Comment Request for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries Component, 2016–2019

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education posted a call for comment in the Federal Register on February 18, 2016, regarding proposed revisions of the existing Academic Libraries Component. If approved, the revisions will become part of the 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19 data collections.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 18, 2016. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

ADDRESSES: To access and review all the documents related to the information collection, please use by searching the Docket ID number ED–2016–ICCD–0020. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E–103, Washington, DC 20202–4537.

PROPOSED CHANGES: The changes below will provide additional information on library collections and were developed from ACRL, ALA, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joint advisory task force. Respondents are welcome to comment on the proposed changes below, offer technical comments on the instructions, propose new additions, or suggest deleting any part of the current Academic Libraries component.

Change 1: the joint task force suggested adding “Serials” to the library collections column and the circulation count for Section I of the AL survey component because serials are an important content source for academic library users. A serial is a publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. This definition includes, in any format, periodicals, newspapers, and annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.); the journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, etc. of societies; and numbered monographic series. An e-serial is a periodical publication that is published in digital form to be displayed on a computer screen. These items were not previously included in the AL survey component.

Change 2: Section II of the AL survey component asks questions regarding interlibrary services (total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries, total interlibrary loans and documents received). Because Section II questions are more aligned with library expenditures and Section I questions are more aligned with library collections, the recommendation is to add a qualifying question to determine if the institution has interlibrary services before asking the institutions to report interlibrary loans and document numbers.

Change 3: Shift the questions associated with interlibrary services to Section I of the survey component because they are more related to library collections. Moving these questions into Section I of the AL survey component means that all institutions that qualify for the AL survey component will be eligible to answer the Section I questions (as Section II is only applicable to libraries with expenses greater than $100,000).

Change 4: Section II of the AL survey component asks institutions the Yes/No question, “Does your library support virtual reference services?” The joint task force proposed eliminating this question because almost every library provides some means of virtual reference services. Based on this recommendation, we propose deleting this question from Section II of the AL survey component.