May 22, 2022

A New Issue Brief from ITHAKA S+R: “Scholars ARE Collectors: A Proposal for Re-thinking Research Support”

The following issue brief from Ithaka S+R was published online earlier today.

From an Introductory Blog Post by the Co-Authors of the Issue Brief, Danielle Cooper and Oya Rieger:

2018-11-28_09-14-24Today we publish an Ithaka S+R issue brief that is aimed at reframing how academic research support is conceptualized to better address scholars’ needs. Research support services in university settings are currently focused on aiding scholars as they work on specific research tasks or content, which is largely diffuse and often insufficiently funded. We contend that research support services would be more effective if designed to holistically reflect how scholars work. Looking to scholarly practices in a diverse array of fields, this approach hinges on recognizing that what unifies scholars as researchers is that they ARE collectors who amass and manage a diverse array of content over the course of their careers and they need support in the process of undertaking those activities.


Blending our related experiences and insights, our brief outlines the holistic nature of scholarly collecting activities and the strategic rationale for why universities should realign their research support services around these activities accordingly.


Source: Scholars ARE Collectors: A Proposal for Re-thinking Research Support (Ithaka S+R; November 2018)

We define the scholar’s collection, outline current collecting challenges and needs, survey the current landscape for supporting scholarly collecting, and consider what’s next for academic institutions in this space. The brief also highlights what’s at stake for academic institutions if they do not take a more proactive strategic approach to supporting and leveraging scholars’ collections. Establishing a new central organizing principle to scholarly support, such as through the framework of scholar as a collector, is essential at a time when universities continue to grapple with how to dynamically respond to and support the evolving research landscape.

Read the Complete Introductory Blog Post

Full Text Issue Brief


Scholars ARE Collectors: A Proposal for Re-thinking Research Support


Danielle Cooper
Ithaka S+R

Oya Y. Rieger
Ithaka S+R


Ithaka S+R
November 28, 2018

Direct to Full Text Issue Brief ||| PDF Version (20 pages)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.