Welcome to Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard

About the Dashboard

This dashboard is a companion to the report Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research, a project commissioned by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and awarded to OCLC Research. (The report is available as a free PDF for download, and in print for purchase through the ALA store website). It identifies six priority areas for academic librarians and administrators to use as a guide and facilitator for developing academic services, collections, and spaces focused on student learning and success, as well as develops research questions to serve as a catalyst for the study of community college, college, and university student learning and success.

This dashboard aids researchers, practitioners, and students in answering the research questions in the report, or library administrators and staff in using the priority areas to develop effective programs that evidence student learning and success. Findings from the data analysis and collection portion of this project informed the development of the dashboard, consisting of a literature search tool and a charts and graphs tool. This literature analysis dashboard is a web application providing two primary functions:

  1. A literature search tool for searching through the database of documents analyzed for the report and compiling and sharing reference lists for further study.
  2. A charts and graphs tool for producing and sharing visualizations and graphics from data within the document database as well as user-uploaded data.

Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard helps librarians and researchers filter the existing literature for studies most relevant to their research interests. It also helps librarians and researchers visually explore the literature and other data in the form of charts and graphs, and helps them to communicate their value to constituencies by sharing these charts and graphs with stakeholders.

For more about how this dashboard was developed see Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research, pg. 65-69. The report contains some examples of how this dashboard can be used, which supplement the instructions and videos presented here.

About the Project

Now more than ever, libraries in higher education must demonstrate and communicate their impact on student learning and success. ACRL has been at the forefront of supporting libraries as they demonstrate and communicate this value and ACRL has recognized that more research is needed to address an area critical to the higher education sector - institutional priorities for student learning and success. OCLC was selected to support this ongoing work as part of the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries initiative after an open and competitive request for proposals issued by ACRL to investigate and write an "action-oriented" research agenda. ACRL asked for this project to provide an update on progress since the publication of ACRL’s 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report, the identification of effective practices to implement, and an examination of important outstanding questions where more research is needed. The project goal was to identify actions academic libraries can take now based on both existing scholarship and practice-based reports and to indicate priorities for future research that are essential for academic librarians and researchers to explore.

For more on the project as it was in development, see the OCLC Research project page.

Contact Information
  • For questions about the project, please contact Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC, Project Lead.
  • For technical matters related to the Literature Analysis Dashboard, please contact William Harvey, OCLC, Consulting Software Engineer.

Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard was commissioned by The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and created by OCLC Research.

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