Innovative new technology developed by Fairfield University’s DiMenna-Nyselius Library cited by American Library Association
Interactive research tool singled out for being high quality resource for libraries nationwide
An interactive research tool created by the staff of the Fairfield University’s DiMenna-Nyselius Library was recently cited by the American Library Association/Association College Research Libraries (ACRL).
The tool, ‘Research Tracker,’ gives students a framework by which to navigate the complex stages of research and writing, with handy features like assigned due dates that can be migrated to a student’s electronic calendar. The organization selected “Research Tracker: Keep your research project ON TRACK, ON TIME, and ON TARGET”(http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacr/directoryofleadership/sections/is/iswebsite/projpubs/primo/site/2014october) to be part of its PRIMO database, also known as ‘ACRL Instruction Section's Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online.’ The prestigious organization named the Fairfield technology ‘site of the month,’ underscoring its importance. The popular resource for academic libraries nationwide is a means to promote and share peer-reviewed instructional materials created by librarians to teach people about discovering, accessing and evaluating information in networked environments.
According to PRIMO: “The Committee hopes that publicizing selective, high quality resources will help librarians to respond to the educational challenges posed by still emerging digital technologies.”
“Through our information literacy program we saw a real need to have a framework by which our students could engage with the research process - Research Tracker provides that framework,” said Jacalyn A. Kremer, project leader and
Head of Library Academic Partnerships and Assessment at Fairfield. “It is a tool that can be used both in and outside of a classroom setting, independent of the library.”
Research Tracker is the culmination of seven years of research and application. The Research Tracker went from a paper-based tool to an Excel document platform in January of 2012. In January of 2014, the Excel product was converted to a web-based PHP version by developer librarian Wit Meesangnil. This process included the following enhancements that further married the research and writing process:
- Authentication with student ID. This allowed due dates to be saved to students' calendars, as well as for documents to be saved and stored for each user.
- Customized content suggestions based on your assignment (i.e., databases are recommended based on the subject that you're researching).
In alliance with the DiMenna-Nyselius Library’s commitment to open access, the Library has made the Research Tracker code available to other education institutions under a Creative Commons license.
The creative team behind the tool also includes past and present librarians Philip Bahr, Joan Clark, Curtis Ferree, Ramona Islam, Jessica McCullough, Christina McGowan, and Laura Weber. More information about the tool is available at http://librarybestbets.fairfield.edu/researchtracker
Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on November 20, 2014
Vol. 47, No. 124