going to be ready to keep the website open.”

Since appealing to customers on Wednesday morning, Whitman said the shop had been deluged with offers of support – and more importantly orders, including one from an old “tumbleweed”, who placed a €1,000 order for three subscriptions to the shop’s Year of Reading offer.

“I think it’s going to give us a real boost in getting through this next chapter,” said Whitman. “We haven’t said anything publicly before because we just feel so aware everyone is in difficult situations. We just want to ask people to help us do what we do, which is sell books – we don’t want to just say, ‘OK, open your wallet and give us money.’ It’s like, ‘Look, here’s what we have on our shelves. Here are some of the lovely rare books that we have. And it would be amazing if you could get one now.’”

The appeal follows a similar move from iconic New York bookshop the Strand, which said last week that the impact of Covid-19 meant that “we cannot survive the huge decline in foot traffic, a near-complete loss of tourism and zero in-store events.” Nancy Bass-Wyden, proprietor of the 93-year-old American store, said revenue was down nearly 70% from 2019, and that “we are now at a turning point where our business is unsustainable”. After the appeal, Bass-Wyden said the shop had received 25,000 orders over the weekend, worth almost $200,000 (£151,000).


İngiltere’de bir kütüphaneden Bir Lokomotif Thomas (Thomas the Tank Engine) kitabı ve Renklerle Öğrenmek (Learning in Colour) serisinden bir eser, 48 yıl sonra ödünç alındıkları kütüphaneye iade edildi. Gecikme bedelinin 80 bin TL olduğu açıklandı.

İngiltere’deki Hampshire’da yer alan bir kütüphaneden 48 yıl önce iki kitap alan kişi, kitabı eserleri aldığı kütüphaneye geri iade etti. “Andy” ismiyle imzalanarak iadelere iliştirilen notta, “1972’de çocukken Basingstoke’tan taşındıklarında” kitaplar iade edilmediği için özür dilendi.

Notu yazan kişi, “Bu kitapların geç iadesi için özürlerimi lütfen kabul edin” ifadesini de kullandığı belirtildi. İadenin “düşünceli bir jest” olduğunu kaydeden Hampshire Belediyesi, gecikme bedelinin talep edilmeyeceğini açıkladı.

Gecikme bedeli 80 bin lira

Güncel cezai bedelden hesaplandığı zaman kitapların gecikme bedelinin yaklaşık 8 bin sterlin (yaklaşık 80 bin lira) olduğu ancak, kitapları alan kişinin yazdığı özür notu deniyle gecikme bedelinin alınmadığı ifade edildi.


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 29, 2020

#Türkiye #Almanya alım gücü karşılaştırması

Posted by: bluesyemre | October 29, 2020

#Altmetrics for #Librarians: 100+ tips, tricks, and examples

Altmetrics are a hot topic in libraries nowadays, but what do they mean in a practical sense for the average librarian’s work?

In this ebook, you’ll learn:

  • The top resources for planning altmetrics outreach and workshops on your campus;
  • How to use altmetrics to make collection development decisions;
  • Why simple metrics are no good for your faculty’s promotion and tenure dossiers (and what data you can use instead);
  • The best places to learn about developments in altmetrics that affect libraries;
  • …and much more!

Ankara Üniversitesi’nde 440 yazma eserin kayıp olduğunun ortaya çıkmasının ardından, Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi’nin Resim ve Heykel Müzesi’nde kayıtlı olan, tarihi ve sanatsal değeri bulunan eserlerden 404’ünün kayıp, 42 eserin ise sahte olduğu belirlendi.

Sayıştay raporlarına göre Resim ve Heykel Müzesi’ne kayıtlı 12 bin 378 taşınır bulunuyor. Bunlardan 4 bin 24 tabloya dair hiçbir açıklama veya detay yer almıyor.

Sözcü gazetesinin haberine göre; Resim ve Heykel Müzesi malzeme sicil raporunda kayıtlı resim ve tablolardan 404 adedi müzede bulunmuyor.

Sayıştay’dan komisyon talebi

Bunlardan 42 tanesi için de “Kayıp-Çalıntı ve sahte” notunun düşüldüğü belirtildi. Sayıştay yetkilileri kayıp eserlerin dışında başka eserlerin bulunup bulunmadığının araştırılması için bir komisyon oluşturulmasını önerdi.

Sayıştay denetçileri ayrıca sisteme girilen verilerin güncellenmesini istedi. 2018 yılında da üniversite yönetimini uyaran Sayıştay denetçileri, bir an önce tedbir alınmasını istemişti.


Executive Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruptions have had a major impact on the US academic research enterprise. This report provides a landscape review of what is known about these impacts, from March through mid-October 2020, with an aim of identifying gaps that should be addressed. Our focus is on externally funded research, and therefore we emphasize STEM fields almost exclusively. As a result, we also focus on the largest research universities, which conduct an outsized share of this research and which are themselves quite reliant on the intellectual activity and revenues associated with it.

Our key findings include:

  • The federal government provided substantial flexibility to universities in utilizing research funding at the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, there is little reason to anticipate substantial budget reductions among most major research funders. As a result of these factors, while universities face substantial declines to some revenue sources and risks to most others, externally funded scientific research is likely to be relatively stable. That said, the ways in which the academic research enterprise is interwoven with, and in some cases cross-subsidized by, instructional activities pose some risk to research support. There are substantial unanswered questions about how negative impacts to the business models of research universities will affect scientific research.
  • Many traditional research activities were largely suspended in the spring into summer, other than COVID-19-related and other essential research. With federal flexibilities ending, universities scrambled to put in place necessary protections to allow laboratories and other research groups to safely resume their activities. Many but not all research activities have successfully restarted, even if not all are at full capacity. In parallel, the COVID-19 emergency led to substantial innovation in research collaboration and scholarly communication. It also demonstrated the limits of collaboration and communication infrastructure and services in the face of widespread attention to scientific progress and its politicization. There are substantial unanswered questions about the resiliency of the research enterprise and the permanence of the many adaptations to collaboration and scholarly communication that we have seen.
  • The human impacts of the disruptions are vast. These include limitations and impediments facing international students and disruptions to researchers that differ by gender, caregiver status, and career level. There are substantial unanswered questions about international talent flows, the development of early career researchers, and setbacks in achieving gender equity.

As we write, the research enterprise is coming back to life after an unplanned and unprecedented stoppage. Given the uncertain nature of how the pandemic will proceed and what societal, economic, and educational changes will result, we expect other impacts to develop over the coming months and years.


COVID-19 has yielded unprecedented challenges to higher education, and observers have understandably focused on the profound disruption to traditional on-campus residential housing and face-to-face instruction. Academic research has also faced substantial disruption, with laboratories being shuttered and fieldwork largely suspended, and Ithaka S+R is in the midst of several projects to examine the research enterprise in this unprecedented year. In this landscape review, we assess what is known about the impacts of COVID-19 on STEM researchers and the STEM research enterprise at major US research universities,[1] with the objective of identifying what else we need to know in order to understand impacts and craft policy and action.

Financial Impacts for Universities

The last several years have been quite turbulent for US college and university finances. Institutions have seen undergraduate enrollments decline,[2] even as many institutions are finding themselves increasingly dependent on tuition and student fees as state appropriations for higher education have significantly declined over time.[3] COVID-19’s disruptions to traditional instructional models, to international students, and to the economy are all producing additional shortfalls for universities.

If colleges and universities are forced to once again conduct a mass shutdown at some point in the fall of 2020, credit pressures faced by institutions will only grow and endure longer.

Colleges were some of the first entities in the US to completely shut down operations when Coronavirus began to spread across the country. And on March 18, 2020, Moody’s downgraded the higher education sector’s bond rating from stable to negative:

The outlook for the higher education sector is changing to negative from stable, reflecting both the immediate negative financial impact of the Coronavirus outbreak as well as other significant downside risks. While the duration and full financial impact of the current crisis is unknown, universities’ response to the outbreak will immediately reduce revenue and drive expenses higher. For fiscal 2021, universities face unprecedented enrollment uncertainty, risks to multiple revenue streams, and potential material erosion in their balance sheets.”[4]

In April, 2020, the S&P Global Ratings revised 84 private universities’ credit ratings from stable to negative and 33 public universities’ credit ratings from stable to negative.[5] The reason for the change was the heightened risks associated with the financial toll of COVID-19 and the related economic recession. These relatively newly assigned negative outlooks reflect the S&Ps “view that there is at least a one-in-three chance that operating and economic conditions will worsen to a degree that affects the ability of the college or university to maintain credit characteristics in line with the current rating.”[6] If colleges and universities are forced to once again conduct a mass shutdown at some point in the fall of 2020, credit pressures faced by institutions will only grow and endure longer. While many large research institutions have strong reserves and the wiggle room to absorb some of the financial impacts, as well as relatively low debt levels, some will face continued economic and financial pressures if the dangers posed by the virus do not dissipate.

Thus far, externally funded research remains a strong revenue source, with no immediate risks to its continuation.

The five most important sources of revenue that make up the operating budget at universities include: (1) tuition and fees, (2) hospitals and healthcare, (3) grants—much of which is for externally funded research, (4) state appropriations, and (5) endowment spending. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, most of these revenue streams are at risk. Thus far, externally funded research remains a strong revenue source, with no immediate risks to its continuation. At the present all of the other major revenue sources seem to be at significant risk, but at a high level the research enterprise seems to remain in relatively good health, financially speaking.

Revenue Sources, Excluding Funded Research

Several potential revenue sources for research universities are being negatively affected by COVID-19.

Revenue for hospitals and healthcare providers has been severely impacted due to the cancellation of all elective surgical procedures and the reduction in provider visits during the immediate months after the virus outbreak.[7] For large research universities that own their hospitals and/or health care systems, the healthcare losses are the universities’ responsibility (just as the surpluses would have been to their benefit). While some universities with medical schools limited their liability by putting hospitals and healthcare in a separate not-for-profit organization,[8] in those cases where they retained responsibility, the shortfall this spring grew rapidly—in some cases to well over $100 million for a single university hospital. While government assistance may help to compensate for a good deal of these losses, hospitals have proven to be a substantial drain on the universities that own them.[9]

Typically, in a recession, enrollment at colleges and universities increases as the newly unemployed decide to go back to school. However, this has not been true to date for the current COVID-19 recession. Enrollments appear to have dropped this academic year, especially for community colleges.[10] Enrollments from international students, who tend to pay more tuition, have declined most sharply, and there has been a significant decline in first year students with 16.1 percent fewer enrolling this fall as compared to 2019.[11] In addition, given the unemployment rate and market turmoil, net tuition per student may have declined at some institutions as well. These factors are combining to reduce tuition revenue at many institutions.

There were also refunds of auxiliary fees in the disrupted spring semester and some drops in auxiliary fees over the summer and this fall.[12] As one journalist noted, “The financial impact on institutions from the loss of auxiliary revenue from housing and dining fees, and parking fees; as well as revenues from athletics, theater, and other events, is material for many.”[13] As refunds of any kind are unplanned,[14] they have the potential to leave a hole in operating revenue.[15] In a survey conducted by NACUBO in August, decreased housing and other auxiliary revenue topped the list of other factors that are impacting the 2021 fiscal year budgets of colleges and universities.[16]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How will university hospitals recover financially? If there is a second wave the COVID-19 outbreak, will they suffer further financially? How are enrollment patterns developing this fall? How much revenue will be lost in tuition and fees due to changes in enrollment? Will additional campuses be forced to shut down again?

Federal Research Funding

Large research universities, specifically in the scientific disciplines, heavily rely on external funds from government agencies such as the NIH and NSF to make their research possible. This reliance on external funds has been affected by the global pandemic, and we are seeing more money being poured into COVID-19 research, but less information provided about what is happening to non-COVID-19 related research.

US universities receive a large amount of their research funding from the federal government, and in essence the federal government is the largest supporter of sponsored research.

US universities receive a large amount of their research funding from the federal government, and in essence the federal government is the largest supporter of sponsored research. In 2018 the federal government provided “roughly 53%, or $42 billion, of the $79 billion worth of research done on U.S. campuses.”[17] In fact, in an interview in July 2020, Sethuraman Panchanathan, the new director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), stated that “much of what we [NSF] do is focused on academic research—of our $7.8 billion in funding [or obligations] for research and education, $6.1 billion of it goes to academic institutions. For academic research, the federal government is still the majority funder—in fact, it’s still the largest funder by far.”[18] Research conducted at universities is a vital foundational building block for the nation’s further research and development (R&D). A report published in 2011 found that “while U.S. universities perform just 13 percent of total national R&D, they perform 31 percent of the nation’s total research—basic and applied—and 56 percent of the nation’s basic research.”[19] It is because there is broad consensus that research conducted at US universities is absolutely vital, and a long-term national investment in the future, that the federal government supports over 50 percent of the research conducted at universities. The remaining external support usually comes from industry, non-government grants, foundations, university funding, charitable foundations, nonprofits, and state and local governments.

Since the pandemic, federal appropriations for funded research have grown.[20] In early March the first COVID-19 relief bill was passed. Since then, Congress has further provided roughly $3.6 billion in appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for COVID-19 research and testing; some of this money is flowing directly to university laboratories.[21] This includes $846 million in H.R.6074 – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act,[22] which primarily was for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and $945 million in H.R.748 – CARES Act,[23] which was for a variety of institutes and centers. It is possible that additional pandemic-essential or stimulus funding will be appropriated to funded research activities. Furthermore, some in Congress are pushing for increased funding, and funding flexibility, for scientific research.[24]

Federal agencies’ machinery for awarding grants has been very minimally affected. Michael Lauer, the director of the Office of Extramural Research at the NIH, stated “we went to 100% virtual peer review [of grant proposals] practically overnight, and it’s gone remarkably well.”[25] This is evidenced by substantial funding appropriated to COVID-19 related research.[26] The NIH “provides about two-thirds of all federal funding for academic research,”[27] so the state of its operations during a period of crisis driven by the global pandemic is vitally important to the university research community.

With most federal funding unimpeded, and if anything apparently growing, the bottom line for the research budget at most universities is placing many research administrators in an enviable position. Chris Cramer, who oversees the University of Minnesota’s $870 million portfolio of sponsored research said that “these days, I’m the only one who gets to say that, even with large error bars, none of my projected numbers are in the red.”[28]

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued several key memoranda that helped ensure the continuity of the federally funded portion of the research enterprise during the disruptions caused by COVID-19.[29] The short term flexibility that specifically four memos provided was incredibly beneficial to university researchers, but it is important to note that there were caveats within each memo and more importantly that all of the provisions and allowances—except for one item in the most recently released memo—in these four memos have now been rescinded as of September 30, 2020.[30]

While the scope of some memos were narrowly crafted, they did provide flexibility and “administrative relief for recipients and applicants of federal financial assistance directly impacted by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to loss of operations.”[31] This includes extensions to expiring awards,[32] covering benefits, allowing other project activities to be charged to awards,[33] as well as incorporating the ability to charge costs that under normal circumstances would not be allowed[34]—such as fees for canceling events and travel, or research activities that had to be paused and resumed at a later date due to the shutdown of laboratories. Recipients of NSF grants also had the opportunity to apply for no-cost extensions to their grants. The NIH also granted administration flexibility. These accommodations allowed institutions to continue to provide stipend payments to fellows and trainees who were unable to work as a result of the pandemic shutdown. Additionally, the NIH worked with the OMB and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify short-term administrative flexibilities to assist those with awards during the deemed public emergency.[35]

The federal funding agencies, through the OMB memos, extended a decent amount of flexibility to researchers with awards. As a result, scientists who are supported by federally awarded grants have been able to draw their salary from these awards, even as many research tasks, for example those requiring laboratory access, could not be performed. The universities could continue to draw indirect costs commensurately.

The challenge now, which COGR stated in a July document titled “Funding Sources for Research Universities”, is that “as funding sources have been exhausted or significantly diminished, institutional survival requires implementation of the difficult cost-cutting measures in conjunction with maximizing the significantly diminished funding sources. This is an existential crisis, which requires university leadership to prioritize the allocation of scarce funds and resources across multiple institutional functions.”[36] The last remaining COVID flexibility from OMB in federal research grant funding policy ended in September.[37]

The goal of these four memos was to attempt to preserve as much of the US research enterprise as possible in the face of unprecedented disruptions. However, with this flexibility also came caveats. As researchers drew down on their grants—to pay salaries or be reimbursed for canceled travel for research, meetings, conferences, and other activities—it meant that once labs reopened, these scientists would have less money to deliver the promised research. Many did not know, and in some cases still do not know, if they will receive supplemental funding for the additional months now needed to complete their projects.

It is not clear whether researchers are once again conducting their projects at the expected pace and whether their funding will sustain their pre-existing project commitments.

The OMB memos and related funder instructions made clear that the funding flexibility would not be extended indefinitely, providing universities with strong financial incentives to reopen laboratories and other research facilities as quickly as possible. Even so, while most labs have reopened in phases, they do not have the same capacity due to new safety protocols. It is not clear whether researchers are once again conducting their projects at the expected pace and whether their funding will sustain their pre-existing project commitments.

The closure of labs and lab-based scientific research activities not only impacted research progress and projects—it also added some pressures around indirect costs. Roughly 33 percent of federal grants are allocated towards indirect costs,[38] which can only be recognized by the university as revenue when the associated direct costs are spent. Thus, even if salaries and benefits continued to be paid uninterrupted, as other direct expenses such as travel, equipment, or materials were unspent, there could be a commensurate slowdown in the recognition of indirect costs. At the same time, universities still had to pay for many of the expenses covered by these indirect costs, such as research support services, utilities, and so forth. These losses may have been relatively minor in many cases and only temporary regardless, but they still contributed to budget shortfalls at many institutions.[39]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will federal funding for research continue to make allowances for COVID-19, especially if a second wave of infections further impacts universities? In the many cases that researchers continued to draw on their grants for salaries but without being able to conduct laboratory or field research, how will performance expectations and research agendas adapt? How will the presidential election and future budget negotiations affect future research funding levels?

Other Major Sources of Research Funding

Beyond federal sources, universities receive external research funding from industry, public charities, charitable foundations, nonprofits, and state and local governments. Some scientists whose research is not funded by the federal government are facing somewhat bleaker outcomes.

One particular concern is science that is supported by charitably funded entities that rely on public fundraising drives. To take one example, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has already canceled grants that they previously awarded citing “unprecedented revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”[40] Furthermore, while “nonprofits provide just 5% of overall U.S. research funding, they often support small, high-risk pilot studies that later enable researchers to attract larger grants from government funders.”[41] Many of these grants are awarded to young researchers, helping them launch their careers. Even medium-sized nonprofits that fund scientific research don’t seem to be “safe.” In June the $724 million American Cancer Society (ACS) saw a $200 million drop in revenue, and its chief medical officer said that if current economic and donation trends continue the ACS may have to temporarily cut research funding in half.[42]

Research funded by larger foundations, such as the Gates Foundation, may not be as affected. Many foundations have taken it upon themselves to support research in this time of need. Certainly the funding from government agencies dwarfs the scale of private gifts from nonprofits, but nonprofits are able to distribute funds they receive much more quickly than some federal agencies. As a survey conducted in August of more than a hundred of Foundation Source’s private non-operating foundation clients showed, 42 percent of responding institutions said that they had already increased their grant making significantly (13 percent) or modestly (29 percent) in 2020, while 48 percent reported that their level of grant making had stayed the same and only 10 percent said that it had declined.[43] Looking ahead, 42 percent of the respondents reported that they expected their grant making to increase significantly (seven percent) or modestly (35 percent), while only five percent expected grant making funding to decrease. The respondents who thus far have increased their grant making and funding cited several factors. Those foundations that increased the dollar amount of grant making attributed the decision predominantly to COVID-19 (79 percent) and the impact of the pandemic on nonprofits and the increased need for nonprofits (72 percent).[44]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will charitably funded entities continue to be able to fund researchers in the ways that they had prior to COVID-19? Are the program agendas of foundations changing and how will this shape research agendas in academic science?


While the stimulus bill passed in March has provided some budgetary and financial relief to colleges and universities, it is not clear what will happen in the fall semester of 2020 and beyond. We expect to see overly stressed operating budgets, the severity of which will ultimately be determined by the total loss of revenue due to the pandemic, the mode of instruction for this fall, and most certainly by 2020 enrollment figures. Colleges and universities can expect to continue to see budget shortfalls and tightening liquidity, which will only worsen the deeper and longer the pandemic lasts.

Colleges and universities can expect to continue to see budget shortfalls and tightening liquidity, which will only worsen the deeper and longer the pandemic lasts.

While we have mostly focused above on revenue dynamics, universities have seen some cost increases. These include public health measures such as testing, cleaning procedures, as well as urgent investments to support online instruction. In response to unavoidable costs, revenue reductions, and worrisome forecasts, many universities soon found themselves having to reduce other expenditures across the board in an effort to shore up their finances.

Personnel constitutes an enormous share of university budgets. By April, 2020, universities began to announce hiring freezes, often on an institution-wide basis.[45] According to a crowd-sourced list, more than 400 US universities and colleges had announced hiring freezes as of July 2020.[46] With instruction shifted to remote and laboratories shut down, many universities furloughed a portion of their employees, especially those who were unable to do their job remotely, and some were ultimately laid off. In May 2020, The Chronicle of Higher Education identified 224 institutions that were associated with a furlough, layoff, or a contract nonrenewal resulting from COVID-19. At the time, at least 51,793 employees in academe were known to have been affected by these actions.[47] The Chronicle noted the enormity of this downturn: “For context, consider that from 1990 to 2020, the largest February-to-March negative nominal change in employment in academe occurred in 2003, when 8,100 people were estimated to have left the higher-ed workforce.” Another round of employee furloughs, salary cuts, and layoffs appeared to be starting up again at the end of September 2020.[48]

“The last eight months represent perhaps the most painful period in the history of American higher education. Colleges and universities employed 337,000 fewer people in August compared to February”[49] according to a release by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As Dan Bauman describes, “At no point since the bureau began keeping industry tallies in the late 1950s have colleges and universities ever shed so many employees at such an incredible rate.”[50]

Other efforts have been made to reduce expenditures. Some universities decreased or in some cases suspended employer contributions to employee retirement accounts. Duke University announced a one-year suspension in contributions “to avoid cutting direct compensation.”[51] With conferences and other travel suspended, many institutions were able to realize substantial savings in travel and entertainment budgets; nevertheless this was not enough to offset the major losses felt in other areas of universities. Additionally, cost-share budgets that enable projects with certain funders and partners are often cut, while start-up funds for early career researchers may be at risk. Finally, many universities asked all faculty and staff members of their institution to carefully monitor expenses and hold off on any major expenditures until the financial budget picture became more clear.

These cost-cutting measures were instituted across the board at many universities, imposing challenges for research teams and for the offices that support funded research. As universities better understand their actual revenues, budget reductions will begin to be distributed in a more targeted fashion. Externally funded research will essentially be immune as by all accounts external federal agencies have seemed to be relatively financially stable.

Even so, substantial research support services—everything from academic libraries and research cores to laboratory safety and research security compliance—are funded by a combination of grant overheads and general appropriations. In this sense, the fully loaded cost of sponsored, or externally funded, research is not fully covered by grant awards. Notwithstanding what are sometimes substantial payments from funders for indirect expenditures, universities must cross-subsidize sponsored research from other sources, such as tuition and fees and auxiliary fees. As discussed above, COVID-19 has erased surpluses from these other sources, with potentially substantial implications for research support services. Cuts are already becoming clear in some areas, such as to academic libraries, with consequences to the materials and services they make available.[52] And reductions are to be expected in many other areas if they have not already been determined.[53]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How will reductions in non-research revenue sources impact a university’s ability to support key research support services, such as core facilities and academic libraries? Will reductions in research support services negatively impact some universities’ ability to enable certain forms of research or successfully compete for certain forms of research funding?

The Impact on Scientific Research Activities

Even as universities began to examine the financial impacts they might face, many were confronted with substantial disruptions to individual projects and the rhythm of research. Immediately, many research teams and labs pivoted to studies (or testing) for COVID-19. Universities made urgent decisions about how to pause their nonessential scientific research enterprise to avoid the spread of COVID-19. In parallel, in a period of crisis, a number of challenges and innovations emerged in research collaboration and scholarly communication.

Research Disruptions

Scientific research was significantly impacted by the rapid shutdown and ramp-down of all nonessential and non-COVID-19 related research conducted in labs and with multiple team members.[54] Michael Lauer, the top official in charge of grant awards at the NIH, said, “essentially everything is being disrupted, in some way or another.”[55] Professors were given guidance on what to do with their courses during this time. However, directives to faculty, staff, and students about scientific research, and especially equipment-heavy lab work, was much less clear. This left thousands of researchers scrambling to figure out what to do and how to preserve and protect their research as restrictions were implemented across campuses.

There is ample evidence of widespread impacts on research activities. By April of 2020, “57% of life scientists reported that they had lost some of their work. This is likely to result in financial consequences, as repetition of work will consume additional funding. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported at least one month and up to six months of work had been lost due to laboratory shutdown–with large differences seen between wet lab (73%) and dry lab (31%) researchers. At the same time, levels of self-perceived productivity dropped, where dry lab scientists were much more likely to continue carrying out their work from home as expected (29% of dry lab scientists, but only 10% of wet lab scientists, reported “at least 80% productivity”).”[56] At many major research universities, non-essential research was halted,[57] “in what amounts to an unprecedented stoppage of academic science in modern memory.”[58] The pandemic caused eight out of 10 postdocs to have trouble performing experiments.[59] Various adaptations to continue research were explored by labs that did not fully shut down; most common was shift work in order to keep lab animals and cell cultures alive.[60]

While difficult and new, some scientists appreciated the “break” from the lab as it allowed them to be able to catch up on reading and writing projects.[61] This included “writing literature reviews, maintaining and updating laboratory notebooks, organizing data and back-burnered data analysis.”[62] Remote work also forced in-lab data sharing to a greater degree.[63]

Many researchers were concerned about maintaining animals, cell lines, and cultures. Some scientists froze cell lines or tissue cultures in attempts to preserve months of research.[64] In some cases, the PI continued to go into the lab to attend to animals and any other issues, rather than involving lab technicians or graduate students. Universities across the country grappled with how to best care for millions of mice, monkeys, and other research animals.[65] Some labs had to euthanize mice colonies,[66] “to ensure both the safety of their staff and the welfare of the remaining animals in their care.”[67] Many of these labs were criticized for this decision.[68]

Research on human subjects faced significant disruptions as well.[69] Many clinical research trials had to go through a tiered system in order to protect the health of patients,[70] as some of these trials could not be put on hold.[71]

Unable to travel either internationally or to remote sites, many scientific researchers lost critical data and sometimes entire projects during the height of the pandemic.[72] Field work disruptions lead to holes in data, especially for multi-year projects.[73]

The spread of the virus has slowed scientific research and discovery and it may have altered certain projects and experiments for good.

Equipment shared across labs, in some cases on a university-wide basis, is causing another set of issues. In certain circumstances, rather than having individual lab affiliates use that equipment, core facilities staff are doing so on their behalf. While this increases social distancing it may provide challenges in running the experiments.[74] While those in core facilities may be experts at using said equipment, they are not experts on the experiments themselves, and researchers risk having samples or tests run incorrectly. The pandemic has not only been challenging at university, but also at national major research facilities that are crucial for scientific research. The burden is felt most acutely by those researchers who require physical examinations: “Most experimental research centers have closed or have transitioned to virtual operations; some are now beginning to operate at reduced levels required by social distancing. Travel restrictions and differing approaches to the pandemic are particularly challenging for international visitors to domestic facilities and for U.S. scientists visiting and working at major facilities in the U.S. and other countries.”[75] The spread of the virus has slowed scientific research and discovery and it may have altered certain projects and experiments for good. “Angst over missed opportunities is widespread.”[76]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will research and labs on campus be forced to shut down once again if there is either a resurgence of the virus or if a specific university must close? Have universities developed resilience measures to manage the research enterprise in the case of a second wave of infections or other risk scenarios? Are individual labs and research agendas planning for how to manage the risk of future suspensions?

Essential Research

Even as universities paused non-essential projects and activities, there was a huge uptick in research related to COVID-19 (and in other cases the repurposing of research laboratories to support large-scale human COVID-19 testing). Many researchers began working for the first time on issues related to COVID-19, pivoting their research agendas in a crisis, and many universities celebrated this response.[77]

While much of this pivot has resulted in desperately needed research, some also see potential risks. For example, writing in Nature Medicine, Pai Madhukar described how “Entire fields of research are being lured away from their primary area of expertise to the pandemic response,” noting an array of downsides, including the possibility that other health priorities are ignored. [78] The longer term implications of this pivot remain unclear.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How long will this “pivot” last and could it negatively impact other areas of research? What longer-lasting effects will we see in research agendas?

Research Collaboration

The search to better understand the Coronavirus and to find a vaccine has generated scientific research collaboration at levels that have never before been seen. COVID-19 is also eroding the secrecy that sometimes pervades academic scientific and medical research because, as The New York Times noted, “the ability to work collaboratively, setting aside your personal academic progress, is occurring right now because it’s a matter of survival.”[79] Progress has been accelerated by the vast amount of data sharing, particularly gene sequencing data.

The search to better understand the Coronavirus and to find a vaccine has generated scientific research collaboration at levels that have never before been seen.

While there were similar global efforts in the fights against cancer and HIV/AIDS, these efforts spanned decades. By contrast, university and global collaboration on COVID-19 began just three months after the virus was identified.[80]

COVID-19 has affected almost every country in the world, creating a sense of urgency. [81] The level of intense communication across countries and institutions has catalyzed unusual levels of research collaboration, allowing scientists to move faster than during any other outbreak.

This has allowed researchers to identify and share hundreds of viral genome sequences,[82] and hundreds more clinical trials have been launched, bringing together labs and hospitals around the globe.[83] Collaborations are also taking place at a national level, such as the National COVID-19 Cohort Collaborative (N3C)[84] database.[85] In many ways COVID-19 is a wakeup call for better scientific research cooperation and collaboration.[86] Through these collaborations, scientific researchers who otherwise may have never crossed paths are now able to discuss and brainstorm over videoconferences, share data, ideas, and findings, and work together to try and help find solutions.

COVID-19, for now, has changed the way that the world conducts scientific research together.

A community that was once known for being secretive about their data now has a “growing sense of mission taking priority over individual credit, and the spreading realization of ways in which one field can benefit another.”[87] Research scientists of all fields have been forced to become not only more creative, but more cooperative and resilient. COVID-19, for now, has changed the way that the world conducts scientific research together: “While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history. Never before, researchers say, have so many countries focused simultaneously on a single topic with such urgency.”[88] “Collaborating in science is nothing new. However, as we adjust to life during a pandemic, more researchers might require support from colleagues and depend on those partnerships to collect the data they need to keep their labs operational.”[89] However, it is not clear whether this level of local university, national, and international collaborations will continue beyond COVID-19.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will research collaboration continue at this enhanced level and in additional fields of study? In what ways will this global pandemic be a catalyst that ends up changing research culture? Has the suspension of in-person research work—both in the laboratory and through in-person conferences—created new levels and mechanisms for communication and cooperation that might be lasting?

Scholarly Communication

The systems for communicating scholarship were stressed substantially during the height of the pandemic. The pandemic provided, in real time, a master class in the opportunities and challenges of speedy open early-stage research sharing.[90] The benefits of preprints, in enabling large-scale early-stage research communication, became apparent, as medRxiv and bioRxiv in particular saw a surge of submissions.[91] Other scientific communication has been even less formal than preprints.[92] Yet, in an environment of unrelenting public interest, and the unforeseen politicization of clinical care findings, preprint services have had to adapt rapidly, developing review systems to prevent misuse and providing disclaimers, among other changes.[93] Some observers felt these shortcomings risked launching an “infodemic of bad information.”[94] Some medical journals also launched a fast-track peer review process that demonstrated the efficiencies that could be driven, at least under emergency conditions, into their editorial processes. Many publishers made Coronavirus and related research papers freely available,[95] and some observers felt these developments were accelerating the shift towards open access.[96] At the same time, several papers evincing research misconduct were published in top-tier journals and subsequently retracted.[97] The combined effect of accelerating research communication and an endless thirst for public information about the disease led to single studies, in some cases themselves inadequate in terms of research design, driving a public narrative about potential treatments that were not thoroughly vetted.[98]

Beyond these elements of comparatively traditional scholarly communication, we also have seen the development of some newer companions. At early stages of the pandemic, some research teams were using tools like Slack for rapid conversations.[99] And scholarly collaboration networks, including Mendeley and ResearchGate, launched focused services to enable sharing and collaboration for COVID-19 researchers.[100] We have also seen some of the benefits of social media, with one set of observers finding that “Twitter has facilitated vital counternarratives from the scientific community during… instances of controversial scientific communication.”[101]

There are also questions about how travel suspensions and the switch to online meetings would affect scholarly communication, with observers expressing special concern about international collaborations that have blossomed under the encouragement of policy makers and funding agencies.[102] Bearing this in mind, a number of researchers have provided overviews and analyses of COVID-19 research publication patterns, including impacts on international research distribution and collaboration.[103] Scholarly societies based in the US have noted that shifting their face-to-face meetings online may actually have increased participation.[104] At least one translational public science program saw a surge in participation, perhaps as some scientists reevaluated their priorities while research was paused.[105]


  • How well has rapid peer review actually worked? Have editors found opportunities to drive greater efficiencies, and if so, how can they be deployed into regular editorial processes? What suffered in prioritizing speed? Will publishers develop new approaches to editorial peer review that optimize both for rigor and for speed?
  • What kinds of “virtual events” will develop a lasting presence in scientific communications? Will there be a return to large-scale in-person conferences?
  • Will we see an increase (even in the long-term) in scholars sharing and using data from others given individuals limitations in data collection during 2020 (and beyond)?

Re-openings of Labs and Ramping up Research

Matthew Dean, who directs graduate studies for the Molecular Biology program at the University of Southern California (USC),[106] stated that lab work makes up the largest part of the program’s research, so not being able to conduct any research for months has been difficult: “That’s the engine of data that gives us everything – papers, grant writing, everything stems from the lab.”[107]

While many research labs at universities began to open back up in the summer of 2020, after being closed for all but essential research for several months, research isn’t exactly back to normal. One of the biggest challenges that many labs face is how to keep their researchers physically distanced to limit any potential spread of Coronavirus. Many universities created research lab re-entry plans to be a “resource meant to establish clear and consistent guiding principles for the conduct of research in the era of COVID-19, to define operational protocols and precautions that minimize risk of viral transmission in a laboratory/research environment, and to provide examples of how the physical and temporal space of laboratories might be organized to enact these protocols in accord with these principles.”[108] COVID-19 has impacted nearly every facet of the research enterprise and therefore many universities have gone through precautionary phased approaches to ramp up research activity.[109] Many labs are working and staffed in shifts in order to reduce contact and all researchers and personnel are wearing masks, along with other PPE, while staying socially distanced from one another.[110] This makes collaboration difficult at times, especially when the lab is not that large to begin with square-footage wise.[111]

Modern STEM research is almost always a collaborative process, and in our current environment researchers are impeded in the informal and social engagements with their colleagues. “Just as critical, a team member walking through the lab and noticing that a process looks wrong, or looking over the shoulder at some data and recognizing an issue, has been a normal and important part of how countless experimental researchers have learned their crafts. The opportunities for such encounters are now greatly reduced.”[112]

Research is one of the core functions of many universities in the US, and while countless researchers are eager to get back to their research and careers are at stake, guidelines must be put in place to ensure the safety of all lab members.[113] Training about COVID-19 must be completed by all lab and research personnel. In many cases researchers must pass COVID-19 screenings and complete daily health checks prior to coming into the lab for the day/shift, occupancy limits are strictly enforced, researchers must work in their reserved or assigned time slots, labs must be extensively cleaned, and masks and PPE (gloves, disposable gowns, face shields, shoe coverings, masks, etc.) are a must at all times.[114] However, as research ramps up, labs reopen, and students return to campus, institutions need to rethink training. This is especially challenging for new personnel and students who must in some cases be taught how to use complicated equipment or handle toxic and or lethal chemicals by a socially distanced mentor. Some labs have to also take into account how to protect human subjects who volunteer for studies.

Still, even as many labs on campuses adjust, some researchers may struggle to return due to the new way of life in the lab.[115] Even as research resumes, there’s no guarantee currently that it won’t be shut down again, especially if we see a spike or resurgence in the virus this fall, or universities reverse their decision to reopen, as many already have.[116] Even though many labs have ramped up, many researchers are experiencing anxiety and say that they do not feel safe coming back.[117] Momentum on projects has been lost, personal interactions–often vital for research work–are limited or socially distanced, and despite all the guidelines and protocols enacted, there will undoubtedly be new cases. Then again, staffing a lab at low levels under stringent protocols is much better than being shut down.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will research productivity return to normal levels under the laboratory reopening plans? What about field research?

Human Impacts

COVID has had an array of impacts on researchers, including faculty members, postdocs, technicians, and graduate students. It impacted their educational progress, their career development, their work-life balance, and their immigration status. While COVID-19 may not have caused disparities within the research enterprise, it has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities.

Pre-Coronavirus, select international undergraduate and graduate students still sometimes had difficulties obtaining visas, graduate students still had trouble finding and locking down faculty positions and funding, researchers’ careers were still being impacted by numerous variables and events, and women still faced gender inequality in scientific research and the STEM fields. All of these issues have been heightened by COVID-19. These represent just some of the human impacts that COVID-19 has had, is having, and will continue to have on the research enterprise and individual researchers.

Jobs and Careers

Scientists’ careers across the country are being affected in a number of ways.

Jobs are in far scarcer supply than in previous years.[118] Many universities have paused or cancelled job searches as a cost saving measure.[119] In addition, the furloughs and job cuts mentioned above are more likely to affect those in contract (rather than ladder) positions, potentially putting early career researchers at greater risk.

For graduate students and early career scientists, the disruptions have made it increasingly challenging for them to complete necessary research and to advance their careers. Some of the most vulnerable individuals in this situation are early career scientists.[120] A survey published in September by Nature found that among postdoctoral researchers, “nearly two-thirds believe that the pandemic has negatively affected their career prospects.”[121] With the challenges facing early career researchers, a bill was recently introduced in the House that, if passed, would aid in providing support to this cohort.[122]

Many institutions are adapting their tenure and promotion processes to account for some of these impacts. Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, some institutions, including the University of Washington, Ohio State University, Penn State, and Florida State University (FSU), have paused the tenure and promotion clock for a year.[123]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: Will universities be able to invest in early career researchers or will there be a talent implosion?

Gender Disparities

There remains a stark gender disparity within academic science and research.[124] And while gains have been made, “for female scientists, the pandemic also poses a significant threat to hard-won gender-equity gains achieved over the past few decades.”[125] COVID-19 has caused additional challenges for researchers with caregiver and child care responsibilities—most markedly on mothers. This has yielded widespread coverage of significant drops in scholarly production and publishing by female researchers.[126]

There remains a stark gender disparity within academic science and research.

Studies have confirmed the pattern. One survey published in the early summer found a substantial decline in time devoted to research among female scientists and those with young children.[127] Another study, published in September, found that “the gender gap in medRxiv increased from 23% in January 2020 to 55% in April 2020.” The authors of this study highlighted that this finding, along with previous research, provides more evidence that women in academia “perform a greater proportion of domestic work than men, including in dual academic career partnerships.”[128]

Given these challenges, some academics are asking for policies to help them ease the burden of caring for children and working and conducting research at home.[129] And some observers have argued that more needs to be done to protect equality in this area while further ensuring that the gender equality gained throughout time does not regress.[130]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How deep will these gendered impacts on female researchers go and how long will they persist? How much of a setback will this pandemic create for women in scientific research? How will individual universities and the broader STEM community combat this disproportionate effect on female scientists and researchers? How long will it take women to regain the standing that they had prior to the shutdown and pandemic?

Graduate Students

Graduate students are facing some of the similar challenges that faculty members are during the COVID-19 pandemic, but are receiving fewer assurances. In the spring of 2020 countless grad students watched their education modality change overnight, putting degree timelines in question. Furthermore, these students worry about losing the external and university funding that supports their research. Prospective graduate students are experiencing major disruptions to the entrance exams,[131] application, and admission process.[132]

As of October 8, 2020, more than 108 doctoral programs concentrated in the humanities and social sciences are not admitting new students in the fall of 2021.

Graduate student cohorts are shrinking in some fields as universities put school-funded Ph.D. programs on pause due to the fiscal constraints for 2021-2022. As of October 8, 2020, more than 108 doctoral programs concentrated in the humanities and social sciences are not admitting new students in the fall of 2021. [133] The reasoning behind all of these pauses is to ensure that there is enough funding for current school-funded Ph.D. students.

From the literature available, it does not seem that Ph.D. programs in the natural, life, and biological sciences are pausing admissions for the fall of 2021.[134] Their doctoral students are typically supported by external research grants.

There may nevertheless be selected financial impacts for STEM graduate students. Some are dependent on teaching assistantships for their stipends, but teaching assistance for lab courses at many universities changed in spring 2020 due to the shutdown.

Of course, doctoral students are facing delays from disruptions to laboratory and field research, which may slow their degree progress. Some may no longer be on track to graduate within the time frame that external or university funding typically covers. These students may need extensions to their degrees, and possibly to their grant funding, in order to complete their dissertations.[135] Advisors and administrators have struggled to balance compassion with continuing high expectations. Victor DiRita, Professor and Chair in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University said, “we don’t want to water down what we accept as a completed thesis, but on the other hand, we want to be sensitive about students needing to get on with the next phase of their training (and lives).”[136]

In July, the National Opinion Research Center launched an NSF-funded study to help identify the needs and challenges of graduate students, specifically those in the STEM fields.[137]

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: How many graduate students were unable to advance their research due to the pandemic and associated shutdowns? How will degree completion timelines be affected? Will sufficient funding be available to enable project completion? What are the longer-term impacts of the admissions pauses for Ph.D. programs and will natural and biological science programs begin to be affected?

International Students

International science and engineering graduate students make up more than one third of the total US graduate enrollment in science and engineering. [138] While all students are facing issues with research due to pandemic-related shutdowns, international graduate students and postdocs are facing a very unique set of challenges. Tobin Smith, the vice president for policy at the AAU, says that “the international students and the role they play in support for STEM fields is of great concern. They are a significant part of the STEM workforce.”[139] The biggest concerns for international students and researchers revolve around the ability for them to continue joining the US academic research community. The global pandemic’s travel disruptions coupled with immigration and visa-related challenges may result in fewer international students and researchers coming to the United States.

International science and engineering graduate students make up more than one third of the total US graduate enrollment in science and engineering.

Visa issues ran the gamut in the spring, from extensions allowing students to take online classes,[140] to announcements that would have barred many international students from continuing their education and research in the US.[141] On September 25, 2020, the Trump administration published a new proposed rule[142] that if passed would create set fixed terms of up to four years for student visas as well as establishing procedures for visa extensions.[143] The rule would also limit the initial visa period for certain categories of students to only two years solely based on their country of origin.[144] The length of a typical Ph.D. program is typically longer than four years, so if this rule were to take effect, many international graduate students pursuing doctoral study would be forced to apply for an extension mid-program.[145]

The biggest concerns for international students and researchers revolve around the ability for them to continue joining the US academic research community.

While these proposed visa changes are not directly the consequence of the pandemic, they are part of a growing sense that the US has become less hospitable to international students. Even if this specific rule is not implemented, there is a risk that the supply of the most competitive international graduate students will decline. This would be an important challenge to many universities’ talent acquisition strategy, with potential implications to their ability to complete grant-funded research in certain fields.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: What will happen to the status of international students’ visas throughout the academic year, especially to those students who have visas and are solely conducting research but not taking any courses? If the new visa rules are implemented, how will it alter the supply of research talent? How will universities fill the gap if they are unable to enroll international graduate students in the same numbers? How severely will the research enterprise be affected (financial impacts, production impacts, lab impacts, etc.) if it loses international students and researchers in great numbers?


It is evident that the research enterprise within US colleges and universities has been through a great deal of trauma, disruption, and in some cases chaos these last seven months. Imperative questions have been answered over these months and the federal government research-funding agencies, such as the NIH and NSF, and institutions have been working tirelessly on this unprecedented and unforeseen situation since the global pandemic shook the research enterprise in early March of 2020. Currently, the immediate future of academic research is unknown. However, it is clear that without a COVID-19 vaccine the way that graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff conduct research in a university setting will differ from what we saw at the beginning of 2020. To maintain the strength and status quo of the US higher education research enterprise, research needs to remain steady, and in many cases may need to increase, regardless of a vaccine. We may now begin to see priorities differ as the government and universities are slashing budgets. These cuts will impact the hiring of research personnel and thereby could have the potential to slow down research activities at universities. Applied research will most likely become a priority for revenue generation. However, there are still a large number of questions that remain unanswered and simply unknown about the dynamics and impacts of COVID-19 on the research enterprise within US higher education and how long these effects will last.


  1. The purpose of this report is to look at the impact of COVID-19 on researchers and the research enterprise. By research enterprise in this report we mean the facilities, business, and administrative apparatus that supports funded research as well as the sum of all the funded research projects. 
  2. Rick Seltzer, “Tuition Revenue Growth Expected to Slow,” Inside Higher Ed, November 12, 2019, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2019/11/12/tuition-revenue-growth-expected-slow
  3. Nick Hazelrigg, “The Impact of State Cuts,” Inside Higher Ed, June 18, 2019, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/06/18/study-finds-falling-appropriations-will-negatively-affect-degrees-awarded-public
  4. Michael Osborn, Susan I. Fitzgerald, and Kendra M. Smith, “Higher Education – US: Outlook Shifts to Negative as Coronavirus Outbreak Increases Downside Risks,” Outlook, U.S. Public Finance (Moody’s Investor Service, March 18, 2020), https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1219266
  5. Jessica L. Wood et al., “Outlooks Revised On Certain U.S. Not-For-Profit Higher Education Institutions Due To COVID-19 Impact,” S&P Global Ratings, April 30, 2020, https://www.spglobal.com/ratings/en/research/articles/200430-outlooks-revised-on-certain-u-s-not-for-profit-higher-education-institutions-due-to-covid-19-impact-11469520
  6. Ibid
  7. Along with changing the rating for the higher education sector on March 20, 2020, Moody’s Investor Services also downgraded the outlook for US for-profit hospitals from stable to negative stating that “earnings will decline over the next 12 to 18 months as caring for patients infected with the Coronavirus increases costs and reduces profitability.” (Jonathan Kanarek and Jessica Gladstone, “Moody’s – Outlook for US For-Profit Hospitals Changed to Negative On Coronavirus Outbreak,” Research Announcement (New York: Moody’s Investor Service, March 20, 2020), https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Outlook-for-US-for-profit-hospitals-changed-to-negative–PBC_1220272). Also in March Moody’s changed the outlook for nonprofit hospitals from stable to negative, once again citing declining revenues, but also loss of elective surgeries and large increased costs to prepare for COVID-19 patients. (Emma Whitford, “Pandemic Hits Academic Hospitals Hard,” Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/04/university-affiliated-hospitals-suffer-huge-revenue-losses). 
  8. For example, Stanford and the University of Michigan both have a medical school and own a hospital, while others such as Johns Hopkins and Yale University have a medical school but maintain external arrangements with hospitals not under the university system and separate from its balance sheet. 
  9. The University of Michigan is an outstanding example of this landscape described. At University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine—an entity directly under the university—the postponement of elective surgeries, and caring for COVID-19 patients, is causing multi-million dollar losses. In a three-month period, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS), or Michigan Medicine, delayed more than 14,000 surgeries and by the end of March had lost $45 million; they were losing $4 million a day caring for patients and ramping down all other operations. That amounted to an actual year-end loss of $139 million. (University of Michigan Board of Regents, “Board of Regents June 25, 2020 Meeting Minutes,” Meeting Minutes (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, June 25, 2020), https://regents.umich.edu/files/meetings/07-20/2020-07-I-1.pdf). While the university was able to receive $136 million in government assistance to help offset their losses—along with their increased efforts to reschedule surgeries and catch up on delayed appointments and procedures—that still left them with a resulting $3 million loss for FY 2020. (Mary Masson, “Michigan Medicine’s Clinical Operations Expect Negative Financial Performance For Fiscal Year 2020,” Michigan Medicine, June 29, 2020, https://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/202006/michigan-medicine%E2%80%99s-clinical-operations-expect-negative). Dave Spahlinger, the president of UM hospitals and health centers at University of Michigan Medical Group, stated the university hospital system took on and “accepted more than 300 COVID-19 transfer patients regardless of the cost” (Masson) and yet with a low number, relatively speaking, of COVID-19 patients cared for and elective surgeries canceled they still lost hundreds of millions. Now, imagine a university hospital, like Michigan that is under the university, that had even more COVID-19 patients and one can begin to see how much a hospital can potentially affect, and at times like these, hurt a university’s financial situation. 
  10. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, “Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Monthly Update on Higher Education Enrollment,” National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, October 15, 2020, https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/
  11. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, “Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Monthly Update on Higher Education Enrollment,” National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, October 15, 2020, https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/; Madeline St. Amour, “Report: Enrollment Continues to Trend Downward,” Inside Higher Ed, October 15, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/10/15/worrying-enrollment-trends-continue-clearinghouse-report-shows; Shawn Hubler, “Freshman Enrollment Drops Significantly at U.S. Universities and Community Colleges,” The New York Times, October 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/world/freshman-enrollment-drops-significantly-at-us-universities-and-community-colleges.html
  12. In a report put out at the end of March, the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that they were anticipating $100 million in losses due to COVID-19, and the entire University of Wisconsin system expected to spend at least $78 million of that on room and board refunds (Kelly Meyerhofer, “UW-Madison Braces for Estimated $100 Million Loss Because of COVID-19 Pandemic,” Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2020, https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/university/uw-madison-braces-for-estimated-million-loss-because-of-covid/article_fc8f7e42-cbb3-5d2d-ad16-6e1e5aab8e3a.html). 
  13. Rick Seltzer, “S&P Slashes Outlook for 127 Colleges,” Inside Higher Ed, May 1, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/05/01/sp-slashes-outlook-127-colleges
  14. In light of the toll that refunds took on college and university budgets across the country many universities, such as the University of South Florida (USF), have decided to include an addendum in their housing contracts for the 2020 fall semester. This addendum specifically says that if the university is forced to shut down again this fall, due to COVID-19, students should not expect to be reimbursed in any way for housing or dining fees if they have already signed the housing contract and paid for both housing and dining (University of South Florida Housing & Residential Education, “2020-21 USF Student Housing Agreement Addendum,” Addendum (University of South Florida, June 10, 2020), https://www.usf.edu/housing/documents/2020-2021-student-housing-agreement-addendum.pdf). The University of Maryland at College Park followed suit and also added an addendum paragraph to their housing contract. This paragraph states that if they have to shut dorms down once again in the fall of 2020 for the health and safety of the campus “the University shall not be obligated to issue refunds or credits, whether partial or full, for such interruptions of adjustments.” (University of Maryland, “Fall 2020 Housing: Housing Addendum,” Department of Residential Life, 2020, http://reslife.umd.edu/fall2020/addendum/). 
  15. “Room and board is a sizable chunk of what students pay each semester, and the fees are often excluded from scholarship calculations. The College Board report states that students at public four-year universities paying in-state tuition spend on average 43 percent of their budgets on room and board fees. For out-of-state students, room and board makes up 27 percent of budgets, and for students at private four-year colleges, 24 percent of budgets are room and board fees,” (Emma Whitford, “Coronavirus Closures Pose Refund Quandary,” Inside Higher Ed, March 13, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/13/students-may-want-room-and-board-back-after-coronavirus-closures-refunds-would-take). 
  16. Ken Redd, “Flash Poll Results: Fall 2020 Institutional Plans,” National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), August 14, 2020, https://www.nacubo.org/Research/2020/COVID-19%20Research/August%2010%20Flash%20Poll
  17. Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841
  18. Sriram Lakshman, “U.S. Will Continue to Lead the World in Scientific Investment and Innovation,” The Hindu, July 21, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-will-continue-to-lead-the-world-in-scientific-investment-and-innovation/article32153888.ece
  19. Association of American Universities, “University Research: The Role of Federal Funding,” January 2011, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED517263.pdf
  20. Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841
  21. Ross A. Frommer, “Update on NIH Funding For COVID Research,” Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2020, https://cancer.columbia.edu/update-nih-funding-covid-research
  22. Representative Nita M. Lowery, “H.R.6074 Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act,” Pub. L. No. H.R.6074, Public Law: 116-123 145 (2020), https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ123/PLAW-116publ123.pdf
  23. Representative Joe Courtney, “H.R.748 – CARES Act,” Pub. L. No. H.R.748, Public Law No: 116-136 (2020), https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748
  24. Representative Diana DeGette et al., “H.R.7308 / S.4286 – Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act,” Pub. L. No. H.R.7308/S.4286 (2020), https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7308/text. This bill recommends that nearly $25 billion be allocated to federal science agencies, $10 billion (or 40 percent) to the NIH and $3 billion (or 12 percent) to NSF. Additionally, if passed the following provisions would be set in place by this bill: (1) funds would be allowed to be used to enable graduate students, postdoc researchers, and PIs to complete work that has been disrupted by COVID-19, (2) funds would be allowed to be used to replace certain lab equipment, to reconfigure laboratories so that they can safely resume research under new social distancing and safety protocols, and to cover increased construction costs resulting from the disruption from COVID-19, (3) authorizes grant to be issued supporting research on the behavioral, social, or economic effects of COVID-19 and responses to the disease, and (4) this bill would extend grant flexibilities first offered in two memoranda (OMB M-20-11 and OMB M-20-17) by the OMB in March until labs can safely reopen. (American Institute of Physics, “Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act – H.R.7308/S.4286,” American Institute of Physics (AIP), June 24, 2020, https://www.aip.org/fyi/federal-science-bill-tracker/116th/research-investment-secure-economy-act). The sponsors of this bill hope that by pushing this legislation forward it will help build support for including research relief in Congress’ next pandemic relief response package. To date, no proposal has included research relief amounts even close to the sum that is envisioned in the RISE Act. For information and the amount of financial relief allocated to agencies see the following federal science budget tracker on COVID-19: American Institute of Physics, “Federal Science Budget,” American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2020, https://www.aip.org/fyi/federal-science-budget-tracker#covid-19; Adria Schwarber, “Universities Make Case for Pandemic Relief Funds,” American Institute of Physics (AIP), September 18, 2020, https://www.aip.org/fyi/2020/universities-make-case-pandemic-relief-funds
  25. Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841
  26. Between existing authorities and new research appropriations, the NIH has awarded at least 455 grants related to COVID-19, totaling over $1 billion, as of October 19, 2020. Of these, at least 310 of them, totaling over $433 million, went to universities. TAGGS, “HHS COVID-19 Awards,” TAGGS, 2020, https://taggs.hhs.gov/Coronavirus
  27. Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, sec. Education, Funding, Coronavirus, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841
  28. In many institutions externally funded research is the only revenue stream that is holding steady and in some cases actually increasing—as Chris Cramer found when looking at his third quarter numbers at the University of Minnesota, which are “actually $2 million ahead of last year” in terms of sponsored research (Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841). Furthermore, the president of Johns Hopkins University, who leads the nation in the amount it spends on sponsored research, which is some $2.5 billion annually, in a letter written in April to the Johns Hopkins community detailed that income was projected to dip by more than $100 million for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020. The letter further detailed that next fiscal year’s (though June 2021) revenue shortfall could total in excess more than $475 million. It is important to note that more than half of the projected drop in revenue comes from the loss of possibly up to $300 million, or more, from the John Hopkins’ vast network of hospitals and clinics. However, his analysis suggests the impact on sponsored research will be comparatively significantly small, further providing evidence that externally funded research is one of the only revenue streams that is not being negatively or even severely negatively impacted by COVID-19 (Ronald J. Daniels, “Financial Implications + Planning A Message from Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels,” HUB, April 21, 2020, https://hub.jhu.edu/novel-coronavirus-information/financial-implications-and-planning/). Although some institutions have been less transparent in describing how research at their university may be affected. 
  29. More specifically there have been four memos issued by the OMB that pertain to federally funded research and have provided various forms of aid in different ways. These four memos issued are as follows: (1) OMB M-20-11, Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Margaret Weichert, “OMB M-20-11,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 9, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-11.pdf); (2) OMB M-20-17, Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (Margaret Weichert, “OMB M-20-17,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 19, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf); (3) OMB M-20-20, Repurposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Michael Rigas, “OMB M-20-20,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, April 9, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/M-20-20.pdf); and (4) OMB M-20-26 Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (Michael Rigas, “OMB M-20-26,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, June 18, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/M-20-26.pdf). 
  30. M-20-17 and M-20-20 were both rescinded as of June 16, 2020. This means the flexibilities provided in these two memoranda have now expired and were only valid from March 16 – June 16, 2020. The flexibilities extended in M-20-11 expired on July 26, 2020. M-20-26 provided the extension of item 1, the allowability of salaries and other project activities, until September 30, 2020, at which time the extension expired. Item 2 in M-20-26, the extension of single audit submission, remains extended through December 31, 2020. 
  31. Margaret Weichert, “NSF Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-17, Entitled ‘Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Due to Loss of Operations,’” Memorandum (Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 19, 2020), https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/covid19/covid19_nsfombimplementation.pdf
  32. OMB M-20-17 stipulated no-cost extensions on expiring awards, “to the extent permitted by law, awarding agencies may extend awards which were active as of March 31, 2020 and scheduled to expire prior or up to December 31, 2020, automatically at no cost for a period of up to twelve (12) months. This will allow time for recipient assessments, the resumption of many individual projects, and a report on program progress and financial status to agency staff. Project-specific financial and performance reports will be due 90 days following the end date of the extension. Awarding agencies will examine the need to extend other project reporting as the need arises.” (Margaret Weichert, “OMB M-20-17,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 19, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf). 
  33. OMB M-20-17 explicitly stated the following in regards to the allowability of salaries, benefits, and other project activities to be charged to the award: “Awarding agencies may allow recipients to continue to charge salaries and benefits to currently active Federal awards consistent with the recipients’ policy of paying salaries (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal. Awarding agencies may allow other costs to be charged to Federal awards necessary to resume activities supported by the award, consistent with applicable Federal cost principles and the benefit to the project. Awarding agencies may also evaluate the grantee’s ability to resume the project activity in the future and the appropriateness of future funding, as done under normal circumstances based on subsequent progress reports and other communications with the grantee” (Margaret Weichert, “OMB M-20-17,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 19, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf). 
  34. “Awarding agencies may allow recipients who incur costs related to the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award, or the pausing and restarting of grant funded activities due to the public health emergency, to charge these costs to their award without regard to 2 CFR § 200.403”(Margaret Weichert, “OMB M-20-17,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, March 19, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/M-20-17.pdf). 
  35. Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, “Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications for the Fall 2020 Due Dates During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research, July 8, 2020, https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-122.html
  36. COGR, “Funding Sources for Research Universities (Addendum to Finances of Research Universities – June 2014)” (Council on Governmental Relations, July 1, 2020), https://www.cogr.edu/sites/default/files/COGR_Funding_July1_2020.pdf
  37. Michael Rigas, “OMB M-20-26,” Memorandum (Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President Office of Management and Budget, June 18, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/M-20-26.pdf
  38. Stanford University, “Costs of Conducting Research,” DoResearch, March 29, 2018, https://doresearch.stanford.edu/research-scholarship/costs-conducting-research
  39. Jeffrey Mervis, “As Pandemic Pounds U.S. Universities, Federal Support Helps Their Labs Stay Afloat,” Science, June 5, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd1841
  40. Eli Cahan, “COVID-19 Cancels Charity Galas and Walks. Science Is Paying the Price,” Science, June 24, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd4836
  41. Ibid. 
  42. Ibid. 
  43. It is important to note that most of Foundation Source’s clients have assets totaling at or less than $50 million, which is not that large. However, the answers that each of these foundations provided to generate the survey results can be seen as a microcosm of the broader nonprofit landscape which gives us as researchers a better insight into what is happening in the larger foundation community in regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis and what we may expect to see in the coming months. Foundation Source, “2020: The Year That Changed Everything – How Private Foundations Are Meeting This Moment,” September 2020, https://foundationsource.com/resources/library/2020-client-survey-year-that-changed-everything/
  44. Ibid. 
  45. One example from Berkeley: Carol Christ and Paul Alivisatos, “Coronavirus Response: Financial Impacts of COVID-19,” Berkeley News, April 1, 2020, https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/04/01/coronavirus-response-financial-impacts-of-covid-19/
  46. “Incomplete/Unofficial/Unconfirmed List of Schools That Have Announced Hiring Freezes or Pauses, Professor Is In,” Google Docs, 2020, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KohP4xZdN8BZy1OMeXCAGagswvUOWpOws72eDKpBhI4/edit
  47. Chronicle Staff, “As COVID-19 Pummels Budgets Colleges Are Resorting to Layoffs and Furloughs. Here’s the Latest,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/were-tracking-employees-laid-off-or-furloughed-by-colleges/
  48. See for example, Natalia Alamdari, “University of Delaware Announces Layoffs, Other Measures as Budget Deficit Grown,” Delaware Online, September 24, 2020, https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2020/09/24/university-delaware-announces-layoffs-budget-deficit-nears-250-million/3516189001/; Kate Murphy, “More Employees See Cuts as NC Universities Face Sharp Financial Losses Due to COVID-19,” The News & Observer, September 24, 2020, https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article245916490.html; Alyshia Korba, “IC to Cut 130 Faculty Positions Due to Low Enrollment,” The Ithacan, October 8, 2020, https://theithacan.org/news/ic-to-cut-130-faculty-positions-due-to-low-enrollment/
  49. Robert Kelchen, “Permanent Budget Cuts Are Coming: The Outlook for Higher Education Was Dim Even Before the Pandemic,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 15, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/permanent-budget-cuts-are-coming
  50. Dan Bauman, “The Pandemic Has Pushed Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Out of Higher Education,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 6, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-the-pandemic-has-shrunk-higher-educations-work-force
  51. Vincent E. Price, “President Price Announces New Steps to Secure Duke’s Financial Future,” Duke Today, May 13, 2020, https://today.duke.edu/2020/05/president-price-announces-new-steps-secure-dukes-financial-future
  52. Regarding libraries, see Lisa Peet, “Budgeting for the New Normal: Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Funding Constraints,” Library Journal, September 24, 2020, https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=budgeting-for-the-new-normal-libraries-respond-to-covid-19-funding-constraints; Lindsay McKenzie, “Libraries Brace for Budget Cuts,” Inside Higher Ed, April 17, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/17/college-librarians-prepare-looming-budget-cuts-and-journal-subscriptions-could-be
  53. Dean O. Smith, “Institutional Financial Strategies,” in University Finances Accounting and Budgeting Principles for Higher Education, 387, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019. This has been identified as an issue in light of COVID by Mandë Holford and Ruth Morgan, “4 Ways Science Should Transform After COVID-19,” World Economic Forum, June 17, 2020, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/4-ways-science-needs-to-change-after-covid-19-coronavirus/
  54. Paul Basken, “US Research Labs Closing Down for Everything but Coronavirus,” The World University Rankings, March 23, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/us-research-labs-closing-down-everything-coronavirus#survey-answer. To take one major example, at Harvard University they “shut down nearly all research operations by mid-March. From that point forward, only essential personnel were allowed to enter the labs. This included workers performing COVID-19 research that could have a near-term impact and workers who needed to ensure the continuity of absolutely critical research functions.” Furthermore, at Harvard, during the shutdown period research labs had only between 1% to 5% of their normal workforce. Nate Herpich, “Reopening Research Operations,” The Harvard Gazette, May 15, 2020, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/05/how-harvard-is-preparing-to-safely-reopen-labs/
  55. Paul Basken, “From Crisis, US Researchers See Prospect of Durable Gains,” Times Higher Education, April 23, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/crisis-us-researchers-see-prospect-durable-gains
  56. Jan O. Korbel and Oliver Stegle, “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Life Scientists,” Genome Biology 21, no. 113 (May 11, 2020): 1–5, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-020-02031-1
  57. For example, essential research included Coronavirus-related research, research support functions that are required by law, and work that relates to national security. 
  58. Elizabeth Redden, “Empty Benches at Empty Lab Tables,” Inside Higher Ed, March 30, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/30/nonessential-research-has-halted-many-campuses
  59. Chris Woolston, “Pandemic Darkens Postdocs’ Work and Career Hopes,” Nature, Work, 585 (September 8, 2020): 309–12, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02548-2
  60. Colleen Flaherty, “Guinea Pigs,” Inside Higher Ed, June 23, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/23/campus-labs-are-starting-open-back
  61. “Although 49% of scientists reported that their research hours have been reduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, many indicated that they are using the times of shutdown to devote more time to data analysis (43%), manuscript or thesis writing (45%), or developing grant applications (11%)” (Jan O. Korbel and Oliver Stegle, “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Life Scientists,” Genome Biology 21, no. 113 (May 11, 2020): 1–5, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-020-02031-1). 
  62. Colleen Flaherty, “‘Extraordinary Measures,’” Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/18/how-institutions-are-approaching-scientific-research-during-covid-19
  63. Jack Grove, “Research Intelligence: How to Run A Research Team Remotely,” Times Higher Education, March 31, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/career/research-intelligence-how-run-research-team-remotely
  64. Elizabeth Redden, “Empty Benches at Empty Lab Tables,” Inside Higher Ed, March 30, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/30/nonessential-research-has-halted-many-campuses
  65. David Grimm, “Respirators, Quarantines, and Worst-Case Scenarios: Lab Animal Facilities Grapple With The Pandemic,” Science, March 18, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb7864
  66. While some scientists are able to care for animals in their normal facilities while taking extra precautions and social distancing measures, and some have been able to take specimens home, others, sadly–mostly mice–have had to be euthanized. This is not an easy decision for any researcher. “One researcher at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland has had to euthanize more than two thirds of her mice. Elsewhere in the United States, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University reports culling 600 mice; two scientists at Harvard say they have had to kill half of their research mice; and a team at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been asked to designate no more than 60% of its animals as essential” (Anna Nowogrodzki, “Cull, Release or Bring Them Home: Coronavirus Crisis Forces Hard Decisions For Lab Animals,” Nature, March 30, 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00964-y.) 
  67. David Grimm, “‘It’s Heartbreaking.’ Labs Are Euthanizing Thousands of Mice in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic,” Science, March 23, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb8633
  68. Marc Parry, “Colleges Euthanized Lab Animals to Protect Employees from Covid-19. Now They Face an Onslaught of Criticism,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-euthanized-lab-animals-to-protect-employees-from-covid-19-now-they-face-an-onslaught-of-criticism/
  69. Marc Parry, “As Coronavirus Spreads, Universities Stall Their Research to Keep Human Subjects Safe,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/as-coronavirus-spreads-universities-stall-their-research-to-keep-human-subjects-safe/
  70. Kelly Servick et al., “Updated: Labs Go Quiet as Researchers Brace for Long-Term Coronavirus Disruptions,” Science, March 16, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb7259
  71. However, now research teams are contemplating the ways in which the global pandemic may have an effect, or fully insert itself, into trial results that could not be halted during this ramp-down period. “Could changes induced by the pandemic – including less consistent follow-up visits, reduced movement, poorer mental or physical health, or infection with the novel Coronavirus itself – blur the statistical signals of a treatment’s risks and benefits?” (Kelly Servick, “Clinical Trials Press on for Conditions Other Than COVID-19. Will the Pandemic’s Effects Sneak Into Their Data?,” Science, May 6, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abc6606). 
  72. Jim Erickson, “COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupts U-M Research Projects Far and Wide,” Michigan News, March 19, 2020, https://news.umich.edu/covid-19-pandemic-disrupts-u-m-research-projects-far-and-wide/
  73. For example, the summer research season in Antarctica was suspended due to COVID-19. “Researchers often spend years preparing for an Antarctic field season, where critical data—collected at great cost—feeds into climate science, ecology, psychology, and space exploration. Scientists are sharing their alarm over what stands to be lost.” “There’s an unrecoverable gap that is being formed right now, and it is truly global”(Amanda Heidt, “Coronavirus Precautions Stall Antarctic Field Research,” The Scientist, June 15, 2020, https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/coronavirus-precautions-stall-antarctic-field-research-67636);“Regarding fieldwork, policies vary. Some institutions have shut down fieldwork entirely, while others are making some allowances. As peak fieldwork season draws nearer, some projects have been allowed to continue depending upon needs and timing (e.g. losing the snow pack). Research in forestry, for example, is dependent upon a seasonal clock, and missing a measurement period can have significant ramifications for the viability of a project. In these cases, human safety is prioritized, but some institutions are granting waivers if there are ways to aid researchers without jeopardizing the health of people” (CNI, “What Happens to the Continuity and Future of the Research Enterprise?” Coalition for Networked Information, May 2020, https://www.cni.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/CNI-Research-Continuity-ER-Report-s20-Public-FINAL.pdf). 
  74. Colleen Flaherty, “Guinea Pigs,” Inside Higher Ed, June 23, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/23/campus-labs-are-starting-open-back
  75. American Institute of Physics, “Peril and Promise: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Physical Sciences,” Letter Report, American Institute of Physics (AIP), June 25, 2020, https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/aipcorp/files/peril-and-promise-final.pdf
  76. Kelly Servick et al., “Updated: Labs Go Quiet as Researchers Brace for Long-Term Coronavirus Disruptions,” Science, March 16, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb7259
  77. To take just a few examples: Robert Sanders, “Scientists Pivot to COVID-19 Research, Hoping for Quick Result to Deal With Pandemic,” Berkeley News, May 19, 2020, https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/05/19/scientists-pivot-to-covid-19-research-hoping-for-quick-results-to-deal-with-pandemic/; Keck School of Medicine of USC, “USC Research Pivots to Meet the Coronavirus Crisis Head On,” Keck School News, July 9, 2020, https://keck.usc.edu/usc-research-pivots-to-meet-the-coronavirus-crisis-head-on/. Tufts University is a noteworthy example of a large pivot across the research enterprise to attempt to aid in COVID-19 research, David Levin, “Researchers Across Tufts Pivot to Fight COVID-19,” Tufts Now, June 18, 2020, https://now.tufts.edu/articles/researchers-across-tufts-pivot-fight-covid-19
  78. Madhukar Pai, “Covidization of Research: What Are the Risks?,” Nature Medicine 26 (July 27, 2020): 1159, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1015-0
  79. Matt Apuzzo and David D. Kirkpatrick, “COVID-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together,” The New York Times, April 14, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/coronavirus-science-research-cooperation.html
  80. Joyce Lau, “Coronavirus Crisis Inspiring ‘Unprecedented’ Global Research Effort,” Times Higher Education, March 25, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/coronavirus-crisis-inspiring-unprecedented-global-research-effort
  81. As of October 13, 2020, 189 countries of 195 have COVID-19 cases according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking dashboard (Johns Hopkins University, “COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU),” Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, July 7, 2020, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). 
  82. See for example: https://www.gisaid.org/
  83. For example, “vaccine researchers at Oxford recently made use of animal-testing results shared by the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana” (Matt Apuzzo and David D. Kirkpatrick, “COVID-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together,” The New York Times, April 14, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/coronavirus-science-research-cooperation.html). 
  84. NIH, “National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C),” NIH: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, September 3, 2020, https://ncats.nih.gov/n3c
  85. This effort is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), which is a division of the NIH. This “database is collecting information from electronic health records or patients who have been tested for COVID-19–whether those tests came back positive or negative–or who have reported COVID-like symptoms. Health care providers submit the records and NCATS makes them available for any credentialed researcher to analyze” (Emma Yasinski, “Big Data Collaboration Seek to Fight COVID-19,” The Scientist, July 21, 2020, https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/big-data-and-collaboration-seek-to-fight-covid-19-67759). 
  86. Richard A. Roehrl, Wei Liu, and Shantanu Mukherjee, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Wake-Up Call for Better Cooperation at The Science-Policy-Society Interface,” Policy Brief, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, April 2020, https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/publication/PB_62.pdf
  87. Paul Basken, “From Crisis, US Researchers See Prospect of Durable Gains,” Times Higher Education, April 23, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/crisis-us-researchers-see-prospect-durable-gains
  88. Matt Apuzzo and David D. Kirkpatrick, “COVID-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together,” The New York Times, April 14, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/coronavirus-science-research-cooperation.html
  89. Christie Sampson and Steven M. Vamosi, “Don’t Let COVID Stop Your Fieldwork: Three Tips For Successful Collaborations,” Nature, October 15, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02903-3
  90. See for example Lucia Loffreda, “What Does COVID-19 Mean for Scholarly Communication? Four Areas to Consider,” Research Consulting, April 7, 2020, https://www.research-consulting.com/covid-19-and-scholarly-communication/
  91. Ewen Callaway, “Will The Pandemic Permanently Alter Scientific Publishing?” Nature, Science After the Pandemic, 582 (June 11, 2020): 167–68, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01520-4
  92. For example, “scientists at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that a ferret exposed to COVID-19 particles had developed a high fever – a potential advance toward animal vaccine testing. Under ordinary circumstances, they [the researchers] would have started work on an academic journal article.” Instead the scientist who discovered this realized that there would be plenty of time to get papers published and within two hours of learning of the ferret’s fever “shared the findings with scientists around the world on a World Health Organization conference call” (Matt Apuzzo and David D. Kirkpatrick, “COVID-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together,” The New York Times, April 14, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/world/europe/coronavirus-science-research-cooperation.html). 
  93. See for example: Kai Kupferschmidt, “‘A Completely New Culture of Doing Research.’ Coronavirus Outbreak Changes How Scientists Communicate,” Science, February 27, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb4761
  94. Ibid. 
  95. STM Publishing, “Publisher Support for Combating COVID-19,” STM, 2020, https://www.stm-assoc.org/about-the-industry/coronavirus-2019-ncov/
  96. Kai Kupferschmidt, “‘A Completely New Culture of Doing Research.’ Coronavirus Outbreak Changes How Scientists Communicate,” Science, February 27, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb4761; “The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Highlights Serious Deficiencies in Scholarly Communication,” Research to Action the Global Guide to Research Impact, March 13, 2020, https://www.researchtoaction.org/2020/03/the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak-highlights-serious-deficiencies-in-scholarly-communication/. At a minimum, they accelerated publishers’ efforts to integrate preprints into their workflows. Roger C. Schonfeld and Oya Rieger, “Publishers Invest in Preprints,” The Scholarly Kitchen, May 27, 2020, https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2020/05/27/publishers-invest-in-preprints/
  97. Elizabeth Redden, “Rush to Publish Risks Undermining COVID-19 Research,” Inside Higher Ed, June 8, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/08/fast-pace-scientific-publishing-covid-comes-problems; Andrew Joseph, “Lancet, New England Journal Retract COVID-19 Studies, Including One That Raised Safety Concerns About Malaria Drugs,” STAT News, June 4, 2020, https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/04/lancet-retracts-major-covid-19-paper-that-raised-safety-concerns-about-malaria-drugs/
  98. Len Strazewski, “How Science Communication Is Failing During COVID-19,” AMA, July 27, 2020, https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/how-science-communication-failing-during-covid-19
  99. Kai Kupferschmidt, “‘A Completely New Culture of Doing Research.’ Coronavirus Outbreak Changes How Scientists Communicate,” Science, February 27, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb4761
  100. See for example this April 17 piece by ResearchGate CEO: Ijad Madisch, “How COVID-19 Is Changing Science,” Scientific American, April 17, 2020, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-covid-19-is-changing-science/). 
  101. Simon Pollett and Caitlin Rivers, “Social Media and the New World of Scientific Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Clinical Infectious Diseases ciaa553 (May 12, 2020): 1–3, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa553
  102. Simon Baker, “How COVID-19 Is Reshaping International Research Collaboration,” Times Higher Education, August 3, 2020, sec. Coronavirus, Data, Internationalization, Research, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/how-covid-19-reshaping-international-research-collaboration
  103. Digital Science, Daniel Hook, and Simon Porter, “How COVID-19 Is Changing Research Culture,” Digital Science, June 2020, 1–24, https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12383267.v2.; Jenny J. Lee and John P. Haupt, “Scientific Globalism During a Global Crisis: Research Collaboration and Open Access Publications on COVID-19,” Springer Nature, Higher Education, July 24, 2020, 1–18, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00589-0.; Jenny J. Lee and John P. Haupt, “International Research Collaborations on COVID-19 Amidst Geopolitical Tensions with China,” Research Square, June 25, 2020, 1–11, https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-37599/v1.; Caroline V. Fry et al., “Consolidation in a Crisis: Patterns of International Collaboration in Early COVID-19 Research,” PLOS ONE, July 21, 2020, 1–15, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0236307
  104. Laura Brown and Roger C. Schonfeld, “Scholarly Societies in the Age of COVID,” Ithaka S+R, forthcoming. 
  105. Nikki Forrester, “How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Changing Virtual Science Communication,” Nature, July 9, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02075-0
  106. “MCB Ph.D. Program,” USC Dornsife, 2020, https://dornsife.usc.edu/mcb/phdhome/
  107. Grayson Schmidt, “As Labs Reopen, USC Researchers Adjust to New Campus Guidelines,” USC News, July 13, 2020, https://news.usc.edu/173160/usc-research-labs-reopen-campus-guidelines-covid-19
  108. Harvard University Laboratory Reopening Planning Committee, “Research Laboratory Re-Entry Plan,” Office of the Provost, May 14, 2020, https://provost.harvard.edu/research-laboratory-reentry
  109. Erica K. Brockmeier, “Research Returns to Campus,” Penn Today, June 8, 2020, https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/phase-i-research-resumption
  110. A lab at Princeton, like many others across the country, has divided the day into “three six-to-seven-hour shifts. This means that some members of the lab are coming in around 10 p.m. and leaving around 5 a.m.” (Katie Tam, “Inside Look: Labs Reopen with Strict Social Distancing, as U. Researchers Begin ‘Phased Resumption,’” The Daily Princetonian, June 24, 2020, https://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2020/06/princeton-phased-resumption-research-work-pandemic-coronavirus.) 
  111. For example, at the University of Michigan “each lab/studio room can only accommodate a maximum of 1 person per 144 square feet. If you cannot maintain at least 6 feet of social distance, or the person per square feet requirement, then the schedule will need to be revised and/or reconfigured to achieve these. Small, narrow laboratories/facilities smaller than 288 square feet can only accommodate one person at a time. Lab benches are not 6 feet across, thus plan for work to occur only on one side of the lab bench in most instances” (University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research, “University of Michigan Guidelines for Safe Lab Work,” University of Michigan Office of Research, May 10, 2020, https://research.medicine.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource-download/u-m_guidelines_for_safe_lab_work.pdf.) 
  112. Peter Schiffer and Jay Walsh, “Known Unknowns,” Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/10/13/impact-social-distancing-process-and-outcomes-university-research-opinion
  113. For example, at University of Washington, “Every principal investigator — a professor or head of a research group — must prepare a detailed plan for resuming in-person research while maintaining social distancing requirements and other safety measures. There’s quite a lot that must go into this plan: strict limits on the number of people in each room in the research space; moving equipment and staggering schedules to accommodate social distancing; use of personal protective equipment; designating who will do what; educating team members about health attestation and safety requirements; and staying home if they come down with symptoms. Then, they must get that plan approved by their department chair or equivalent, order and receive all necessary supplies — including personal protective equipment — and that’s all before anyone can even show up to campus” (James Urton, “UW Guidelines Helping to Ramp Up Research Safely During COVID-19,” UW News. June 4, 2020, https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/06/04/research-ramp-up-covid-19/?utm_campaign=HQ_EXLResearch_3pcurated&utm_content=131788858&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-1078298744456732672). 
  114. Grayson Schmidt, “As Labs Reopen, USC Researchers Adjust to New Campus Guidelines,” USC News, July 13, 2020, https://news.usc.edu/173160/usc-research-labs-reopen-campus-guidelines-covid-19
  115. Some individuals may have underlying health conditions that put them more at risk and therefore feel more comfortable continuing to conduct research at home while others may have young children or elders to care for that prevents them from coming into the lab during their designated shift. 
  116. Benjamin Renton, “Reversals in Colleges’ Fall 2020 Reopening Plans,” Inside Higher Ed, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/coronavirus-colleges-reverse-reopening-plans
  117. Patrick Boyle, “Academic Labs Are Opening Back Up. Still, Research Isn’t Exactly Back to Normal,” AAMC, July 20, 2020, https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/academic-labs-are-opening-back-still-research-isn-t-exactly-back-normal
  118. Katie Langin, “Amid Pandemic, U.S. Faculty Job Openings Plummet,” Science, October 6, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.abf1379
  119. For example, Brown University noted “the financial consequences resulting from the increased expenditures and the dramatic reductions in revenue provoked by the current pandemic demand and prompt attention” (Richard M. Locke, “Changes to Hiring and Performance Evaluations,” Healthy Brown, March 23, 2020, https://healthy.brown.edu/updates/changes-hiring-and-performance-evaluations). 
  120. Wudan Yan, “Early-Career Scientists at Critical Career Junctures Brace for Impact of COVID-19,” Science, April 7, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.abc1291
  121. Chris Woolston, “Pandemic Darkens Postdocs’ Work and Career Hopes,” Nature, Work, 585 (September 8, 2020): 309–12, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02548-2
  122. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson and Representative Frank Lucas, “H.R.8044 – Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act,” Pub. L. No. H.R.8044 (2020), https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/8044/text. This bill was introduced to the House on August 14, 2020. The purpose of it is “to forestall the loss of research talent by establishing a temporary early career research fellowship program.” If this bill were to pass and become a law the following provisions would be set in place: (1) the bill would permit the NSF to “establish a 2-year pilot program to award grants to highly qualified early-career investigators to carry out an independent research program at the institution of higher education chosen by such investigator, to last for a period not greater than 2 years” and (2) the bill recommends that Congress allocate $250 million for said program in both fiscal year 2021 and 2022. (American Institute of Physics, “Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act – H.R.8044,” American Institute of Physics (AIP), August 14, 2020, https://www.aip.org/fyi/federal-science-bill-tracker/116th/supporting-early-career-researchers-act). “Without supplemental funding from Congress for relief, federal research agencies will be forced to choose between abandoning new research opportunities of national importance or discontinuing research projects that are not yet completed, thus failing to maximize the return on federal dollars already invested” (Adria Schwarber, “Universities Make Case for Pandemic Relief Funds,” American Institute of Physics (AIP), September 18, 2020, https://www.aip.org/fyi/2020/universities-make-case-pandemic-relief-funds). 
  123. Some institutions have given junior faculty tenure clock extensions (Katie Langin, “The Pandemic Is Hitting Scientist Parents Hard, and Some Solutions May Backfire,” Science, July 31, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.abe1220.) while many other institutions are offering tenure clock stoppages (Colleen Flaherty, “Faculty Home Work,” Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/24/working-home-during-covid-19-proves-challenging-faculty-members) to help mitigate junior faculty members’ grave concerns about losing months of writing and research due to virus related disruptions across the country. But will that be enough? The question remains to be answered. If we as a country and society get lucky and the global pandemic ends quickly—which unfortunately it does not look like it will—we will most likely still see a dip in the progress towards equality in scientific research. For examples of universities pausing their tenure track for faculty see the following: Ohio State University, “Tenure-Track Faculty: Extension of Tenure Clock Due to COVID-19,” The Ohio State University Office of Academic Affairs, March 19, 2020, https://oaa.osu.edu/tenure-track-faculty-extension-tenure-clock-due-covid-19.; Michigan State University, “Extending The Reappointment/Promotion/Tenure Review Timeline,” Human Resources Administrators & Supervisors, 2020, https://hr.msu.edu/ua/promotion/faculty-academic-staff/coronavirus-tenure-clock-faqs.html.; University of Washington, “Promotion/Tenure Clock Extensions Due to COVID-19 – Faculty,” University of Washington Office of Academic Personnel, 2020, https://ap.washington.edu/ahr/working/promotion-and-tenure-extensions/extension-of-promotion-tenure-clock-due-to-covid-19/.; West Virginia University, “COVID-19 Revised Annual Evaluation Guidelines,” West Virginia University WVU Faculty, 2020, https://faculty.wvu.edu/policies-and-procedures/academic-freedom-professional-responsibility-promotion-and-tenure/faculty-evaluation-promotion-and-tenure-guidelines/covid-19-revised-annual-evaluation-guidelines.; Penn State University, “Revisions to the Promotion and Tenure Administrative Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Policy AC23 for 2020 – 2021” (Penn State University, 2020), https://www.ist.psu.edu/sites/default/files/faculty-affairs/AC23-guideline-revisions.pdf
  124. Jevin D. West et al., “The Role of Gender in Scholarly Authorship,” PLOS ONE 8, no. 7 e66212 (July 22, 2013): 1–6, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066212.; Corinne A. Moss-Racusin et al., “Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students,” ed. Shirley Tilghman, Proceedings of The National Science Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, no. 41 (October 9, 2012): 16474–79, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211286109
  125. Virginia Gewin, “The Career Cost of COVID-19 to Female Researchers, and How Science Should Respond,” Nature, July 20, 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02183-x
  126. Colleen Flaherty, “More Bad News on Women’s Research Productivity,” Inside Higher Ed, May 20, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/05/20/more-bad-news-womens-research-productivity.; Colleen Flaherty, “No Room of One’s Own,” Inside Higher Ed, April 21, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/21/early-journal-submission-data-suggest-covid-19-tanking-womens-research-productivity; Giuliana Viglione, “Are Women Publishing Less During the Pandemic? Here’s What the Data Say,” Nature 581 (May 20, 2020): 365–66, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01294-9.; Nicole Bentancourt, “What About Research? Scholarship and COVID-19,” Ithaka S+R, July 8, 2020, https://sr.ithaka.org/blog/what-about-research-scholarship-and-covid-19/; Olga Shurchkov, “Is COVID-19 Turning Back the Clock on Gender Equality in Academia?,” Medium, April 23, 2020, https://medium.com/@olga.shurchkov/is-covid-19-turning-back-the-clock-on-gender-equality-in-academia-70c00d6b8ba1; Megan Frederickson, “COVID-19’s Gendered Impact on Academic Productivity,” GitHub, May 11, 2020, https://github.com/drfreder/pandemic-pub-bias/blob/master/README.md; Alessandra Minello, “The Pandemic and the Female Academic,” Nature, April 17, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01135-9; Emily Perry, Kristin Tessmar-Raible, and Florian Raible, “Parents in Science,” Genome Biology 19, no. 1 (October 29, 2018): 1–5, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-018-1549-3; Colleen Flaherty, “The Mom Penalty,” Inside Higher Ed, June 6, 2013, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/06/06/new-book-gender-family-and-academe-shows-how-kids-affect-careers-higher-education; Katie Langin, “The Pandemic Is Hitting Scientist Parents Hard, and Some Solutions May Backfire,” Science, July 31, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.abe1220; 500 Women Scientists, “Scientist Mothers Face Extra Challenges in the Face of COVID-19,” Scientific American, May 7, 2020, , https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/scientist-mothers-face-extra-challenges-in-the-face-of-covid-19/
  127. Kyle R. Myers et al., “Unequal Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Scientists,” Nature Human Behavior, July 15, 2020, 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0921-y
  128. Mackenzie R. Wehner, Yao Li, and Kevin T. Nead, “Comparison of the Proportions of Female and Male Corresponding Authors in Preprint Research Repositories Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” JAMA Network Open 3, no. 9:e2020335 (September 17, 2020): 1–4, https://doi.org/doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.20335
  129. At Stanford University a letter written by postdocs and faculty members sent to administrators in June 2020, highlighted how COVID-19 is widening the gap between men and women in academia and research (Justine Modica et al., “COVID-19 Is Widening The Gap Between Men and Women in Academia,” The Stanford Daily, June 11, 2020, sec. Op-Eds, https://www.stanforddaily.com/2020/06/11/covid-19-is-widening-the-gap-between-men-and-women-in-academia/). Earlier in July, 2020, 500 Women Scientists released a policy statement directed at supervisors and administrators, calling for and recommending more flexible deadlines, contract extensions, and further workplace adjustments that could help women and parents (500 Women Scientists Policy Position, “Recommendations to Minimize Career Penalties for Parents in STEM Fields During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” accessed August 3, 2020, https://bluesyemre.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/da259-mompenaltyandcovidfactsheet.pdf). However, one such university seemed to not be willing to provide support and faced a large amount of backlash. Florida State University (FSU) announced that it would “prohibit its employees from taking care of their children while working remotely, calling it a necessary step toward returning to normal operation during the Coronavirus pandemic” (Paul Basken, “US Campus Reinstates Bar on Looking After Children While Working,” Times Higher Education, July 1, 2020, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/us-campus-reinstates-bar-looking-after-children-while-working.) This plan attracted a large amount of attention on social media not only from academics and researchers at FSU, but others in the community as well who regarded the requirement unreasonable and largely to have the biggest impact on women. This led to FSU to appear to walk back the announcement stating “we want to be clear — our policy does allow employees to work from home while caring for children” (“Remote Work Update,” Florida State University News, July 2, 2020, https://news.fsu.edu/announcements/covid-19/2020/07/02/remote-work-update/). The move by FSU was an attempt to try and reinstate a policy that once existed, but prior to the outbreak of the global pandemic. The idea that employees and researchers, especially women, would suddenly be required to make other arrangements for their children at home even as they had to continue working from home led to immediate and harsh backlash (Jacey Fortin and Derrick Bryson Taylor, “Florida State University Child Care Policy Draws Backlash,” The New York Times, July 2, 2020, \https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/us/fsu-telecommute-remote.html?searchResultPosition=3.) 
  130. Jessica L. Malisch et al., “Opinion: In the Wake of COVID-19, Academia Needs New Solutions to Ensure Gender Equity,” Proceedings of the National Science Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117, no. 27 (July 7, 2020): 15378–81, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010636117
  131. As mentioned, the global pandemic is not only affecting those currently in graduate school, but also those who aspire to be in or are applying to grad school during this time. In-person graduate school entrance exams have been halted and the method of delivery has been changed to taking all qualifying exams at home and online. “The GRE General Test at home is now available everywhere that the computer-delivered GRE General Test is offered – at home administrations are currently available around the clock, seven days a week through September 30, 2020” (ETS GRE, “GRE General Test at Home,” ETS GRE, 2020, https://www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home/). 
  132. For example, in-person information sessions about graduate programs were cancelled along with all campus and sometimes lab tours (James Urton, “UW Guidelines Helping to Ramp Up Research Safely During COVID-19,” UW News, June 4, 2020, https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/06/04/research-ramp-up-covid-19/. In light of the enormous amount of disruptions that COVID-19 caused for graduate students during the application cycle for the 2020-2021 academic year, some institutions, such as The University of Alabama at Birmingham extended fall application deadlines for graduate programs (“Graduate School COVID-19 Updates,” University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2020, https://www.uab.edu/graduate/about/graduate-school-covid-19-updates). 
  133. Megan Zahneis, “More Doctoral Programs Suspend Admissions. That Could Have Lasting Effects on Graduate Education,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 28, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/more-doctoral-programs-suspend-admissions-that-could-have-lasting-effects-on-graduate-education
  134. In fact, only one day after an announcement from the University of Pennsylvania, the chemistry department announced that they would actually continue to accept new Ph.D. students: Ashley Ahn, “Chemistry Department Will Not Pause Admissions for Ph.D. Students Next Academic Year,” The Daily Pennsylvanian, September 16, 2020, https://www.thedp.com/article/2020/09/phd-chemistry-penn-admissions-covid
  135. Graduate students have similar concerns to faculty about how their research, and education, has been upended, but they are further apprehensive as to how all of these disruptions will impact their progress towards their degrees–“Yet accommodations to their program timelines and funding packages are almost nil” (Colleen Flaherty, “What About Graduate Students?” Inside Higher Ed, April 7, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/07/graduate-students-seek-time-degree-and-funding-extensions-during-covid-19. ) One graduate student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison stated that “responses by some administrators to graduate students’ appeals for more funding or deadline extensions illustrates a systemic inequity that has dogged grad students for decades” (Megan Zahneis, “For Many Graduate Students, COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Inequities,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 26, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/for-many-graduate-students-covid-19-pandemic-highlights-inequities/). In contrast, some institutions, such as UC Berkeley, have created web pages to address academic progress, extensions for projects and degrees, and accommodations regarding graduate student degree progress, but it does not seem that all universities are following suit (“COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students,” Berkeley Graduate Division, August 1, 2020, https://grad.berkeley.edu/covid-19-information-for-graduate-students/). 
  136. Aleksandra Sikora, Michael Ibba, and Victor DiRita, “Mentoring Graduate Students During & Beyond COVID-19,” American Society for Microbiology, May 6, 2020, https://asm.org/Articles/2020/May/Mentoring-Graduate-Students-During-Beyond-COVID-19
  137. “NORC at the University of Chicago to Conduct Study on Graduate Programs Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic,” NORC at the University of Chicago, July 1, 2020, https://www.norc.org/NewsEventsPublications/PressReleases/Pages/norc-at-the-university-of-chicago-to-conduct-study-on-graduate-programs-coping-with-the-covid-19-pandemic.aspx
  138. National Science Board, “Science and Engineering Indicators 2018,” National Science Board, January 2018, https://nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/report/sections/higher-education-in-science-and-engineering/graduate-education-enrollment-and-degrees-in-the-united-states
  139. Abby Olena, “The Pandemic’s Effects on Recruiting International STEM Trainees,” The Scientist, April 9, 2020, sec. News & Opinion, https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/the-pandemics-effects-on-recruiting-international-stem-trainees-67495
  140. “Broadcast Message: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Potential Procedural Adaptations for F and M Nonimmigrant Students,” Broadcast Message, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, March 9, 2020, https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2003-01.pdf
  141. Jyoti Madhusoodanan, “‘Disturbing and Cruel.’ Universities Blast New Visa Rule for International Students,” Science, July 8, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.caredit.abd7322
  142. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension For Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media,” Federal Register, 8 CFR, 85, no. 187 (September 25, 2020): 60526–98, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-25/pdf/2020-20845.pdf
  143. If this rule was passed, “would only extend the stay beyond the prior admission date (typically the program end date for which the student was admitted to the United States as a F–1 nonimmigrant or was granted based on a change of status or extension of stay) of an otherwise eligible F–1 student requesting additional time to complete their program if the additional time needed is due to a compelling academic reason, documented medical illness or medical condition, or circumstance that was beyond the student’s control” (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension For Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media,” Federal Register, 8 CFR, 85, no. 187 (September 25, 2020): 60526–98, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-25/pdf/2020-20845.pdf). 
  144. Specifically, “exchange visitors who were born in or are citizens of countries listed in the State Sponsor of Terrorism List” (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension For Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media,” Federal Register, 8 CFR, 85, no. 187 (September 25, 2020): 60526–98, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-25/pdf/2020-20845.pdf). There are currently four countries designated as a state-sponsor of terrorism: (1) North Korea, (2) Iran, (3) Sudan, and (4) Syria. Furthermore, this two-year visa limit, with the possibility of renewal, would apply to citizens of countries who have student and exchange visitor visa overstay rates that are greater than 10 percent. (For definition of “overstay” see pg. 7 of the following Homeland Security report: “Fiscal Year 2019 Entry/Exit Overstay Report,” Report. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, March 30, 2020, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/20_0513_fy19-entry-and-exit-overstay-report.pdf). According to the Homeland Security entry/exit overstay report there are 58 countries—mostly affecting students in Africa and parts of Asia—with visa overstay for international students and exchange visitors that are greater than 10 percent. They are the following: Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia. For the full list of overstay rates for nonimmigrant students see pgs. 20-24 of the following Department of Homeland Security 2019 report: “Fiscal Year 2019 Entry/Exit Overstay Report,” Report. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, March 30, 2020, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/20_0513_fy19-entry-and-exit-overstay-report.pdf
  145. Elizabeth Redden, “Major Changes to Student Visa Rules Proposed,” Inside Higher Ed, September 25, 2020, sec. News, Global, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/25/trump-administration-proposes-major-overhaul-student-visa-rules

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed both the fragility of our nation’s civic infrastructure, as well how much our communities rely on it. But even as states and localities face crushing budget shortfalls, the public amenities they offer—parks, recreation centers, libraries, etc.—are stepping up to provide communities with essential resources to weather the pandemic and build resilience in the months to come.

Public libraries, in particular, are frontline forces in economic recovery. After the Great Recession, Americans increasingly turned to public libraries to access resources, skills training, and job search assistance. Today, libraries have become “second responders” to COVID-19, providing 24-hour free Wi-Fi hotspots, temporary shelter to people without homes, and 3D printers to make masks for health workers.

These responses have brought new attention to the economic and city-building functions of public libraries. But many libraries have been advancing these goals for decades, and are able to make an impact now by applying lessons learned from pre-pandemic efforts. One example is the New Haven Free Public Library in Connecticut, which in 2016 embarked on a strategic mission to tackle the city’s intractable history of economic exclusion by creating a free, accessible, and inclusive entrepreneurial hub for residents.


New Haven is marked by vast and persistent economic inequities. One in four residents lives in poverty—a statistic that has remained relatively unchanged for the past 10 years, and is all the more striking given the city’s proximity to renowned institutions, including Yale University and a plethora of innovation-focused corporations, community organizations, and nonprofits.

In 2016, the city librarian, Martha Brogan, saw an opportunity to tackle these disparities using the public library. “We saw the library as a critical platform for building greater access, opportunities, and connections to help drive startup potential for those left out of New Haven’s innovation culture,” she told me. Brogan collaborated with my design firm specializing in civic and cultural institutions, Margaret Sullivan Studio, as well as New Haven-based organizations such as the Elm City Innovation Collaborative to identify three research-based assumptions about what the library needed to do to accomplish its mission:

  • A continual pipeline of new, local talent and small businesses is essential for job creation and a dynamic economy. Therefore, the library should strive to expand the number of entrepreneurs and innovators within the city.
  • A diverse mix of entrepreneurs is key to an equitable and productive small business ecosystem. Therefore, the library should cultivate entrepreneurship among residents of color, women, and other underrepresented groups.
  • Finally, a successful small business ecosystem relies on strong social networks among business owners. Therefore, the library must build connections across the community to strengthen citywide collaboration.

These assumptions formed the basis of our idea to create an inclusive entrepreneurial hub within the library. It took a coalition of forces to bring the idea to fruition: In 2017, the New Haven Free Public Library received $150,000 in funding from the city as part of a state award to foster “Innovation Places.” Recognizing the library as a free, public, and trusted institution (and therefore an ideal setting to increase access to New Haven’s innovation economy), the city contributed an additional $970,000 in capital funding to transform the library into an anchor institution that could be the “front door” for aspiring entrepreneurs into the city’s innovation ecosystem. Brogan proposed a site within the Ives Memorial Library, which sits prominently on the New Haven Green, adjacent to Yale and amidst the city’s walkable downtown.

After choosing the site, our goal was to engage the residents that the hub was meant to benefit, enlist them as co-creators of the vision, and create a place that was welcoming to those who are often left out of the innovation economy, as well as those already well connected and immersed in it.


In line with the principles of transformative placemaking, our team wanted the entrepreneurial hub to emerge from a rigorous community engagement process. My team at Margaret Sullivan Studio led a collaborative visioning and programming study with the city, library, and community. For four months, we conducted intensive engagement sessions with 200 community members, including local makers, students, civic activists, city administrators, nonprofit leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, the Yale School of Management, and library staff. This process revealed three primary insights:

  • Community members wanted access to New Haven’s innovation culture, and to be connected to the many startups, makerspaces, and mentorship opportunities in the city—but they didn’t know where to start.
  • Entrepreneurs, makers, and other stakeholders already involved in New Haven’s innovation sector wanted to break down siloes and enhance collaboration with each other, but also had no mechanism with which to do so.
  • Librarians would need to step up to tackle both of these challenges by becoming active agents of community development—switching their model from a reactive provider to an active connector for individuals, organizations, and New Haven’s culture of innovation.

In July 2018, we opened the entrepreneurial hub, named Ives Squared. It’s a 5,820-square-foot hub consisting of a series of inviting spaces, including a community commons, concierge-like information area, collaborative workplace, makerspace with 3D printers and other prototyping equipment, and café that doubles as a social meet-up place. Every inch is designed to be part of an integrated whole to create conditions for community gathering, technological exploration, networking, and interactive learning.

As part of this integrated concept, we developed programming and curricula to activate Ives Squared and give residents access to the local innovation economy. For instance, the Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Creative-In-Residence programs bring in talent from the community to offer workshops and one-on-one office hours for residents, which has helped some launch and adapt their own businesses.

Also essential to Ives Squared is its focus on nurturing relationships and providing the missing connective tissue between New Haven’s wealth of resources, experts, institutions, and businesses and its residents. Librarians are trained to be connectors for the community; over Ives Squared’s first 11 months, they referred 134 patrons to community organizations (e.g., social services, workforce training, co-working sites). Meanwhile, entrepreneurs come to Ives Squared to test out product ideas, such as a farmer who used the 3D printer to invent products and equipment for his sustainable farm.


The value of the New Haven Free Public Library as a community connector and economic inclusivity engine has become even more critical during the pandemic. When the physical library closed on March 16 due to COVID-19, it pivoted to the virtual realm and began providing free Wi-Fi hotspots and new programs, including Zoom meetings and office hours to help residents cope with the pandemic’s fallout, manage stress for small businesses, and address issues related to racial injustice. The community that took root in rooms of Ives Squared now thrives virtually. This fall, the library was able to reopen with a phased plan and limited capacity.

As states, cities, and communities continue to grapple with financial instability, public libraries can play a critical role as drivers of economic reinvention and regeneration—not only amid COVID-19, but over the long term. Few, if any, other institutions have the capacity, regional reach, resources, community connections, trust, and unwavering focus on the welfare of the individual and collective good. The New Haven Free Public Library and Ives Squared are examples of the innovations we need to face the systemic challenges of our future.

Erkan Can ve Nejat İşler, Ekşi Sözlük yazarlarının sorularını yanıtladı ve hakkında girilen entry’leri yorumladı.

Posted by: bluesyemre | October 26, 2020

Şehirden Kaçanlar (+90)

Şehirden Kaçanlar serimizde şehirden köye göç etmek yerine, Avşa Ada’sında ekolojik tarım yapan Gürcan Durmazbilek’in arazisinde organik tarım çiftliği gönüllüsü olarak doğal tarıma katkıda bulunan Tansu Yeşilkır konuğumuz. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Felsefe Bölümü’nden mezun olan Tansu Yeşilkır, Avşa Adası’na okul sonrası iş aradığı süreçte, doğaya saygılı ve doğal ürünler kullanarak sürdürülebilir bir yaşam seçtiği bir dönemde gelmiş. Ekolojik yaşam içinde yapabileceği bir iş ararken karşısına TaTuTa fırsatı çıkmış. TaTuTa yani Tarım-Turizm-Takas projesi, ekolojik tarım yapan üretici çiftçilere gönüllüler aracılığıyla hem işgücü hem de bilgi alışverişi sağlama amacı taşıyor. Tansu’nun TaTuTa aracılığıyla gönüllü olduğu üçüncü çiftlik ise Avşa Adası’nda yaşayan Gürcan Durmazbilek’e ait. Ailesinden kalan topraklarda doğa ile iç içe ekolojik tarım yapan Gürcan, iklim değişikliğinin ürünlerini nasıl etkilediğini üzülerek aktarıyor ve tüm insanları ”çevre için birleşmeye” çağırıyor. Tansu sadece birkaç gündür Gürcan’ın çiftliğinde ve bir süre daha burada doğa ile iç içe kalmayı planlıyor.

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizde bu hafta Anadolu çoban köpeği yetiştirmek için İzmir’in Urla ilçesinde bir köpek çiftliği kuran Gülden ve Çetin Türkoğlu çiftine konuk oluyoruz. “Fizikli, büyük, yüksek, düzgün, yakışıklı, cesareti büyük köpekleri çok severim ben. Bu yüzden Anadolu çoban köpeklerine aşığım.” Eşiyle birlikte İstanbul’dan Urla’ya giderek bir çiftlik kuran Çetin, neden sadece Anadolu çoban köpeği yetiştirdiklerini bu sözlerle anlatıyor. “Eskiden sokak köpeklerinden kaçan bir insandım” diyen Gülden ise 7 yıldır kendisinden daha ağır köpekler yetiştiriyor. İstanbul’da yaşarken gelinlik tasarımı yapan Gülden, köpeklerle birlikte geçen yeni hayatında doğayla iç içe olmanın mutluluğunu yaşadığını söylüyor. Türkoğlu çiftinin büyüttüğü köpekler, Anadolu’nun birçok şehrinde sürüleri koruyor; fabrikalara, villalara bekçilik yapıyor. “İnsan mutlu olmadığı işi yapmak zorunda değil” diyen Çetin, çocukluğundan beri hayalini kurduğu hayatı yaşıyor. #ÇobanKöpeği #AnadoluÇobanKöpeği #KöpekYetiştirmeMerkezi

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizde bu hafta İzmir Karaburun’da bir karavan otel işleten Zeliha ve Erol Asna çiftine konuk oluyoruz. Çift, İstanbul’da yaşarken, yıllarca karavanla Türkiye’yi ve dünyayı gezme hayalleri kurmuş. Uzun süre erteledikleri bu hayallerini sonunda karavan otel fikri ile gerçeğe dönüştürmüşler. Çocuklarının doğayla iç içe büyümesini isteyen Asna çifti, karavan otelinde müşterilere hizmet ederken; çocuklar çimlerin üstünde çıplak ayakla koşuyor, civcivleri besleyip, denizin keyfini çıkartıyor. Zeliha, “Doğanın içinde bizim gibi çocukluk yaşasınlar istedik. Koşsunlar, oynasınlar, dizleri kanasın, yüzmeyi havuzda değil de denizde öğrensinler istedik. Hayalini kurduğumuz hayat buydu” diyor. Asna ailesi, otelin kapalı olduğu dönemlerde de karavanla gezmenin özgürlüğünü tadıyor. #ŞehirdenKaçanlar #KaravanOtel #KaravanHayat

Şehirden kaçanlar serisinin bu bölümünde, İzmir Torbalı’da bir dağ köyünde organik tarım yapan Seçil ve Alper Alkan çifti var. Bugünlerde 20 dönümlük araziyi kapsayan tarım serüvenleri, İstanbul’da 60 metrekarelik bir hobi bahçesinde başlamış. Şehirden kaçmak için emekliliği beklemeyen bu çift, genç yaşlarında mühendisliği bırakarak İstanbul’dan ayrılmış. Amaçları, bir mutfağın bütün sebze ihtiyacını karşılamak. Bir de teknolojiden kopmadan doğaya saygılı bir hayat yaşamak. Köpekleri Astro ise domuzlara, sansarlara ve çakallara karşı en büyük güvenceleri. Suyu kuyudan, elektriği güneş panellerinden alıyorlar. Yaz kış üretiyorlar, satıyorlar. Yıllık izinleri veya hafta sonu tatilleri olmasa da, Seçil ve Alper Alkan çifti bu şekilde daha mutlu olduklarını söylüyor. #Şehirdenkaçanlar #OrganikTarım #Tarım

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizin bu bölümünde, köye göç eden ve tavukçuluğa başlayan kadın girişimci Sevtap Sarıhan var. Sevtap aslen Rize Fındıklılı. Samsun’da biyoloji okumuş, ardından İzmir’e giderek röntgen teknisyeni olarak bir hastanede çalışmış. İzmir’de farklı mesleklerde çalışmasına rağmen büyük şehirde aradığını bulamayan Sevtap, mutlu olamamış. Türkiye için yararlı bir şey yapmak ve aktif üretime yönelmek istediğini keşfetmiş ve memleketine geri dönerek tavukçuluğa girişmiş. Hiçbir sermayesi olmayan ve başlarda bir kadın olarak çok engellerle karşılaşan Sevtap, yine de “İnsan isterse her şeyi başarır” diyor. Ailesinin, özellikle de babasının desteğiyle genç bir kadın girişimci olmanın gururunu yaşıyor. “Halkanın küçücük bir ucuyum” diyor ve memleketinde üretimi arttırmak için el birliği yapmak gerektiğini belirtiyor. “Çocuklarım” dediği tavuklarıyla artık çok mutlu olan Sevtap, hikayesini +90 izleyicileriyle paylaştı. #ŞehirdenKaçanlar #Tavukçuluk #TavukÇiftliği

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizin bu bölümünde Çanakkale Gökçeada’dayız. Bilgisayar mühendisi Ercüment Yalçın Sürücü, şehir hayatından kaçanlar arasında. Aslen Kilisli olan Ercüment, üniversite okumak için gittiği İstanbul’da 35 sene kalmış ve 20 yıl boyunca mesleğini severek yapmış. Ancak kendi tabiriyle, daha az problemli bir hayat yaşama isteği problem çözme sevgisine ağır basmış ve bir gün “Artık yeter” demiş. Eşi ve arkadaşlarıyla Gökçeada’nın kuş uçmaz kervan geçmez bir noktasına kubbe benzeri bir ev inşa ederek buraya yerleşmiş. Ercüment, artık bir yandan günlük köy işlerini yapıyor bir yandan da geçimini masaj terapistliği yaparak sağlıyor. Masa başı çalıştığı dönemde yaşadığı sağlık problemleri nedeniyle masaj yapmayı öğrenen Ercüment, şimdi köyde “Ağrısı sızısı olan amcalara, teyzelere, esnafa masaj yaparak yardımcı olmaya çalışıyorum” diyor. Ercüment, böylelikle insanlarla direkt ilişki içerisinde olmaktan oldukça memnun. “Kırsaldaki insanlar ne yapıyor, canları çok sıkılmıyor mu?” diye soranlara Ercüment’in yanıtı ise şu oluyor: “Yapacak o kadar çok şey var ki. Ama hiçbir rutinimiz yok, işin eğlenceli kısmı da bu. Her gün kendi hikayesini yazıyor.” #ŞehirdenKaçanlar #Gökçeada #ŞehirHayatındanKaçanlar

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizin bu haftaki bölümünde, 30 yıllık İstanbul yaşantısının ardından şehirden köye göç eden ve bir ekoköy oluşturarak ekolojik turizm ile ilgilenmeye başlayan Ertaş ailesiyle konuştuk. Şehir hayatının zorlukları karşısında uzun yıllar direnen Emine ve Behçet Ertaş çifti, çocuklarının eğitiminden sonra Rize’nin Fındıklı ilçesi Meyvalı (Çampet) köyüne taşınmış. Kızları Sıla da, ailesiyle birlikte bir ekoköy oluşturmuş. Ertaş ailesi, kurdukları ekoköy hayatını doğada yaşayabilme imkanı olmayanlarla paylaşıp bir ekolojik turizm örneğine dönüştürmüş. Ertaşlar, ekolojik ayak izlerine uyan geziler düzenleyip, gelenlerle hasat zamanları bostanlarını paylaşıyorlar. Bunun yanı sıra, bilgilerini aktarabilecekleri çeşitli kültürel ve sanatsal atölyeler, kadın atölyeleri, öz savunma atölyeleri, çocuk ve çocuk hakları atölyeleri gibi etkinlikler düzenliyorlar. Ertaş ailesi için şehirden kaçarak köy hayatına dönüşün nedeni, Sıla’nın dediği gibi “Canice değil, vahşice bir yaşam tercihi.” #ŞehirdenKaçanlar

‘Şehirden Kaçanlar’ serimizde çevre aktivisti Sarıhan ailesiyle tanışıyoruz. İnci-Soner Sarıhan çifti, her yıl düzenledikleri bisiklet ve kano turları ile küresel ısınma tehlikesine dikkat çekmek istiyorlar. İlk yurt dışı bisiklet turlarını İran’a düzenleyen İnci-Soner çifti, bugüne kadar 40’tan fazla ülke gezmiş. Oğulları Tibet Çınar doğduktan sonra bu yolculuklarına o henüz 22 aylıkken devam eden çift, son yıllarda sehayatlerine kano turunu da eklemişler. Sarıhan ailesi doğanın korunmasına yönelik yaptıkları bu seyahatleri tatil olarak değil, aktivizm olarak adlandırıyor. ‘Minik Gezgin’ isimli sosyal medya hesaplarında ve farklı şehirlerde yaptıkları konuşmalarında paylaştıkları mesajları çok net: ‘Doğayı koruyalım, çevreye mümkün olduğunca az zarar veren araçlar kullanmaya çalışalım. Bu, hem doğaya hem size çok iyi gelecektir.’

Şehirden kaçanlar serimizin bu haftaki bölümünde İmece Evi’nin sakinleriyle konuştuk. İmece evi, 13 yıl önce sade, ekolojik bir yaşam mümkün mü sorusuyla yola çıkan bir grup insan tarafından hayallerini gerçekleştirmenin ilk adımı olarak İzmir’in Menemen ilçesinde, Dumanlıdağ’da kuruldu. Bu evde sürdürülebilirlik önemli. Eve elektrik enerjisi güneş panellerinden, su ise kuyudan geliyor; organik tarım yapılıyor, görev ve sorumluluklar paylaşılıyor. Günlük yaşam doğanın talimatlarıyla yürüyor.

+90’da “Şehirden Kaçanlar” serimizde bu hafta Trabzon’un Kireçhane Köyü’ndeyiz. Kireçhane Köyü’ne göç eden Açelya Gültekin, büyükşehirde kostüm tasarımcılığını bırakıp, burada keçelerden figürler üretmeye başlamış. Açelya Gültekin, kendi deyimiyle basit yaşamayı seçtiğini söylüyor. Ancak kırsalda, şehirdeki kadar sosyal bir hayatın olmadığını ve biraz yalnızlık yaşadığını söyleyen Açelya, yaşadığı bölgenin normlarına ayak uydurduğunun altını çiziyor.

+90’da “Şehirden Kaçanlar” serimizde bu defa İzmir’in yavaş kasabası Seferihisar’a gidiyoruz. Ankara’da uzun yıllar muhabirlik yapıp iletişim alanında çalışan İdil Güngör, eşiyle beraber İzmir’e taşındıktan sonra ofis yaşamını bırakıp en keyif aldığı şeylerden biri olan misafir ağırlamayı kazançları haline getirmeye karar vermiş. Artık Seferihisar’daki Pürhayal Pansiyonu’nun sahibesi olan İdil Güngör, pansiyonun avlusunda ateş başında misafirleriyle vakit geçirirken tek bir şeyden emin; o da muhabirliği hiç mi hiç özlemediği ve keyif aldığı hayatı sürdürmeye kararlı olduğu.

Yörüklük, Toroslar’ın tepesinde yüzlerce yıllık bir kültür. Bu kadim kültürün devamını sağlayan bugünün yörükleri “Şehre bir gün gitsek, hasta oluruz.” diyor. Mucibe İpek, eşi ve üç çocuğuyla Mersin, Arslanköy’e bağlı Tozlu Yaylası’nda konar-göçer hayatı yaşıyor, hayvancılık yapıyor, kışın köye dönüyor. Mucibe, “Yörüklük bizim atamızdan, ötemizden… Mayamız bununla yoğurulmuş. Başka yerde yaşayamayız biz” diyor. Peki, yörüklerin bir günü nasıl geçiyor? Onları en çok ne zorluyor? O kara çadırların üzerinde hala duman tütüyor mu? Mucibe, hikayesini +90’a anlattı.

Şehir hayatından kaçarak köye yerleşenlerin sayısı çoğalıyor. Mersinli Hayrettin Çağrı Ezerer de şehirden kaçanlardan biri. Çağrı iş insanlığından çobanlığa geçiş yapanlardan. Yüksek eğitimini tamamlamış, ekstrem sporlarla ilgilenen, doğa belgesellerine konu olmuş genç bir adamken hayatındaki ölümlerle kendisini ve hayatını sorgulamaya başladı. Babasını, ağabeyini ve annesini kaybettikten sonra kendisine “Ben ne yapıyorum?” diye sordu ve eski Çağrı’yı şehirde bırakıp dağa yerleşti. Toroslar’ın tepesindeki bir dağ köyünde arazi aldı ve buraya bir çiftlik kurdu. Hem hayvancılık hem de tarım yapıyor. İddiası “İnsan aklından geçirebildiği her şeyi istisnasız başarabilir.” Genç adam artık çiftlik hayatının dertlerine bile aşık olduğu bir hayat sürüyor.


2020 yılının 9 aylık verilerine göre toplam 348.018.305 adet bandrol verildi. Geçen yıla göre %9,15 oranında artış var.

Araştırma-inceleme, edebiyat ve çocuk yayıncılığı alanlarının oluşturduğu kültür yayıncılığı, 122.706.080 adet kitapla 9 aylık kitap üretiminin %35,26’sını oluşturdu, 2019 yılına göre bu alanda %22,17 artış var.

Araştırma-inceleme alanı 65.971.830 adet bandrolle 9 aylık kitap üretiminin %18,96’sını oluşturdu, 2019’a göre %20,75 artışta.

Edebiyat kitapları 24.000.836 adetle geçen seneye göre %29,36 artışla toplam üretimin %6,90’ını oluşturdu.

Çocuk ve ilk gençlik kitapları 32.733.414 adetle %20,12 oranında artışta ve toplam üretimin %9,41’ini oluşturdu.

22.221.125 adet bandrolle 9 aylık toplam üretimin %6,39’unu oluşturan inanç kitaplarında ise %14,11’lik düşüş var.

Akademik yayıncılık ise 3.600.962 adet bandrolle %2,62 artışta ve toplam üretimin %1,03’ünü oluşturmuş.

%5,80 artıştaki eğitim yayıncılığı 195.110.713 adetle tüm üretimde %56,06’lık paya sahip.

İthal yayınlar ise 4.379.425 adet bandrolle %4,99’luk düşüşte ve %1,26’lık paya sahip.

Karşılaştırmalı tablo için tıklayınız.


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 26, 2020

2020’de dört temel sorun #MürselÇavuş

2020’de dört temel sorun tespit ettim.

  1. Pandemi sürecinde hepimizin sosyal mesafeye ihtiyacı var.
  2. Yeni normaller doğrultusunda yeni bir hayat tasarımına ihtiyaç duyuyoruz.
  3. Çevrimiçi hayata hapsolduk. Çevrimdışı hayattaki olanaklarımızı arttırmalıyız.
  4. Belirsizlik ve kaygılar arttı. İnsanları geleceğe motive etmeliyiz.

Tüm bu beklentilere cevap verebilecek “Sosyal Mesafeli Defter Serisi” tasarladım. Defterlerden biri kendimizle, biri işimizle, birisi de ilişkilerimizle ilgili farkındalık yaratacak 50 sorudan oluşuyor

Defterler aynı zamanda yazma becerimizi geliştiriyor. Belli bir süre çevrimdışı kalmamızı sağlayıp bizi telefondan uzaklaştırıyor. Kendimize zaman ayırırken eğlenceli zaman geçiriyoruz, en güzeli de motivasyonumuz artıyor.

Bu defterleri kurumlara özelleştirerek basacağız. Kurumsal projeler için benimle ya da Ceres Yayınları’ndan Tuğba Dedeoğlu Demir ile iletişime geçebilirsiniz.

Ne demiş Nietzsche, “Seni öldürmeyen şey güçlendirir.”

Kapak tasarımları Tuğba Uzun’a ait ve projenin ruhunu güzel yansıttılar. Kendisine teşekkür ediyorum. #kitap#yayıncılık#kitaptavsiyesi


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 26, 2020

Kütüphanemi Toplarken #AlbertoManguel (Çeviren #YeşimSeber)

“Kütüphanemi Toplarken”

Çağımızın en yaratıcı okurlarından ve en kitapsever yazarlarından Manguel’in kütüphanesinin içtenlikle ve sevecenlikle anlatılmış bir hikâyesi.

Her kitap yaşantımızın yakaladıklarını bütünüyle elde tutmanın imkânsızlığını itiraf eder niteliktedir. Gelmiş geçmiş bütün kütüphanelerimizse bu başarısızlığın anlı şanlı bir kaydıdır.

Manguel, bürokratik bir pürüz yüzünden uzun yıllardır yaşadığı Fransa’dan ayrılmak zorunda kaldığında, 35 bin kitabını sığdırabildiği kütüphanesinden de ayrılmak zorunda kalır. Kitapların ayıklanma, kolilere doldurulma ve nakil süreci, çoğunu belki de bir daha görememe ihtimali, gitgide boşalan raflar ona bu kısa ağıtı esinletir.

“Kütüphanemi Toplarken” okuru kütüphanelerin tarihi, sözlükler, sözlük yazarları, rüyalar ve anılar hakkında hoş anekdotlar, sıra dışı düşünceler ve çağrışımlar arasında renkli bir yolculuğa çıkarıyor.


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 25, 2020

The Data of Long-lived Institutions

The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity. 

I want to lead you through some of the research that I’ve been doing on a meta-level around long-lived institutions, as well as some observations of the ways various systems have lasted for hundreds of thousands of years. 

Long Now as a Long-lived Institution

This is one of the early projects I worked with Stewart Brand on at Long Now. We were trying to define our problem space and explore the ways we think on different timescales. Generally, companies are working in the “nowadays,” although that’s been shortening to some extent, with more quarterly thinking than decade-level thinking.

It was Peter Schwartz who suggested this 10,000 year timeframe. Danny Hillis’ original idea for what would ultimately become The 10,000 Year Clock was that it would be a Millennium Clock: it would tick once a year, bong once a century, and the cuckoo would come out once a millennium. He didn’t really have an end date. 

We use the 10,000 year time frame to orient our efforts at Long Now because global civilization arose when the last Interglacial period ended 10,000 years ago. It was only then, around 8,000 BC, that we had the emergence of agriculture and the first cities. If we can look back that far, we should be able to look forward that far. Thinking about ourselves as in the middle of a 20,000 year story is very different than thinking about ourselves as at the end of a 10,000 year story. 

This pace layers diagram is the very first thing I worked on at Long Now. The notion of pace layers came out of a discussion between Stewart and Long Now co-founder Brian Eno. They were trying to tease apart these layers of human time. 

Institutions can be mapped across the pace layers diagram as well. Take Apple Computer, for example. They’re coming out with new iPhones every six months, which is the fashion layer. The commerce layer is Apple selling these devices. The infrastructure layer is the cell phone networks and chip fabs that it’s all built on. The governance layer—and note that it is governance, not government; they’re mostly working with governments, but they also have to work with general governing systems. Some of these companies are hitting walls against different types of governments who have different ideas of privacy, different ideas of commercialization, and they’re now having to shape their companies around that. And then obviously, culture is moving slower underneath all of this, but Apple is starting to affect culture. And then there’s the last pace layer, nature, moving the slowest. At some point, Apple is going to have to come to terms with the level of environmental damage and problems that are happening on the nature pace layer if it is going to be a company that lasts for hundreds or a thousand years. So we could imagine any large institution mapped across this and I think it’s a useful tool for that. 

Also very early on in Long Now’s history, in 01997, Kees van der Heijden, who wrote the book on scenario planning, came to a charrette that Long Now organized to come up with business ideas for our organization. He formulated a business plan that was strangely prophetic:

The squares are areas where we have core competencies. The dotted lines indicate temporary competencies, like the founders. The other items indicate all the things we hadn’t really gotten to yet or figured out: we didn’t have a way of funding ourselves; we didn’t have a membership program; we didn’t have a large community of donors; we didn’t have an endowment; and we didn’t have people willing to give their estates to us. We still don’t have an endowment or people willing to give us our estates, but we’ve achieved the rest. And now that we’ve been around for 22 years, we can imagine how those two items are going to start to happen next.  

I also want to point out the cyclical nature of this diagram. There’s no system in the world that I’ve found that is linear that has lasted on these timescales. You need to have a cyclical business model, not a linear business model.

The Longest-Lived Institutions in the World

I’ve been collecting data on all of the longest lived institutions in the world. As you look at these, there’s a few things that stick out. Notice: brewery, brewery, winery, hotel, bar, pub, right? And also notice that a lot of them are in Japan. There’s been a rough system of government there for over 2,000 years (the Royal Family) that’s held together enough to enable something like the Royal Confectioner of Japan to be one of the oldest companies in the world. But there’s also temple builders and things like that.

In the West, most of the companies that have survived for a very long time are basically service companies. It’s a lot easier to reinvent yourself as a service-oriented company than it is as a commodity company when that particular commodity goes out of use.

Colgate Palmolive (founded 01806) and DuPont (founded 01802) are commodity companies that are broad enough to change the kinds of products they sell over time. I’m interested in learning more about all these companies, as they probably all have some kind of special sauce in their stories of longevity. 

Something else that came out of this research is the fact that the length of company’s lives is shrinking at almost one year per year. In 01950, the average company on the Fortune 500 had been around for 61 years. Now it’s 18 years. Companies’ lives are getting shorter.

As I mentioned, most of the oldest companies in the world are in Japan. In a survey of 5,500 companies over 200 years old, 3,100 are based in Japan. The rest are in some of the older countries in Europe. 

But—and this was a fact I found curious, and one that speaks to the cyclical nature of things—90% of the companies that are over 200 years old have 300 employees or less; they’re not mega companies. 

In surveying 1,000 companies over 300 years old, you find a huge amount of disparity concerning which industries they’re a part of. But there were a few big groupings that I found interesting. 23% are in the alcohol industry, and this doesn’t even include pubs and restaurants and hotels that may sell alcohol. 

Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archeologist who I talked to when we were building The Interval, has done DNA analysis on vines, which are a clonal species. From that analysis, we  know that civilization started cultivating wine 8,000 BC. McGovern supposes that it’s not at all clear if civilization stopped being nomadic in order to ferment things, or because they started fermenting things, they stopped being nomadic. It’s an intriguing correlation, and notable that some of this overwhelmingly large segment of the oldest companies in the world deal in alcohol.

Long-term Thinking is Not Inherently Good

A quick word about values: long-term thinking, and aspiring to be a long-term institution, is not inherently good. At Long Now, we’ve always emphasized the importance of long-term thinking without trying to ascribe a lot of values to it. But I don’t think that’s intellectually honest. We have to ask ourselves what we’re trying to perpetuate. We have to step back far enough and ensure that the kinds of things we’re perpetuating are generally good for society. 

How to Build Things That Last

One way that things have lasted for a really long time is to just take a really long time to build them. Cathedrals are a famous example of this. The most dangerous time for anything that’s lasting is really just one generation after it was built. It’s no longer a new, cool thing; it’s the thing that your parents did, and it’s not cool anymore. And it’s not until another couple generations later where everyone values it, largely because it is old and venerable and has become a kind of cultural icon. 

And we already see this with this cathedral: the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  It’s still under construction, 125 years into its build process, and it’s already a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The other way things last for a really long time, and this is the Japanese model, is that they’re just extremely well-maintained. 

At about 1,400 years old, these are the two oldest continuously standing wooden structures in the world. And they’ve replaced a lot of parts of them. They keep the roofs on them, and even in a totally humid and raining environment, the central timbers of these buildings have stayed true. Interestingly, this temple was also the place where, over a thousand years ago, a Japanese princess had a vision that she needed to send a particular prayer out to the world to make sure that it survived into the future. And so she had, literally, a million wooden pagodas made with the prayer put inside them, and distributed these little pagodas as far and wide as she could. You can still buy these on eBay right now. It’s an early example of the philosophy of “Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe” (LOCKSS). 

Another Japanese example that uses a totally different strategy is this Shinto shrine.

Shinto is an animist religion whose adherents believe that spirits are in everything, unlike Buddhism, which came to Japan later. In the Shinto belief system, temples have this renewing technology, if you will, where they’re rebuilt in a site right next to each other in different periodicities. This one, which is the most famous in Japan, is the Ise Shrine, which is rebuilt every 20 years. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the rebuilding ceremony. (One of the oldest companies in the world, I should add, is the Japanese temple building company that builds these temples. 

The emphasis here is not on maintenance, but renewal. These temples made of thatch and wood—totally ephemeral materials—have lasted for 2,000 years. They have documented evidence of exact rebuilding for 1,600 years, but this site was founded in 4 AD—also by a visionary Japanese princess. And every 20 years, with the Japanese princess in attendance, they move the treasures from one from one temple to the other. And the kami—the spirits—follow that. And then they deconstruct the temple, the old one, and they send all those parts out to various Shinto temples in Japan as religious artifacts.

I think the most important thing about this particular example is that each generation gets to have this moment where the older master teaches the apprentice the craft. So you get this handing off of knowledge that’s extremely physical and real and has a deliverable. It’s got to ship, right? “The princess is coming to move the stuff; we have to do this.” It’s an eight year process with tons of ritual that goes into rebuilding these temples.

I think an interesting counterexample to things lasting a very long time is when they ascribe to certain ideologies. And I think it’s curious, one of our longest lived institutions is the Catholic Church, and the ideology of something like the Buddha’s Obamian has lasted, but a lot of the artifacts become targets for people who don’t believe in that ideology. The Taliban spent weeks dynamiting and using artillery to destroy these Buddhas. You would think that Buddhism, a relatively innocuous religion, is unthreatening—but not so much to the Taliban.

This is the University of Bologna, which is largely credited as the earliest university in the world. It’s almost 1000 years old at this point. Oxford was shortly behind it. And there’s another 40 or so universities over 500 years old.

Universities have this ability to do a kind of continual refresh where every four years, especially in undergraduate programs, you have a whole new set of people. And so they have to sell themselves to a new generation every single year. Their customer is a whole class. And we see universities now struggle when they aren’t teaching relevant things to people and they have to adjust. And that has kept them around as some of the longest lived institutions in the world.

I think the idea of communities of practice is a really interesting one. In these communities, knowledge of practice is handed down from generation to generation. Such is the case with martial arts, which we have evidence for dating back at least 2,000 or 3,000 years.

There’s several strategies in nature that allow systems to last for thousands of years. There’s clonal strategies like the Aspen tree. We’ve measured Mesquite rings in the desert where they die and then they grow up in a ring from the root structure that indicates that a Mesquite ring has the same DNA, effectively for 50,000 years. And these clonal forests have definitely been around for thousands of years, even though each individual will only last a few years in some cases.

In other cases, things are cultivated. Going back to the wine example, where we know we have effectively the DNA of clonal species like these grapes from ancient Rome where we have taken a clipping and cultivated it from generation to generation. So there’s been this kind of interplay between humans and the natural world and we also see this in a lot of tree-caring practices. 

The bristlecone exemplifies how an existential crisis gives you practice in terms of how you’re going to survive. The bristlecone is the oldest continuously living single organism that we know of in the world. And the funny thing about the bristlecone is it was not discovered by coring to be the oldest living species in the world; it was postulated because a particular tree scientist had cored other pine species, and as they did that, they found that all the ones in the worst environments were the oldest. And he said: “If you can find the pine species that is living in the absolute worst environment, you will find the oldest species of pine in the world.” And he coined this term: adversity breeds longevity. And so then people went to go find the pines in the worst environment and up at the top of the White Mountains and in the Snake Range in Nevada, and some in Colorado as well, they found three different species of bristlecone, which have been dated to over 5,000 years at this point.

Taking the Future into Account

If any of us are to build an institution that’s going to last for the next few hundred or 1,000 years, the changes in demographics and the climate are a big part of it. This is the projected impact of climate change on agricultural yields until the 02080s. And as you can see, agricultural yields in the global south are going to be going down. In the global north and the much further north, more like Canada and Russia, they’re going to be getting a lot better. And this is going to change the world markets, world populations, and what we’re warring over for the next 100 years.

In all natural systems, you have these sigmoid curves that things always go down. We are always assuming things like our population and our economies to always go up, but that is not the way the world works; it has never been that way, and we always have these kinds of corrections. In this case, a predator follows the prey as a lower sigmoid. Once its prey runs out, then the predators start dying off. 

How do we get good at failing, but not totally dying out? The lynx never dies out totally, but companies that do one thing are bad at recovering when that one thing is no longer the big commodity. It wasn’t record companies that invented iTunes; it was an outsider company. Record companies were adept at selling plastic circles and when there were no plastic circles to sell music on, they didn’t know how to adjust for that. The crux of anything that’s going to last for a long time is: how do you get good at reinvention and retooling?

There’s no scenario that I’ve seen where the world population doesn’t start going down by at least a hundred years from now, if not less than 50 years from now. 

So even the median projection, that red line in the middle, tapers off. But this data is a couple of years old, and it’s now starting to increasingly look a lot more like that dotted blue line at the bottom. And the world has really never lived through a time, except for a few short plague seasons, where the world population was going down—and, by extension, where the customer base was going down.

Even more dangerous than the population going down is that the population is changing. The red line here is the number of 15 to 64 year olds. And the blue line is the zero to 14 year olds. If the world is made up largely of older people who hoard wealth, don’t work hard, and don’t make huge contributions of creativity to the world the way 20 year olds do, that world is a world that I don’t think we’re prepared to live in right now.

We’re seeing this now happening in a lot of the developed world and most notably in Japan. Those of you who remember the 01980s recall that there was no scenario where Japan was not an absolute dominant part of the economy of the world. And now they’re struggling just to be relevant in a lot of ways, and it’s largely because this population change happened and the young people were not there. They wouldn’t allow any immigration, and that creativity, and that thrust of civilization, went out of a country that was a dominant world economic power.

Watch the video of Alexander Rose’s talk on the Data of Long-lived Institutions:

Today we release 18,000 digital images of historic maps, views and texts from the Topographical Collection of King George III into the public domain.

The collection has been digitised as part of a seven-year project to catalogue, conserve and digitise the collection which was presented to the Nation in 1823 by King George IV. This is the first of two planned image releases.

The images are made available on the image sharing site Flickr, which links to fully searchable catalogue records on Explore the British Library.

For the first time, anybody who wishes to can remotely view, search, research and enjoy one of the world’s richest and most varied public collections of the history of place.

The idea of remote or virtual travelling is a particularly common one today thanks to the seamless interfaces of online map viewer that simulate the idea of airborne travel and evoke the excitement of discovery. However, the idea of virtual travel has a long history, and is well illustrated by the travel-averse king who resided in his palaces and viewed the world through his collection of maps and views. This is the Google Earth of the late 18th century and the journeys it can take you on are no less informative, intriguing, and instructive of the many facets of past eras.

What is K.Top?

The King’s Topographical Collection (K.Top) is one part of the Geographical Collection of King George III (the other parts are the Maritime and Military collections). The nucleus of the collection was assembled from 1660, but added to considerably after 1760 by the king’s librarians and agents. The collection was presented to the British Museum (from 1973 British Library) as a distinct part of the King’s Library in 1823,. For more on the history of the collection see this post by Felicity Myrone.

What is in it?

It’s probably easier to list what isn’t in this collection. It totals around 40,000 printed and manuscript maps, views, charts, texts, architectural plans, prints, atlases and ephemera. The collection is arranged geographically, with around 40% dedicated to the British Isles, one third covering the Europe of the Grand Tour, and 10% for British areas of influence such as North America, the West Indies and India.

What themes does it include? 

Too many to mention, but here’s a sample: landscape, tourism, antiquarianism, architecture, rural life, fine art, agriculture, medieval and church studies, urban planning and development, industrialisation – canals and transport, military history, the history of collecting, the history of cartography, the Grand Tour, royal palaces and stately homes, science and invention, the history of exploration, American Independence. 

As a product of the 16th-19th centuries, the collection is also associated with imperialism, and the role of maps in facilitating imperialist activities both practically and ideologically. We hope that the release of this material will facilitate research and greater understanding of these aspects of the past.  

How can I access it?

18,000 images are available via the file-sharing site Flickr, which you can find here https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/albums/72157716220271206

Images from the collection are also tagged George III Topographical Collection https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/georgeiiitopographicalcollection

There are links to full Marc cataloguing records on Explore the British Library. To view a digital image from the catalogue record on Explore, select ‘I Want This’ and then ‘View Online Digital Item.’

How about georeferencing?

Glad you asked. For those of you who like a challenge, we have made all of the maps from this release available on our Georeferencer Tool.  See how you get on with geolocating the maps. Some will be easier than others.

What can I do with the images?

You are free to study, enjoy, download and remix these images as you see fit. When doing so, please bear in mind any potential cultural or other sensitivities associated with them. Importantly, we’d really like to know what you are doing with the images so please let us know @BLMaps or by emailing maps@bl.uk, we’d love to hear from you.

Who do we have to thank?

So very many people. Here goes:

Generous trusts and individuals including the American Trust for the British Library, Art Scholars Charitable Trust, Blue Rubicon, Viscountess Boyd Charitable Trust, Christies Education, Coles Medlock Charitable Foundation, Cornwall Heritage Trust, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Daniel Crouch Rare Books, Dunard Fund, The Eccles Centre for American Studies, Englefield Charitable Trust, Edward and Dorothy Cadbury Trust, Hadfield Trust, John R Murray Charitable Trust, Ken Biggs Charitable Trust, Samuel H Kress Foundation, Langtree Trust, London Historians Ltd, London Topographical Society, Maunby Investment Management Ltd , PH Charitable Trust, Peck Stacpoole Foundation,  Pitt Rivers Charitable Trust, Reed Foundation, Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, Swire Charitable Trust, Swinton Charitable Trust, Trefoil Trust, Turtleton Charitable Trust, Cyrus Alai, Caroline and Peter Batchelor, Michael Buehler, Tom Boyd, Richard H Brown, Claire Gapper, William B Ginsberg, Jaime Gonzalez, Martin Halusa, Jerome S Handler, Peter Holland, Tina Holland, Arthur Holzheimer, J Michael Horgan, John Leighfield, Norman Leventhal, Sri Prakash Lohia, Tom and Hilary Lynch, Lynda Partridge, Robert E Pierce, Carolyn Ritchie, David Rumsey,  J T Touchton, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, Peter A Woodsford and others who wish to remain anonymous.

Dedicated project staff Felicity Myrone, Hugh Brown, Alex Ault, Mercedes Ceron, Kate Marshall, Magdalena Kowalczuk, Oliver Flory, Grant Lewis, Rebecca Whiteley, Marianne Yule, Sileas Wood, Tom Drysdale, Tamara Tubb, Fred Smith, Jeremy Brown and Emily Roy.

Also very dedicated British Library colleagues Louise Ashton, Filipe Bento, Kate Birch, Michele Burton, April Carlucci, Alan Danskin, Silvia Dobrovich, Adrian Edwards, Roger Gavin, Tony Grant, Karl Harris, Mahendra Mahey, Scot McKendrick, Victoria Morris, Magdalena Peszko, Gethin Rees, Sandra Tuppen, Mia Ridge and Joanna Wells.

And finally, none of this would have been possible without the efforts of Peter Barber, Head of British Library Map Collections until his retirement in 2015, in promoting the research value, relevance and importance of the King’s Topographical Collection to existing and new audiences.



Posted by: bluesyemre | October 24, 2020

Why We Need #Libraries Now More Than Ever?

In the age of smart-phone technology we might overlook just how valuable libraries truly are.

The oldest library on recorddates back to the 7th century BC and contained 4,000-year-old artifacts. Public libraries are governmental institutions that allow us free access to tons of resources and information.

In the age of smart-phone technology, we have instant access to the world’s information right in our pockets. As a result, we might overlook just how valuable libraries truly are. Let’s talk about why libraries are more important than ever before.

Libraries Offer Free Education

The sad truth is that your socioeconomic status can directly impact the level and quality of education you receive. Those who can afford private schooling, higher education, and even internet access in your own home, are more privileged over those who can’t. According to a statistic from the National Center for Education Statistics, the employment rate was the highest (87 percent) among those who graduated from college.

Fortunately, public libraries are entirely free and accessible to the public. In addition to books, libraries across the country also contain materials like newspapers, old artifacts, magazines, and internet access. The free wifi and study materials provide an equal opportunity for patrons.

They are still accessible in the Time of COVID-19

Libraries across America are following CDC guidelines to stay safe while also ensuring that everyone can still enjoy the perks of a library. Tons of libraries are shifting to an online model and offering curbside pickup. Others are rolling out limited hours, restricting the number of people who can enter, and setting specific times for elderly or at-risk people to check out books. Call your local library if you have specific questions on their day to day operations during the pandemic.

Libraries are committed to changing and bettering their communities — especially in the COVID Crisis. They are a popular hub for town forums, hosting events to showcase local artists, and providing a free space for entrepreneurs to work — and that’s just to name a few of their functions. It’s understood that the library’s physical location may be closed, so app developers have figured out ways to check out books online. Apps like Libby from OverDrive allow you to check out books from your local library. All you need is your library card.

Libraries are key to a thriving community

While many Americans normally work from home, they have been joined by millions of new folks who are now telecommuting. Whether you are brand new to the world of remote work or if you’ve telecommuted for years, your local public library can help you stay productive and connected during this challenging period.

Don’t have a library card? Not to worry — many public libraries have made it quick and easy to sign up for one online. The massive amount of free resources it provides, mixed with their willingness to be flexible and change with the times, makes libraries one of the most beneficial government organizations. Libraries have given back the public tenfold. It’s become more important than ever to preserve them.


Amsterdamlılara bisikletlerine takmak için bir ön tekerlek verilmiş, bu tekerlek bisiklet gittikçe enerji depoluyor ve özel bisiklet parkı alanına park ettikleri zaman caddenin ışıklarını aydınlatacak kadar elektrik sağlıyor…


A warming center for the homeless community that was set up in Rochester, Minnesota, after the coronavirus outbreak. It’s being staffed by some staff members of the Rochester Public Library. Photo courtesy of Rochester Public Library

When the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Carroll County, Tennessee, the local library shut its doors within a half-hour of the announcement.

Jennifer Thornton, director of the Carroll County Library, initially saw the closure as a silver lining for her tiny staff of three. There would be more time now to do some much-needed inventory of their materials.

But just because Carroll County Library has been closed to foot traffic since March, it doesn’t mean the librarians aren’t still engaging and supporting the public.

Like so many other services, libraries around the country have had to quickly adapt to the shutdowns and distancing measures put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but also to figure out how to reach the most vulnerable members of their communities under the new restrictions.

In Carroll Country, people are using the new curbside book pickup, set up by Thornton’s staff in response to the virus. Community members can also still access critical digital services, like WiFi, in light of the economic downturn.

When one regular was suddenly laid off from her job, she turned to the library and its staff for help applying for unemployment benefits online. She only had a mobile device, and she was having trouble completing her application on the state’s website. “She was truly worried. And you could tell. There was a legitimate fear there,” Thornton said.

Thornton and her staff put on gloves and masks and helped the woman troubleshoot the process on her phone with her, all the while remaining 6 feet apart from one another. They helped her figure out her password and where to find answers to her questions about applying for benefits, and the woman was able to submit her application.

“We were able to perfectly remain socially distant, and she is currently receiving her unemployment now,” Thornton said.

But like businesses affected by the pandemic, librarians also have to worry about their bottom line, and some fear that funding cuts this year could affect their ability to serve these patrons in the future.

Bridging the digital divide

Some 21 million people in the U.S. live without a broadband internet connection, 30 percent of whom are in rural areas. Many librarians working in rural counties say that the “digital divide” — the disparity in internet access among individuals of different demographics and socioeconomic status — has been even more apparent in their communities since the coronavirus outbreak began.

“The digital divide hits very hard for vulnerable communities” that live paycheck to paycheck “and may not have the resources to pay for high speed internet in their homes or for a computer,” said Ramiro Salazar, director of the San Antonio Public Library and president of the Public Library Association. Salazar said he recently received a request from San Antonio city leadership to reopen their facilities with social distancing measures in place so members of the community can use WiFi and public computers, in light of the digital divide there.

In Story City, Iowa, many of the Bertha Bartlett Public Library’s patrons have typically relied on the space for a variety of resources, from filing their taxes to getting set up with their new digital devices. Director Kolleen Taylor joked that her library is a sort of “free Best Buy” for the community. She said that they have set up an extra WiFi channel that’s not password protected and has a range that extends 30 to 50 feet away from the building. Taylor said people will sit in their cars or on a bench outside the library for hours to use it.“We know we’re more than books, but I think a lot of times people really don’t truly understand all the facets that a library plays in a community.”

After the Story City library shut its doors for social distancing measures, they set up an emergency computer station in a separate building right next door, in case patrons need WiFi to address economic concerns, such as checking on tax refunds or applying for benefits.

Amid nationwide shutdown orders, patrons across the country are unable to check out physical books from the library. So many libraries have scrambled to ramp up their digital offerings in recent weeks.

While patrons of the William B. Harlan Memorial Library in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, can use curbside pickup to check out physical books, director Monica Edwards said they’ve also made a more concerted effort to train staff on using social media. The point is to get the word out about the services they continue to offer. They started a social media challenge asking senior high school students to share videos describing how they’re feeling about missing out on the rituals that most teens typically get to experience.

Edwards said many graduating seniors in her library’s small town have submitted poignant videos about being unable to participate in the Senior Walk, where they visit their former elementary schools and say goodbye to their teachers.

Edwards added that her library plans to archive all the material they’ve gotten from the seniors in their genealogy room. “In our little county, this is making history,” she said.

The Tompkinsville librarian acknowledged that there is, broadly, an inherent contradiction in efforts to ramp up digital outreach to communities while a stark digital divide remains for people of lower incomes in both urban and rural areas. Without WiFi, many patrons can’t access a public library’s online services. That’s why Edwards’ library is currently working to purchase modems to drive out to remote areas — either with their mobile library or another form of transportation — so that patrons in the vicinity have a signal to access their services.

“You have to create ways that people can access the internet,” Edwards said. “It is a contradiction, but it’s what our world is right now.”

At the same time, increasing digital access isn’t a substitute for all the ways librarians help people when they’re allowed to gather. Kolleen Taylor said that when patrons are “forced” to go online for all the services the library usually provides, “we’re leaving out a big portion of our communities all across the country. Not everybody is going to be a computer nerd. Not everybody’s keeping up with technology.”

She said her staff has spent a considerable amount of time with older people teaching them how to download and use e-books, and she still worries that without ongoing connections at the library, elderly patrons aren’t getting a lot of opportunity to stimulate their minds outside of the ongoing crisis.

Taking on new roles

In some bigger cities, librarians are being deployed to aid in coronavirus response efforts. San Francisco librarians, for example, are currently being trained to help with the city’s contact tracing effort. A number of libraries with 3D printers have started making face shields and other personal protective equipment for health workers. And in San Antonio, libraries are working with the housing department to provide support for their coronavirus response, according to Salazar.

Many of the 173 staff members from the Rochester Public Library in Minnesota have taken on new roles since the space closed under the state’s stay-at-home order. Library director Audrey Betcher now serves as a section chief of Health and Human Services, running a day center for the city’s homeless population that was set up in response to the coronavirus.

Betcher’s staff also manages a COVID-19 hotline, directing calls to various county workers who field questions from the public about the virus.

“I joke that that’s one thing I didn’t learn in library school,” Betcher said. Nonetheless, she said her staff knows a lot of people who have come through the day center for the homeless. Betcher said they were prepared to take on the work.

“I love that the library has really led the way on this. We need to serve our most vulnerable,” she added.

Many libraries have continued to offer emergency meals to patrons, even with their facilities closed. Carroll County Library partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to serve as a pickup site for food.

“We know we’re more than books, but I think a lot of times people really don’t truly understand all the facets that a library plays in a community,” said Carroll County director Jennifer Thornton. “It’s truly the last safe haven — you don’t get that a lot.”

Worrying about future funding

Librarians know that once their facilities do re-open, they will have to adapt to a different reality, working in and with communities whose needs are different than they were at the beginning of this year.

When it comes to coronavirus-related anxieties, many librarians said funding was at the top of their list.

With the economy taking a significant hit during the pandemic, many city and county governments will be bringing in less tax revenue this year than they did in previous years. Ramiro Salazar said that San Antonio is projecting an $80 million shortfall. That means the library will likely have to rethink its budget.

A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, on April 8, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/ Marco Bello

“Unfortunately, in spite of the great value of what libraries provide to the community, we’re concerned they will be one of the first services to be impacted by any reduction in services by city or county governments,” Salazar said. “So we’re very, very fearful for the future.”

Even as libraries feel pressure to invest in converting more of their services to digital, they worry about being able to keep their staff employed full-time next year. Most said they’ll cut other services before they lay off employees. “Since this all started, nobody’s been getting any sleep. You worry about your staff and morale,” said Monica Edwards, director of the library in Tomkinsville, Kentucky.

Already, libraries have had to lay off or furlough their staff due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Callan Bignoli, who directs the library at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Boston, has been tracking these developments and tweeting about the issue using the hashtag #ProtectLibraryWorkers. She estimates that about 150 libraries in the U.S. and Canada have laid off or furloughed staff thus far, affecting thousands of library workers.

While many librarians are expecting to have to readjust their services due to funding cuts next year, some say that for now they’re just trying to get used to working in a space where no one is reading or checking out books like they used to.

“It’s sad. If you work in the library field, the books sitting on the shelf are like your babies,” said Story City librarian Kolleen Taylor.

“It’s so quiet, it’s abnormal,” she said of her library, which would have seen about 100 visitors a day. Now, she’s processing returned books when there are no other staff members — or members of the community — present. They sit unused on the shelves or in a decontamination area where they’ve been cleaned with clorox wipes and lysol fumes.

It’s a picture that would’ve been unimaginable at the end of last year, but became the new normal for libraries following the coronavirus outbreak. Taylor and others hope it’s temporary, but in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to lend guidance and hope.

By —Courtney Vinopal

Courtney Vinopal is a general assignment reporter at the PBS NewsHour.


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 23, 2020

The Future of Jobs Report 2020 by #WorldEconomicForum

The Future of Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the next five years.


“Early cookbooks were fit for kings,” writes Henry Notaker at The Atlantic. “The oldest published recipe collections” in the 15th and 16th centuries in Western Europe “emanated from the palaces of monarchs, princes, and grand señores.” Cookbooks were more than recipe collections—they were guides to court etiquette and sumptuous records of luxurious living. In ancient Rome, cookbooks functioned similarly, as the extravagant fourth century Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome demonstrates.

Written by Apicius, “Europe’s oldest [cookbook] and Rome’s only one in existence today”—as its first English translator described it—offers “a better way of knowing old Rome and antique private life.” It also offers keen insight into the development of heavily flavored dishes before the age of refrigeration. Apicus recommends that “cooks who needed to prepare birds with a ‘goatish smell’ should bathe them in a mixture of pepper, lovage, thyme, dry mint, sage, dates, honey, vinegar, broth, oil and mustard,” Melanie Radzicki McManus notes at How Stuff Works.

Early cookbooks communicated in “a folksy, imprecise manner until the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s,” when standard (or metric) measurement became de rigueur. The first cookbook by an American, Amelia Simmons’ 1796 American Cookery, placed British fine dining and lavish “Queen’s Cake” next to “johnny cake, federal pan cake, buckwheat cake, and Indian slapjack,” Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald write at Smithsonian, all recipes symbolizing “the plain, but well-run and bountiful American home.” With this book, “a dialogue on how to balance the sumptuous with the simple in American life had begun.”

Cookbooks are windows into history—markers of class and caste, documents of daily life, and snapshots of regional and cultural identity at particular moments in time. In 1950, the first cookbook written by a fictional lifestyle celebrity, Betty Crocker, debuted. It became “a national best-seller,” McManus writes. “It even sold more copies that year than the Bible.” The image of the perfect Stepford housewife may have been bigger than Jesus in the 50s, but Crocker’s career was decades in the making. She debuted in 1921, the year of publication for another, more humble recipe book: the Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church Ladies’ Aid Society of Chicago’s Pilgrim Cook Book.

As Ayun Halliday noted in an earlier post, this charming collection features recipes for “Blitz Torte, Cough Syrup, and Sauerkraut Candy,” and it’s only one of thousands of such examples at the Internet Archive’s Cookbook and Home Economics Collection, drawn from digitized special collections at UCLA, Berkeley, and the Prelinger Library. When we last checked in, the collection featured 3,000 cookbooks. It has grown since 2016 to a library of 10,600 vintage examples of homespun Americana, fine dining, and mass marketing.

Laugh at gag-inducing recipes of old; cringe at the pious advice given to women ostensibly anxious to please their husbands; and marvel at how various international and regional cuisines have been represented to unsuspecting American home cooks. (It’s hard to say whether the cover or the contents of a Chinese Cook Book in Plain English from 1917 seem more offensive.) Cookbooks of recipes from the American South are popular, as are covers featuring stereotypical “mammy” characters. A more respectful international example, 1952’s Luchow’s German Cookbook gives us “the story and the favorite dishes of America’s most famous German restaurant.”

There are guides to mushrooms and “commoner fungi, with special emphasis on the edible varieties”; collections of “things mother used to make” and, most practically, a cookbook for leftovers. And there is every other sort of cookbook and home ec. manual you could imagine. The archive is stuffed with helpful hints, rare ingredients, unexpected regional cookeries, and millions of minute details about the habits of these books’ first hungry readers.

Related Content:

The New York Times Makes 17,000 Tasty Recipes Available Online: Japanese, Italian, Thai & Much More

Archive of Handwritten Recipes (1600 – 1960) Will Teach You How to Stew a Calf’s Head and More

A Database of 5,000 Historical Cookbooks–Covering 1,000 Years of Food History–Is Now Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness


Posted by: bluesyemre | October 23, 2020

The People’s Libraries

This week’s Princh Library Blog post was written by recurring guest writer Edgardo Civallero. The post elaborates on the nature of the people’s libraries, also known as popular libraries, in Latin America, and the different initiatives these libraries are taking for their communities.

Popular Libraries

In Latin America, a “popular” library would be —sticking to the definition of this adjective provided by the Royal Spanish Academy of the Language— a unit of information “belonging to or relating to the people”. Or, perhaps using other meanings provided by the same dictionary, it would be a library “belonging to or related to the less favored part of society” or “that is available to people with fewer economic resources or less cultural development”.

Whether or not it has something to do with such definitions, in Abya Yala a “popular library” is one that has been created at the initiative of the people and that, generally, works in an autonomous and autarkic way, without support or official guidelines of any kind.

This definition runs into a notable exception: the popular libraries of Argentina, created by community initiative but legally recognized (Act 419 / 1870 and Act 23351 / 1986) and supported by a National Commission (CONABIP) which, if a handful of basic conditions are met, provides certain services (legal support, professional training) and some minimal resources, so that all the units that make up its network can keep their collection updated. There are, obviously, Argentinean popular libraries that are not (nor seek to be) recognized by CONABIP and that assume other forms of action (and, sometimes, other labels, such as “community” or “rural”). A good example is the “Luna Abierta” Popular Library, a multifaceted space carrying out a good number of activities that has been operating since 2007 in Barrio Güemes, in the city of Córdoba, as part of the civil association Teatro La Luna, a group that has been working since 1986.

Truly Popular Libraries

Although they exist throughout the entirety of Latin America, very clear examples of how a truly “popular” library works can be found in Chile. There, these types of initiatives are more striking because they coexist with a powerful National System of Public Libraries (SNBP), a network that works in agreement with the DIBAM (Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums). A national system that, as the mere existence of popular libraries reveals, does not cover all the corners of the Chilean geography nor all the needs of the potential users of a library service.

In the capital, Santiago, there are various projects —including some traveling libraries— that try to bring the pleasure of books and reading to every neighborhood or, at least, to take it out onto the streets; something that many “conventional” libraries don’t even contemplate doing. In 2012, Francisco Infante showed a minimal fraction of the work carried out by such initiatives in a documentary titled precisely “Bibliotecas populares”. Despite its brevity, the film perfectly illustrates the diversity of proposals and, above all, the challenges and difficulties faced by those who decide to organize and carry out one of these library activities. Who, by the way, are not usually librarians.

Other equally interesting popular proposals are being developed in the rest of the Andean country. It is worth highlighting one that has been developed for the longest time, and which is based on the port city of Valparaíso: the “Red de Bibliotecas Populares de Gran Valparaíso” (Network of Popular Libraries of Greater Valparaíso, RBPGV), which extends through the neighborhoods located in the more than forty hills that make up the most outstanding geographical feature of that city.

Currently, the RBPGV groups together a dozen libraries, which carry out their activities in areas where, otherwise, it would be difficult for library services of any kind to reach. One of them is the “Ernesto Guevara de la Serna” library, built with the collaboration of the people in the neighborhood Población La Victoria, a “toma” (land taken / appropriated by the community) located right at the entrance of the famous Viña del Mar, a seaside resort close to Valparaiso. It can be said that the library was literally kneaded and built by the hands of the community itself.

The Purpose

On occasions, popular libraries seek to respond to the specific need of a community to have a space where books can be read and the approach to different cultural expressions, both local and global, can be developed. In others, they are chosen by socio-political movements and cultural activist groups as tools to facilitate and provoke a change in their society or, at least, in that part of the social fabric that they may affect.

Be that as it may, both uses make clear, on the one hand, the transforming power that libraries may have (“libraries” understood as spaces where people come into contact with knowledge). In this regard, a library can be —and in fact, it has been and continues to be— an excellent instrument of struggle to achieve more just and egalitarian societies. And, on the other, the need for free and creative library spaces that shed the rules and labels that constrain them and seek, rather than conform to “library” standards, to respond to their users’ real needs and expectations.

Which is, in short, what every library should consider as its main mission: to be of the people, for the people and by the people. That is, “popular”.

Edgardo Civallero

Coordinator. Library & Archive. Charles Darwin Foundation. Puerto Ayora. Santa Cruz Island. Galapagos Islands


“Daha çok kız kardeşimin yükseklere kanat çırpmasını istiyorum. Zira özgürlük, hiçbir zaman kadınların kolay kolay elde edebildiği bir şey olmadı.”

Executive Summary

Over the past twenty years, the place of the academic health sciences library (AHSL) within the university has changed markedly. These institutions include libraries that may support schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and public health. Once, they may have been established as separate entities, serving a single school or campus, but many are now consolidated under a larger university library. Have these consolidations and mergers improved the services offered or impacted cost or service quality? What new structures have emerged and how well do they meet researchers’ and clinicians’ needs?

To address these research questions, we interviewed AHSL directors and leaders from university libraries. The key insights gained from the study based on the interviews conducted include:

  • Health sciences libraries in the United States have been evolving in response to the changes in health sciences education, research, policy, and practice. Their roles are expanding, particularly in the areas of research support, data management, bioinformatics, systematic reviews, assessment of research impact, and public outreach.
  • Regardless of the organizational model (independent or merged), the AHSL works closely with the main library and leverages the main library’s services and expertise. Across the board, AHSL budget models vary widely, often involving funds from multiple sources (e.g., university library, health sciences schools, hospitals, National Library of Medicine).
  • When the AHSL is a part of the main library system, key advantages include the ability to support interdisciplinary and cross-organizational work and to engage in large-scale collaborations within the library system. Potential disadvantages include losing administrative connection with the health sciences schools, facing challenges in providing specialized services such as biomedical data curation, and becoming a branch library with reduced prominence.
  • Independent AHSLs value being a part of the health sciences community at their institution, as well as the ability to make nimble decisions such as engaging in partnerships with the learning and research technologies staff at the schools they support. Potential disadvantages include instability of reporting relations in the face of organizational and leadership changes within the school and challenges in offering seamless services for campus-wide researchers.
  • When it comes to organizational structures, one size does not fit all. There are many organizational, financial, and leadership style variables that determine the success and satisfaction of AHSL directors. Because the AHSL serves a myriad of campus constituents including health care service providers, the directors made a case for having sufficient autonomy to harmonize services and procedures based on their user communities. So long as this autonomy is achieved while the AHSL’s budget is protected, the organizational structure itself can be developed in a variety of ways.
  • Regardless of organizational configuration, there is tremendous pressure to do more with less, save money, be efficient, and keep up with emerging or expanding service areas such as research data and bioinformatics support.[1] Regional and national associations and networks such as the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries (AAHSL) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) are important in providing leadership, guidance, and vision for AHSLs.

We hope that the findings will inform institutions that are considering or planning various kinds of reorganizations in the future. Although we focus on AHSLs, we believe that some of the insights gained through this study will apply to other types of specialized libraries as they share similar challenges in meeting the information needs of contemporary researchers and learners in specific professional or disciplinary communities.

Research Methodology

Literature Review

We initiated the study with a literature review and an analysis of organizational trends in order to understand how academic health sciences libraries are structured from the leadership, program, financial, IT, and HR perspectives in relation to the university libraries. Although a vast amount has been written about different health library programs (e.g., hospital library vs. AHSL), their collaborations, internal organizational structures, and new roles, we were not able to identify any recent studies that investigated the nature of reporting lines and funding structures that are specific to AHSLs.

AHSLs are concerned with the education, research, and clinical care values and missions of an institution and exist to support students, faculty, and affiliated clinicians. Traditionally, they have been primarily organized under one of three types of reporting structures:

  • Most commonly, the AHSL director reports to an administrator in a health sciences school (or a joint group if there are multiple schools).
  • Alternatively, the director reports to someone in the main campus library.
  • Although rare, some directors might report to another university-wide administrator.

The most relevant and prominent study on organizational structures was conducted by Amy G. Buhler and her colleagues in 2010 to examine the trends in reporting lines over the years and consider the strengths and weaknesses of different arrangements.[2] In addition to their analysis of 1977-2007 statistics from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), they also conducted an online survey and held phone interviews with six AAHSL library directors. The study indicated a change in the trend of external reporting lines of academic health sciences library directors. Although more institutional directors reported to a position within the health sciences center, the number was declining. Meanwhile, while the number of those reporting elsewhere on campus (e.g., the university library director or university administration) increased. According to the AAHSL statistics, during 1990-2007, 50 libraries had changed reporting structures, some more than once. In their online survey, 24 of the 68 respondents (about 35 percent) indicated they changed reporting structures during their tenure as director. A majority of respondents were “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” about their reporting structure whether they report within or outside of the health sciences center. However, a director with a reporting line with the health sciences center was more likely to be “very satisfied,” and they were more likely to respond “not satisfied” if they reported to the main campus. The key factor that determined satisfaction level was the autonomy to make budget, administrative, and service decisions. Also, the authors observed a “grass is greener” perception–some AHSL directors reporting to the health sciences center felt that it would be more advantageous to report to a library dean/director because of their advocacy role. Whereas some directors who reported outside the health science center thought that reporting to the health science center would align them more closely to leaders who understand the educational, research, and clinical mission of the center.

AHSLs are mission-driven organizations that thrive to align their programs and services based on needs and trends stemming from various health sciences fields. A quick review of such trends provided a framework for the study in order to understand the pressures and opportunities surrounding AHSLs:[3]

  • Health care establishments (e.g., academic health centers, hospitals, and clinics) have vibrant organizational structures as they go through mergers and restructurings triggered by various market forces such as health care reform initiatives and economic pressures.[4]
  • There is a trend for hospitals and health systems to consolidate with academic medical centers to leverage their assets. Such changes have implications on AHSLs as their user groups change in composition and numbers. For instance, one can envision the implications of such changes on licensing agreements that take into consideration FTE.[5]
  • Health sciences schools are evolving as they become more interdisciplinary and more holistic. As they transition to evidence-based-medicine, teaching and learning is much more evidence-based, requiring curriculum revamp.[6]
  • A growing emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinary research and new models of scientific communication (e.g., increasing reliance on large sets of research data, emphasis on replicability of findings, experiments to facilitate early dissemination through preprints, public access requirements to make research results broadly accessible) are changing these centers.
  • There continues to be fierce competition among academic health sciences organizations to recruit the best researchers and students as well as a growing need for demonstrating research impact and greater expectancy for accountability.
  • Evolving patient care practices, emerging requirements stemming from the Affordable Care Act, and other health policies require increasing the leveraging of technologies.
  • There is a growing emphasis on health literacy and community health initiatives (bench-to-community, not only bench-to-bed).
  • Advancements in technology continue to improve healthcare from electronic patient records to tele-health, and from artificial intelligence and augmented reality to personalized wearable medical devices.
  • The rise of data-driven health sciences aims to advance medicine and improve health outcomes by bringing new insights, requiring access to supporting services and expertise.

Research Questions and Interview Protocol

Following the literature review, we held a virtual meeting of the project advisory group, which includes leaders from academic health sciences libraries and university libraries, to review our research questions and get their input on the project scope and research methods.

The semi-structured interview guide aimed to seek insights on a number of issues:

  1. The AHSL as a separate entity versus integrated within the university library system:
    • Key success factors, positive outcomes, and opportunities
    • Potential risks, negative outcomes, lessons learned, and tradeoffs
  2. Role of consolidations and mergers on service quality:
    • User engagement, satisfaction, perception
    • Alignment with emerging needs of researchers and clinicians
  3. Impact of organizational changes on libraries:
    • Costs and resource allocations
    • Staff motivation and morale

The interview guide is included in Appendix A. Because the conversations are confidential, interviewees felt comfortable freely sharing their experiences.


The interviewees represented 28 of 129 AHSLs (as identified through AAHSL data) and included different library types, reporting relations, and university types as described in Table 1. Potential interviewees were contacted via email in June-July, 2020 and invited to participate in a 60-minutes confidential interview. We interviewed 36 individuals from 28 libraries including leaders of HS libraries and their supervisors. No effort was made to speak with paired leaders of AHSLs and their supervisors from the same institution.

Table 1: Sample Characteristics (28 AHSL)

Library TypeNumber
BML (Biomedical Library: MD + life sciences)5
FMGL (Full MS and Graduate Biomedical Sciences Library)5
FMOL (Full MS plus Other Schools Library)18
Reporting RelationNumber
Health Science College Admin3
University Admin2
Medical School9
University TypeNumber

Most of the interviewees have been in the field for several years and many have held other positions in libraries with different organizational configurations so their remarks were informed by their overall experiences, and were not limited to their current role.

The directors reporting to the health sciences schools had been in their current position for between two and 21 years, with an average of 8.9 years in the current position. Those reporting to the main library had held their current position for between one and 11 years, with an average of 3.7 years. The directors interviewed had long leadership careers, averaging 19 years of service in the health sciences field. The AHSL reporting to the academic side had between nine and 60 staff members, averaging 28.2. The AHSL reporting to the main library had between five and 35 staff members, averaging 16.8. Directors reported a larger staff in cases where the AHSL had merged with other STEM libraries.

Key Findings

Qualitative research is a situated activity. The interviews conducted in this study aimed to understand different points of view on the organizational structures of AHSLs. Rather than striving for generalizability, the following analysis aims to present various themes that emerged during the discussions with 36 interviewees. Therefore, the findings should be approached as an empirical snapshot of the insights, perceptions, and experiences of those interviewed rather than broad characterizations of organizational circumstances.

Core Services and Budget Configurations

When it comes to the core library services such as collection development, cataloging/metadata, acquisition, and ILL, regardless of whether the health science library (HSL) is reporting to School or UL, there is a blended service model that applies to all AHSLs included in this study. Almost all share the Integrated Library System with the main library and work closely with the university library’s technical services that provide cataloging, acquisition, and licensing services. Many are moving towards a centralized licensing system, trying to provide equal and consistent access for the entire university community, especially to support interdisciplinary research. They stress that collection building is not as specialized as it used to be and it is considered more of a commodity service that they would like to “outsource,” leveraging the main library’s services. Several mentioned scholarly communication as another collaboration area (e.g., organizing OA weeks, relying on the university library UL for copyright support). They often share IRs such as Digital Commons.

Across the board, the funding models of the AHSLs studied vary widely with no clear patterns. Some key findings include:

  • Many universities are implementing a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget model, under which units are responsible for managing their own revenues and expenditures for increased transparency into budget decisions and enhanced stewardship of funds.[7]
  • There are a range of budgetary arrangements, some involving funds from multiple sources (e.g., university library, health sciences schools, hospitals), and some single source (university library or health sciences schools).
  • Across the board, there is tremendous pressure to do more with less, save money, and be efficient. One of the interviewees, who reports to an academic dean, noted, “There have been lots of mergers involving hospitals and clinics to save money. Then there is pressure on my library system to continue the services at the same level without considering the consequences of organizational changes on my collections and services.”
  • Even if a part of a UL, sometimes funds come from the school; or just the opposite. For instance, some AHSLs within the academic side rely on some support from the main library through services (e.g., Integrated Library System) or subscriptions.

This study has not found any correlation between reporting structures and the scope of AHSL directors’ responsibilities. This might be due to the qualitative nature of the study and the limited sample size.

Making a Case for Autonomy

Each health sciences librarian interviewee made a point to mention that their library serves a myriad of campus constituents, including the school of medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, kinesiology, pharmacy, and allied health, in addition to affiliated hospitals and clinics. Some also provide services for the veterinary or biological sciences (especially merged STEM libraries within UL).  Accordingly, they made a case for needing sufficient autonomy based on their clients, including researchers, graduate and professional students, residents, clinicians, nurses, etc. One interviewee who reports to an academic dean captured this sentiment, noting, “Our mission, priorities, work circumstances are so different so academic health sciences libraries need the autonomy to meet the needs of clients. We need to be able to harmonize our services and procedures based on the HS school’s distinctive operational environment.”

Job satisfaction among the AHSL directors seemed to be quite high as many mentioned the gratification stemming from their participation in “saving lives” by supporting health sciences professionals. “Health sciences librarianship is such a rewarding field because my staff feel needed and well-respected,” stated one interviewee. Another director explained that, among research libraries, AHSLs often take the lead in rolling out new programs such as systematic reviews that were initially dedicated for health sciences users but expanded to other parts of the campus. Also, several interviewees offered examples to illustrate how effective the AHSL has been in integrating and embedding training in teaching and clinical research. Due to the emphasis on evidence-based practices in health sciences, AHSL staff remain active and visible with heavy demand for their instructional and reference services. Embedding a librarian within the clinical setting as part of the team allows the librarian to be proactive and collaborative, providing more immediate expertise at the point of need for the rest of the health care team and the patient.

Almost all interviewees stressed that health sciences schools are the main revenue generators at their university and are important in bringing grants, building institutional reputation, and contributing to the university’s revenue sources. One university librarian stressed that the health sciences have a different culture than the general university, describing the four-pillar mission of the library as education, research, clinical, and community engagement. Autonomy is important to the AHSL director reporting to the university librarian, “Working in partnership with a medical clinical enterprise is complicated and not everyone at the main library knows or appreciates how it operates.” On the same theme, another university librarian with the oversight of the AHSL noted, “Health sciences is the engine that generates research and clinical revenue through grants and patient care. Health sciences librarians need to attend to their constituents as they are a powerhouse for reputation building and bringing in money.”

Organizational Cultures and Leadership Styles Matter

Out of 28 AHSL directors included in the study, eight report to the university librarian or dean of libraries (one with a dotted line to the vice dean for health affairs at the medical school). Another six reported to an associate university librarian (one with a dotted line to the senior associate dean of the medical school). For those administratively situated in a Health Sciences Center, five were reporting to the dean or associate dean of the medical school and two to an executive vice dean or vice chancellor for academic affairs. Illustrating a wide range, AHSL directors within health sciences schools report to the chief administrative officer of the school of medicine, the dean of the graduate college and vice provost for health sciences, the dean of student affairs, the senior associate dean for academic affairs, the senior chancellor for health sciences administration, vice dean for clinical and translational research; vice president health affairs and academic provost; and vice provost for IT (see Table 2).

Table 2: Reporting Lines

UnitNumberReporting Lines
Library8Main Library Dean/University Librarian
Library6Main Library Associate University Librarian
School5Dean or Associate Dean for Medical School
School2Executive Vice Dean or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
School7Other senior leaders

Reporting relationships seem to be contextual and complicated, depending on many factors including the organizational and budget structures of a university. Being administratively situated within a university library or a health sciences school does not seem to be consistent. Elaborating on this principle, one of the library directors explained, “You cannot strip organizational models from the people aspect. Sometimes people can impede or empower reporting relationships. I have been in the field for a long time and can tell you that there is not an ideal configuration. It all depends on the circumstances of your health sciences campus, your deans, library leadership, and your university’s priorities and budget. You cannot rely on a reporting relationship as there is always job turnover and constant reorganizations and appointments.” Illustrating the last point made about the transient nature of leadership, one director explained, “I used to report to an academic dean who was very supportive of the library, but the new one does not seem to understand what libraries do.” Along the same lines, another interviewee (director reporting to the academic side) described, “Sometimes success and visibility relates to how the head of medical school views the library. If they love the library and they use the library, you are in. If you are unlucky, they don’t want to deal with the library and it is hard to get the library on the table.” The director continued describing how it boils down to personalities because libraries are in a service role and it all depends on how they are perceived by people who are high-level decision makers.

Several mentioned how the autonomy challenges can be mitigated if the library leadership recognizes the unique circumstances of a health sciences library and provides sufficient autonomy to serve their clientele. Some with reporting lines to the main library mentioned how supportive their ULs are and how much freedom they were allowed to run their libraries. As one noted, “Regardless of where you are organizationally located, you need to network and find opportunities to work closely with your user groups.”

It was evident from the interviews that the topic of reporting relations is a commonly discussed issue in the health sciences librarian community. One library director, who reported to the vice dean for educational affairs, said, “When I talk with my colleagues about their reporting relationships, we all agree that it is all about the ability to maintain autonomy and being able to function as a special library; avoid being a branch library that becomes a uniform service point.” Almost all the library directors with health science school reporting lines stressed the importance of working closely with the main library. “I am able to stay in touch and benefit from the university library without reporting to the dean of libraries,” said one director, explaining that it was about relationship-building and knowing when and how to collaborate without giving up the library’s autonomy. One director who reported to the chief information officer was empowered to deliver many new, high-value research data and bioinformatics services for which the library can charge back.

The interviews revealed that the AHSL can be siloed even when it is part of the main library system. By the same token the AHSL can work well and collaborate broadly with the main library even if it is independent. “When I arrived at the university, my library was siloed although we were administratively a part of the library. Decisions were being made without consulting with me and my staff,” said one director. The director had needed to work hard to change the culture.

Whether they report to a library leader or a dean, AHSL directors see their supervisors as busy senior leaders who don’t have enough time to understand the intricacies of the AHSL. The leaders act more as sounding boards. Library directors from both organizational types explained that they meet with their supervisors usually once a month or as needed, often to go over financial or facilities related issues. During the interviews, it was common to hear comments such as, “I rarely meet with the person [associate dean of health sciences school] I report to as he has a lot of stuff to attend to and the library is not on his radar. But I keep him in the loop. I am not being micromanaged. He trusts me, gives me autonomy, and knows that I work with the right people.” The programmatic issues are often discussed by other specialized senior leaders such as a dean of finance or lead of a specific research group. One of the deans of libraries candidly remarked, “When I was appointed, I did not have much knowledge of health sciences librarianship. I have the good fortune of having an excellent [AHSL] director who is so experienced and is trying to educate me.” The library dean went on to explain the differences between the AHSL and the rest of the campus, “They are different worlds, there are different expectations. They truly function in a digital library world as informationists.”

Almost all directors interviewed stressed that their visions were informed through their professional network and collaborations with other libraries and the regional and national network such as the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries or the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Illustrating this point, one director (reporting to an academic dean) said, “I often rely on my AAHSL peers for ideas. Sometimes I survey them to see who is doing what.” The director pointed out that the NLM was critical, noting “That’s where I get my leadership guidance and inspiration.”

When it comes to organizational structures, one size does not fit all and it is difficult to make any generalizations. There are many variables that determine the success and an AHSL director’s satisfaction level:

  • Size and complexity of the health sciences schools and affiliated organizations such as hospitals and clinics;
  • University’s administrative culture (e.g., distributed versus centralized authority) and structure;
  • Relationship (governance and finance) between the main campus and the health sciences schools;
  • Leadership qualities and styles of the supervisors in regard to their understanding of the unique qualities of the AHSL and willingness to allow autonomy;
  • Source of funding as it varies regardless of organizational type;
  • Physical proximity of the main and health campuses and buildings.

Insights from AHSLs within the Main Library

The study included 14 health science libraries that are organizationally included in the main library system. The interviewees in this category included 14 AHSL directors and six university librarians and associate university librarians (reporting lines). Among the libraries studied, the merger with the main library took place between four and 26 years ago, representing a broad span (33 percent merged more than five years ago).[8] Only one library mentioned that there were some initial discussions about a future merger with the main library. The following section provides a summary of the opinions on the effectiveness of the organizational model.

What Works Well

Supporting interdisciplinary and cross-organizational work. Being part of a system with different specialized libraries may allow more opportunities for supporting interdisciplinary and cross-organizational collaborations. Emphasizing this issue, one Associate University Librarian (AUL) said, “We see ourselves as one library system and the model works quite well from my perspective. We [university library] continue to learn from them [HS library]. Explaining that they look for ways they can find inroads, “Their curriculum work gives us good insights but it is hard to do it in arts and sciences or engineering as we do not have a seat in shaping the curriculum.” One university librarian (UL) echoed a similar sentiment, “In my opinion, medical schools gain from affiliation with the university library. I recognize that the medical school work is different and I give her [HSL director] a great deal of freedom. I do not give the same level of independence to other branch libraries.” However, the UL was quick to note, “Overall I think integration is better but I know that some medical library people by default prefer to be independent.”

Collaborating at scale. If AHSL directors are given sufficient power within the main library system, there are opportunities for collaborating on larger-scale projects that would benefit both the health sciences and the main library. Stressing this benefit, a library director who reports to a dean of library noted, “The current arrangement works well because I have lots of autonomy and take advantage of library services [offered by the main library] so that my staff can focus on health-specific services.”

Maintaining neutral grounds. In universities with various health sciences schools (medical, dentistry, nursing, etc.), some felt that being a part of the main library allows the AHSL to be independent without a close association to only one of the schools. “I am okay with being under the university library as it provides a neutral space,” said a library director with more than two decades of experience, continuing, “I have a good relationship with the new UL . . . who is trying to understand the landscape and does not seem to be interested in the details of my work anyway.”

Providing financial security. For some AHSLs with a small staff and financial challenges, being a part of a larger library system might provide some protection and shelter from budget cuts. A university librarian described how the recent integration worked well as they can now offer greater resources in support of interdisciplinary work. The AHSL director at the same institution (on a separate interview) elaborated on this benefit, “What has changed for the library is that integration allows us to take advantage of many resources that the main library is providing.” They were able to get services from the main library before the merger too but now the process is streamlined and formalized. Another AHSL director who is reporting to a dean of libraries made an important point about the importance of staying connected with the academic side: “We need to proactively forge relationships and it should always be seen as work in progress.” Another interviewee described meeting with each health sciences dean regularly, “So the fact that I report to the main library does not seem to affect my ability to align and network with the health sciences colleges.”


Losing visibility and agency. A number of interviewees, especially AHSL directors who report to an AUL, described the risk of being buried in the hierarchy of branch libraries and the library administration. Several interviewees mentioned that they feel pressure to advocate for health sciences clients and articulate why they are different from other branch libraries. One AHSL director explained, “I have to go through an enormous process to justify why the university library system needs to invest in my library. We are now dealing with shrinking collection budgets and need to participate in cancelling our Elsevier package. I tried so hard to explain how devastating the lack of access will be for my faculty and practitioners but the process was heavily driven with an open access agenda.” Illustrating the complexity of the situation, another director felt that when the AHSL was a part of the school prior to the merger, it was recognized as an academic partner. Since the merger eight years ago, it was getting increasingly difficult to explain the role and scope of his library to faculty and researchers, “Often I hear why libraries still need so much money when everything is online and there is more OA content. The main library pushes for OA but we will suffer if we don’t have a plan to rebrand ourselves. If everything is free, what is the reason for investing so much into the library?”

Communicating distinguishing attributes. AHSLs can be siloed and left out even in an integrated system. Some AHSL directors feel that they are constantly trying to educate their library colleagues about their unique programs and needs and how they are serving a different clientele. “We have been doing what the university library has been aspiring to do for years successfully with a huge demand for our services such as research data, systematic reviews, and integration into the curriculum,” explained one AHSL director interviewed. Although they were ahead of the curve in offering innovative services, the AHLS staff sometimes felt underappreciated by the main library staff.

Supporting data curation. Many interviewees expressed concerns about the scope and effectiveness of their data curation program. One explained, “We have capacity only to provide instruction on best practices but do not have resources to offer data curation services. I don’t see it getting any better given the current budget situation.” This director felt that the research data support programs in university libraries try to serve too many subject areas and as a result biomedicine does not get sufficient attention (especially for data curation beyond awareness building programs).

Other drawbacks mentioned included:

  • The main library policies and procedures may not align with the health science library culture. As one AHSL director explained, “We need to rely on the library’s lengthy timeline and process for hiring.” The director added that there were too many committees and meetings at the main library, many with little relevance to AHSL priorities.
  • The trend to shift reporting relation from UL to AUL is disconcerting mainly because directors felt that they were no longer “a part of the decision making and cannot take advantage of the authority and recognition the UL can bring.”
  • The main library collection policies sometimes can inhibit acquiring clinical resources, especially software and other research applications.
  • AHSL directors want their libraries to be recognized as specialized libraries, not branch libraries.

Effect of Merger on Resources

One of the research questions of the study involved the impact of organizational changes on library budget and staff morale. Subsequently, we were interested in exploring how mergers might have impacted service quality. Among the AHSLs studied, mergers with the main library took place between four and 26 years ago, representing a broad span. The library directors and university librarians interviewed cited various motivations behind the mergers. For instance, some consolidations were prompted by the structural reorganization of health sciences schools or a change of leadership (especially affecting the AHSL director’s reporting line). At one library, the newly appointed university librarian made a case to the health sciences school that unification would lead to improved and modernized services. Some of the AHSL directors were hired after the merger so they were not able to reflect on why and how the organizational change took place. None of the interviewees in this study cited immediate cost savings as the main motivation behind mergers. However, service effectiveness and cost-efficiency were listed as motivating factors behind combining multiple STEM (e.g., chemistry, physics, engineering, etc.) and health science libraries under one branch library.

Almost every AHSL director interviewed mentioned the importance of rolling out mergers carefully and thoughtfully. “You need to include people in the process so that it is happening with them, not to them, and build trust,” said an AHSL director, continuing, “There was some resistance and confusion along the way, a strong sense of loss. As we were planning the merger, there were retirements and opportunities to recruit a new group of librarians who knew that the reporting structure was evolving.”

When asked about user reactions to mergers, the most common response was that some researchers and faculty initially complain but then quickly get used to the new structure.  This sentiment was captured by an AHSL director who oversaw the merger process a few years ago, “Faculty and researchers were first a bit worried when we started talking about the merger plans. But then they quickly were oblivious to the changes. They just wanted to make sure that the service quality would not suffer and they will be able to get help at the same caliber.”

Insights from AHSLs within Health Sciences Schools

The study included 14 AHSLs that are organizationally under the academic side of a university. The interviewees in this category included 14 AHSL library directors and two administrators they report to. The following section provides a summary of the opinions on the effectiveness of the organizational model.

What Works Well

Having a sense of community. The library directors described how this organizational arrangement allowed them to be part of the health sciences community. “It is very helpful to be at the table with the deans and faculty when you are reporting to an academic leader,” stated one interviewee, “You are automatically included in meetings and other forms of communication.” Stressing the importance of professional identity, one director noted, “We sit on the curriculum and other academic committees. We are able to network with associate deans in charge of finance and facilities.”

Remaining nimble. Another advantage associated with an organizational affiliation with the school was the ability to make nimble decisions without spending too much time trying to build consensus and aligning policies and practice with the main library (e.g. print vs. electronic purchase decisions, circulation period for materials checked-out, expedited ILL, etc.).  This point was illustrated by a library director from a large public health sciences center, “We have too much going on with a sense of urgency so we try to be proactive and avoid library committees and need to make quick decisions. I can work with the university library or they can work with us anytime it makes sense. Not being one unified unit does not mean that we don’t work together. We collaborate as needed but I need to remain very focused.”

Partnering with health sciences technologists. An important recurring theme was the appreciation for engaging in partnerships with the school’s information technology units with expertise in learning and research technologies specifically for health sciences disciplines. Highlighting the importance of biomedical data acumen, a director said, “I would not have access to the same high caliber technology support if I were merely dependent on the main library’s IT group.” The director went on to describe that the main library’s IT group was overwhelmed with an implementation of a new Library Management System and were spread thin with limited capacity. Several directors described their efforts in experimenting with virtual reality (VR) equipment and 3-D publishing in collaboration with academic technologists and faculty involved in the curriculum renovation. For instance, two of the AHSLs included in this study were testing an empathy tutorial to help students understand what a patient goes through and improve their communication skills.  Another example was a VR anatomy program that allows medical students to zoom in and around a human body, from various angles. One interviewee described how software vendors were aggressively marketing new learning and research workflow tools and described the AHSL’s efforts in piloting them to assess their effectiveness in supporting learning and teaching.

Providing embedded data services. Research data management was often described as a priority service area—this was not limited to the health science libraries within the academic side. However, the AHSL directors within health sciences schools felt that they had better access to the required resources and expertise and emphasized the importance of working with individuals who understand biomedical. policies, procedures, and workflows (especially involving clinical trials and human subjects). They also stressed the importance of working with IT teams with a knowledge of electronic medical records and privacy and security policies that pertain to health sciences data. Inevitably, the libraries included in this study illustrated the variations in service scope and depth based on the stature and financial resources of their home institution. Even for AHSLs within the academic side, research data programs were often described as work-in-progress. One interviewee explained, “We recognize that working with our constituents on data management, discovery, and reuse is critical. However, we are struggling to do it well. It is difficult to scale our services.” Explaining that their team is trying to follow the guidance from the NLM, one interviewee stated, “My vision is building an increasing number of tools to support research data and bioinformatics. It is important that my staff understands the nature of data created and published locally.” Noting that they are seen as an essential partner in research data support, the director explained, “I have built a research reproducibility service in collaboration with several departments within the school. We can deal with lifecycle management when the practice is integrated into daily work rather than trying to curate data at the end.”

Justifying the budget. The budgetary arrangements vary widely regardless of organizational models. One AHSL director made an interesting observation, “When I defend the library budget during [the school’s] planning meetings, sometimes I am asked why the library spends so much money on journals.” With increasing open access, more and more researchers feel that it is all out there free and question why the library is still spending so much money on subscriptions. This increases pressure to add more value-added services such as systematic reviews to illustrate the value of the library, “Licensing a bunch of databases is not important enough.”. Several other directors with reporting lines to the academic side also mentioned that they have their budget challenges just like anyone else. One director elaborated, “I know that I need to have budget reductions and do my part when my school is under pressure. Everybody knows about the school’s financial hardship so we are not questioned about why our services are curtailed.”

Potential Benefits of Merging with the Main Library

Maintaining stability. In some health sciences schools, the reporting relations are in flux due to new appointments or organizational changes. Several AHSL directors with reporting lines to the school commented that frequent changes in reporting lines sometimes have consequences for their reporting relationship, which can be problematic. However, the directors interviewed noted that they make it work as they seldom have meetings with their supervisors and have quite a bit of autonomy anyway. On the other hand, some wondered if being under the main library might enable more stability. “In some cases, it might make sense for the dean of libraries to represent the entire system, stated an AHSL director. “But the university librarian hardly has time to develop an understanding of what’s going on in the health sciences libraries.” Nevertheless, there were variations in the way the library directors characterized their sentiments on reporting relations. “I see benefits to both sides,” pointed out one interviewee. Noting that this might be “a minority view,” the director said, “we will be better off if we become a part of the main library as I can take advantage of the library system better.” However, the director does have concerns about the organizational change process and thought that it would be “painful” based on staff members’ anxieties and reactions.

Protecting the budget. Interviewees described several other ways the AHLS could benefit from close administrative alignment with the main library. One director wondered if a merger with the main library could provide some safety and security in face of budget cuts due to the status of the library dean on campus. Another pondered about the value of shared advocacy strategies, “Now I don’t have easy access to fundraising support and need to coordinate it with the med school development office.” The director went on to explain that the main library has a dedicated development and communication support unit and was quick to point out that the main library is running several units with competing priorities. The director questioned if and how the AHSL needs will rise to the top and if so how it would be perceived by other branch library directors.

Supporting interdisciplinary scholarship. There was a strong recognition of the expanding importance of interdisciplinary and cross-college collaborations, for instance in global health, and the need to make services more seamless for researchers across the board. Almost all AHSLs reporting to the school mentioned that the potential merger with the university library comes up from time to time but is not being considered now (as they don’t see a compelling case). Only one indicated that there were some initial discussions about merging.

Concluding Remarks: Priorities and Challenges

Health sciences libraries, similarly to all research libraries, continue to be in a perpetual mode of innovation and rebranding. All libraries are grappling with budget constraints, changing technical environments, and reskilling the workforce to keep pace with new requirements and health sciences libraries are no exception. This study aimed to understand different points of view on the organizational structures of AHSLs rather than striving for generalizability. Regardless of the organizational type, the following themes emerged in the interviews with the AHSL directors as some potential differentiating factors:

  • They value and appreciate the services provided by the main library; however, they don’t feel a strong alignment with the main library’s priorities and strategic directions.[9]
  • Engaging in close collaborations with health sciences faculty and researchers to support evidence-based medicine, especially through integration into the curriculum and engaged learning, is an important priority.
  • While systematic reviews are very popular and well established, increasing capacity to match the demand was a problem for everyone interviewed.
  • AHSLs included in this study are engaged in research data support but at varying levels, and the most valued collaborations are with the academic IT and bioinformatics research groups within the health sciences schools.
  • Many are active in licensing and supporting research workflow tools to support data visualization and statistical and bibliometrics analysis for faculty, students, researchers, and clinicians (often in collaboration with the health sciences academic technology or units, and some thorough a cost recovery system as they charge the labs/units).
  • Some are positioning themselves as “informationists”—merging the knowledge and expertise of a healthcare professional with the information retrieval skills of a librarian for searching for literature, building information literacy through teaching, providing data management services, and assisting in the overall research process.
  • Several interviewees mentioned that they either hired a person or revised the job description of an existing staff member to lead communications, especially social media, to promote services.

Community outreach and service is an important and gratifying part of the AHSL staff member’s job. “We are trying to identify and respond to the information needs of health professionals in the community and the general public in the state, with special attention given to the needs of minorities and other underserved populations,” explained one interviewee (HSS). The director described how they work closely with the state’s public health and public library staff to provide orientations to the public about accessing and using reputable free information sources. Another interviewee described staff outreach efforts to engage with patients and their families. Several interviewees referred to their participation in the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), which aims to provide equal access to biomedical information to enable the public to make informed decisions about their health.[10]

Whether the preference is for administrative affiliation with the main library or the academic side, the interviewees stressed the situated nature of the arrangement and factors such as the styles and attitudes of library leaders. As one AHSL director put it, “Library organizational structures reflect their own institutions as they need to adapt to the culture. The structures stem from needs of HS. If you see one academic medical center you see one academic medical center.” Although diversity and inclusivity issues are gaining more traction, many interviewees expressed that they have a long way to go. As one stated, “As a profession we are accepting that there are structural barriers in recruiting, training, and retaining.”

The study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic as the libraries were preparing to support a new academic year that promised to be unconventional and unpredictable. When asked about their experiences, almost all stated that they were already mainly functioning online and the crisis reinforced that their libraries are indeed virtual. They stressed the need to improve the staff capacity, skills, and knowledge of online instruction pedagogies and platforms. As one library director stated, “we got some headspace to shift our gaze on the horizon to see where education and teaching will be in the future.” Interestingly, some wondered if making a case for library space in the future would be more challenging as they were already competing for limited space within their facilities.

The informants of this study shared valuable insights in addition to surfacing additional research questions. There were numerous references to the difference between a branch and a special library. This question was beyond the scope of this study; however, it should be followed up to explore the difference in means of staffing and functions and pros and cons of these two models. Also, it would be valuable to further articulate how and why AHSL clients have different needs and cultures and the role of organizational structures in enabling or inhibiting service provision. As libraries continue to consider different service models in support of expanding their services and contain costs, one of the outstanding questions is how they will strike a balance between maintaining cohesiveness as a library system and being visible attending to the needs of specific user communities.


We are grateful for the advice and support of the following Project Advisory Group members:

  • Kathryn Carpenter, Associate University Librarian, Health Sciences and Associate Dean, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Judy Cohn, Assistant Vice President for Information Services and Director George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences, Rutgers University
  • Shannon Jones, Director of Libraries, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Jett McCann, Senior Associate Dean for Knowledge Management, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida
  • Anne Seymour, Director, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins​ University and Medicine
  • Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost of University Libraries & University Librarian, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, Vice Provost for Digital Initiatives and Dean of University Libraries, University of Washington

We express our great gratitude to the following colleagues who contributed to the study by participating in the interviews and/or reviewing a draft version of this report:

  • Nancy Allee, Director, Taubman Health Sciences Library & STEM, University Library, Joint Faculty, Department of Learning Health Sciences, Medical School, University of Michigan
  • Eric D. Albright, Director, Hirsh Health Sciences Library, Tufts University
  • Barbara Bernoff Cavanaugh, AUL for STEM Libraries, University of Pennsylvania
  • Amy G. Buhler, Engineering Librarian, Marston Science Library, University of Florida
  • David Carlson, Dean of University Libraries, Texas A&M University
  • Curtis L. Cole, Assistant Vice Provost, Information Services and Chief Information Officer, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Barbara Dewey, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, Pennsylvania State University
  • Barbara Epstein, Director, Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh
  • Sandra Franklin, Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University​
  • Stephanie Fulton, Associate Dean and Director of the Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M University
  • Kristi Holmes, Director, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Associate Professor, Preventive Medicine-Health and Biomedical Informatics & Medical Education, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Christopher Hooper-Lane, Director, Ebling Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Janice Jaguszewski, Associate University Librarian and Director, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Minnesota
  • Stephanie Kerns, Director of Biomedical Libraries Dana Biomedical Library, Dartmouth College
  • Mellanye Lackey, Director, UNLV Health Sciences Library, University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Anne Langley, Dean of UConn Library, University of Connecticut
  • Joe Lucia, Dean of Libraries, Temple University
  • Emily McElroy, Dean of McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Gerald Perry, Director Arizona Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona
  • Cristina Pope Director, Health Sciences Library, SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • J. Dale Prince, Director of Libraries, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans
  • Gabe Rios, Director, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Jamie Saragossi, Head, Health Sciences Library Stony Brook University Libraries, Stony Brook University
  • Paul Schoening, Associate Dean and Director, Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Jean Shipman, Librarian Emerita, University of Utah
  • Mary Shultz, Library Director Savitt Medical Library, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Joy Summers-Ables, Director, Robert M. Bird Health Science Library, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • Janice Swiatek, Library Director, Lyman Maynard Stowe Library, UConn Health, University of Connecticut (retired in July 2020)
  • Michele R. Tennant, Head, Academic Research Consulting and Services, George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida 
  • Kelly Thormodson, Associate Dean for Library & Information Services; Library Director, Penn State College of Medicine
  • Kathlin L. Ray, Dean, University Libraries and Teaching & Learning Technologies, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Shan Sutton, Dean, University Libraries, University of Arizona
  • Jennifer R. Taxman, Associate Librarian for Research & Learning, Dartmouth College
  • Tara Tobin Cataldo, Science Collections Coordinator, Marston Science Library, University of Florida
  • Imelda Vetter, Health Sciences Librarian, Department of Medical Education, Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin
  • Megan von Isenburg, Associate Dean for Library Services & Archives, Duke Medical Center Library & Archives
  • Philip Walker, Director, Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University
  • Deborah Ward, Interim Vice Provost for Libraries, Director, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Missouri
  • Terrie Wheeler, Director, Samuel J. Wood Library, Weill Cornell Medicine

We would like to thank the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) and Elsevier for their sponsorship as well as colleagues at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) for their advice and support.

Appendix A: Interview Guide

Ithaka S+R: AHSL Semi-Structured Interview Guide

introAHSL/ULWhat is your title (to verify)?
How long have you been in your current position?
How long have you been at the current institution?
org structureAHSLWhom do you report to (to verify)?Would you specify the college, division, unit?
org structureAHSLWhat is the position title of the person to whom you report?Distinguish between who you report to formally vs anyone else who provides day to day management for your work
org structureAHSL/ULIf and how did reporting structures changed?What were the impetus and circumstances?
org structureAHSL/ULHow is the AHSL’s budget structured?Where does your budget come from? Who sets it? And how if at all has this changed?
servicesAHSL/ULWho provides core library services for the AHSL?tech services, preservation, archiving, special collections, IT, etc. services for the AHSL
servicesAHSL/ULWho provides core administrative services for the AHSL?Who provides HR, accounting, communication, development etc. services for the AHSL?
collectionsAHSLWould you tell me about your collection development program?How (if at all) do you collaborate with the main UL or AHSL to share decision-making and budget for major shared collections/licenses?
impactAHSL/ULHow have the staff responded to the change?If there were recent organizational changes: Were there any formal or informal surveys to gather staff feedback?
impactAHSL/ULHow have the library users responded to the change?If there were recent organizational changes: Were there any formal or informal surveys to gather staff feedback?
impactWhat are your thoughts on the current org structure?What are the advantages and disadvantages of the current reporting structure?
visionAHSL/ULWhat are the current program priorities for the  AHSL?How do you see AHSL programs/priorities change during the next 5 years? How do they relate to or differ from the main library?
conclusionAHSL/ULAnything else you’d like to tell us?Current situation, implications, projections, recommendations, any questions you’ve expected that I did not ask, etc.


  1. This article illustrates efforts to develop an innovative AHSL service: Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Carrie L Iwema, Barbara A Epstein, Adrian V Lee, and Arthur S Levine, “Molecular Biology Information Service: An Innovative Medical Library-based Bioinformatics Support Service for Biomedical Researchers,” Brief Bioinform 21, no.3 (2020):876-884, https://doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbz035
  2. Amy G. Buhler, Nita Ferree, Tara T. Cataldo, Michele R. Tennant, “External Reporting Lines of Academic Special Libraries: A Health Sciences Case Study,” College & Research Libraries 71, n0. 5 (2010):, 467-494, https://doi.org/10.5860/crl-49r1
  3.  “Which Innovations Are Revolutionizing Healthcare Today?” School of Business, George Washington University, July 24, 2019, https://healthcaremba.gwu.edu/blog/which-innovations-are-revolutionizing-healthcare-today; “Stanford Medicine’s 2020 Health Trends Report Spotlights the Rise of the Data-driven Physician,” Stanford Medicine, https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/01/health-trends-report-spotlights-rise-of-data-driven-physician.html
  4. Some universities structure their hospitals (and other clinical care units) as separate not-for-profit organizations to limit their liability as healthcare becomes a less profitable sector.  See Howard B. Fleishon, Jason N. Itri, Giles W. Boland, and Richard Duszak Jr., “Academic Medical Centers and Community Hospitals Integration: Trends and Strategies,” Journal of the American College of Radiology 14, no. 1 (2017): 45-51, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2016.07.006
  5. Some hospitals are forming “affiliated” hospital agreements to assist rural hospitals with training, supply ordering, etc. without being an official part of the university. In such cases, licensing restrictions might surface in regard to providing affiliated hospitals access to licensed information resources. 
  6. Evidence-based medicine is an interdisciplinary approach that relies on techniques from science, engineering, biostatistics and epidemiology to make decisions about the care of individual patients. It integrates research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. For more information, see David L. Sackett, William M.C. Rosenberg,  J.A. Muir Gray,  R. Brian Haynes, and W. Scott Richardson, “Evidence Based Medicine: What it Is and What it Isn’t,” BMJ 312 (1996): 71–72, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71
  7. In the RMC model, the colleges are the “responsibility centers” and units like the library, general administration, etc. are “cost centers” that receive their funding allocation from the “responsibility centers.” 
  8. Among the libraries included in this study, the mergers took place two to five years ago for four libraries; six to ten for three libraries; 11-15 for three libraries; 16+ for two libraries. 
  9. One exception to this sentiment was expressed by a director who is overseeing a group of health science and STEM libraries as a merged operation. 
  10. The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) aims to support the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing equal access to biomedical information to enable the public to make informed decisions about their health. It is coordinated by the National Library of Medicine and implemented through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers Coordinated by the National Library of Medicine, and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. Additional information is available at https://nnlm.gov/
Posted by: bluesyemre | October 22, 2020

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