IPEDS survey adopts new definitions based on academic library community input — register for ACRL/ ARL webinar

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/30/2015


Mary Jane Petrowski

Associate Director



WASHINGTON, D.C; CHICAGO — The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries Component is adopting revised definitions for FY 2015 as a result of recommendations made by a joint Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Association of College & Research Libraries, American Library Association (ACRL, ALA) task force this summer. The task force is offering a free webinar at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, to inform academic libraries of the changes and help the community prepare to complete the FY 2015 IPEDS Academic Libraries Component survey.

The joint task force recommended and IPEDS accepted changes to definitions of data elements in the IPEDS survey. The task force recommendations with IPEDS responses are publicly available online. Most of these changes impact the way libraries report numbers of items, such as e-books and open access titles, digital government document titles and volumes, other media such as microforms and maps (both analog and digital), databases and circulation of digital and analog materials. The new 2015–2016 survey materials for the IPEDS Academic Libraries component have now been published with the majority of the changes implemented.

During the task force’s deliberations, it became clear that new IPEDS data elements are needed; however, due to federal regulations, the National Center for Education Statistics cannot add new data elements until the 2016–2017 survey cycle, so the task force only offered suggestions for improving definitions of existing data elements. The task force will continue to work on identifying a process for soliciting input on new data elements, such as the reporting of shared collections.

In addition to its recommendations to IPEDS, the task force encourages the academic library community to take the following actions:

  • Library data analysts should establish relationships with their campus IPEDS key holders. (In some cases library data analysts have been given access to submit IPEDS data for the library.)
  • With their institutional research officers, library data analysts should review carefully the way librarians are reported in the human resource survey of IPEDS because this is where staffing for libraries is now captured. The way library staff are classified in these surveys should be reviewed so that it is meaningful.

Presenters in this webinar will include:

  • Mary Jane Petrowski, Association of College & Research Libraries, American Library Association
  • Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries; chair of the NISO Z39.7 Data Dictionary
  • Robert Dugan, chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board; University of West Florida
  • Robert Fox, chair of the ARL Assessment Committee; University of Louisville
  • Christopher Cody, American Institutes for Research, IPEDS Survey director for Academic Libraries and Admissions
  • Bao Le, National Center for Education Statistics, associate education research scientist

Webinar Details & Registration

Title: IPEDS Survey Definition Changes Based on Academic Library Community Input

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

Time: 1:– 2 p.m. EST

Cost: Free

Registration: Register online

ARL/ACRL Joint Advisory Task Force on IPEDS Academic Libraries Component


Robert Dugan, chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board; University of West Florida; robert.dugan@gmail.com

Robert Fox, chair of the ARL Assessment Committee; University of Louisville; bob.fox@louisville.edu


Elizabeth Edwards, University of Chicago, eee@uchicago.edu

Terri Fishel, Macalester College, fishel@macalester.edu

Steve Hiller, University of Washington, hiller@u.washington.edu

Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries, martha@arl.org

David Larsen, University of Chicago, lar1@uchicago.edu

Bao Le, National Center for Education Statistics, bao.le@ed.gov

Bede Mitchell, Georgia Southern University, wbmitch@georgiasouthern.edu

Kenley Neufeld, Santa Barbara City College, neufeld@sbcc.edu

Mary Jane Petrowski, Association of College & Research Libraries, mpetrowski@ala.org

Kathy Rosa, Office of Research & Statistics, American Library Association, krosa@ala.org


About ACRL
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.
About ARL
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/association.of.research.libraries, and Twitter at @ARLnews.