Archive for Surveys

Quality of Life in European Cities

From the European Commission, The Quality of Life in European Cities gives the results of a massive survey undertaken in dozens of European cities.”This survey included all capital cities of the countries concerned (except for Switzerland), together with between one and six more cities in the larger countries. In each city, around 500 citizens were interviewed.”(Introduction) Questions ranged from residents rating their sports stadiums, their public transportation systems, to their opinion on whether or not having foreigners in their midst is a good thing. Key findings are found on pages 3-11; they are followed by in-depth charts and statistical data for each question posed. Comparative information from the 2009 survey is also offered. A revealing work to say the least.

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2012/2013 Higher Education Faculty Salaries by Discipline

This report from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources – Faculty in Higher Education (Four-Year Institutions) Salary Survey – based on responses from hundreds of institutions, shows the median salary at the different ranks of professorship as well as providing breakdowns by tenure and discipline. These are aggregate numbers; universities are not listed by name but the information is pooled into the aforementioned groupings. While one expects salary differentials among the various ranks, it is quite revealing to see the salaries paid according to discipline.

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What Do People Want From Their Libraries?

Apparently, everything. This Pew Internet report – Library services in the digital age - was based on a survey done by Pew, and the results make for insightful reading. An array of questions was posed and some of the results are that:                                                                                                                                                     73% of library patrons in the past 12 months say they visit to browse the shelves for books or media.

54% visit to do research on topics that interest them.

50% visit to get help from a librarian.

 49% say they visit to sit, read, and study, or watch or listen to media.

Patrons want the latest technologies, they want help using their handheld devices, and they still want books. There is much more to this report, and it is worth the read for all concerned, patrons and librarians alike. Other reports of interest include: Net Generation Students and Libraries (EDUCAUSE); The Library, Through Students’ Eyes (New York Times); What Students Don’t Know (Inside Higher Ed); Assessment 360: Mapping Undergraduates and the Library at the University of Connecticut (CLIR); The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report (ALA); and Students Research the Library (College & Research Libraries News). Also visit the ERIAL Project, an ethnographic look at how students view/use the library. This study has much to tell us.

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Sexual Violence is Widespread in the United States

Here are some frightening statistics from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted in 2010 with 16,500 subjects via telephone interviews of about half an hour: 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime; 1.3 million women were raped during the year previous to this survey;  1 in 6 women have been stalked in their lifetime; and 1 out of 4 women have been the victims of severe physical abuse by an intimate partner. Men, as well, reported being raped, stalked, or abused. This is the first year this survey was conducted and the results will serve as a foundation for subsequent surveys. This report also has tables that are broken down by state. Additional information is at the CDC”s Violence Prevention page. Reportage is availabe from The New York Times, BBC, Los Angeles Times, and  The Washington Post.

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Is RateMyProfessors.com a Valid Faculty Evaluation Tool?

Given the criteria selected and the methods employed, the authors of this article, Student Concensus on RateMyProfessors.com, offer a qualified yes – “In the aggregate, RateMyProfessors.com is providing useful feedback about instructor quality.”(10) Whatever your opinion of this “service,” (and there is obviously a plethora of viewpoints if this insidehighered entry is any indication) the article should be looked at; its references alone are worth a perusal.

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How Do You Like Living in New Jersey?

The Garden State’s Quality of Life survey reveals some interesting factoids. Based on over 100 questions, this instrument contains a great deal of information: 63% of those surveyed feel New Jersey is a good to excellent place to live; 73% rate their hometowns positively. Other extrapolated reports from this survey include: New Jersey’s Quality of Life by County (where the statewide average  is +21, Morris County comes in the highest at +42 and Cumberland rates a +5); Garden State Quality of Life Varies by Race /Ethnicity (in which blacks rate the quality of  life at +3, Hispanics at +21, whites at +26, and Asians at +29); and Wealthier New Jerseyans Credit Hometowns Not State for Better Quality of Life (not surprisingly, the more you make, the better you feel). There is much relevatory data in all these reports broken down along socioeconomic lines. News articles are available in: The Star-Ledger, Cherry Hill Courier Post, Asbury Park Press, The Bergen Record, and Vineland Daily Journal.

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New Jersey Ranks Among Lowest in Wireless-only Households

That is the conclusion reached by the Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January 2007 – June 2010 from the CDC. Only 12.8% of adults  and 12.6% of children live in wireless households, and the increase from 2007 to 2010 was only 7.2%. This is in contrast to Arkansas where the figures are 35.2% for adults, 46.2% for children and an increase of 14.5% from 2007 to 2010. On the national level, 26.6% of households are wireless-only as opposed to 12.9% which are landline-only. Figures are broken down by state and by selected counties; for New Jersey, Essex County was featured. Data is also available about “mixed” households – those having both wireless and landline connections. Please go to the Cell Phones section of the Pew Research Center for more information on the adoption of wireless in households.

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Too Much Information?

Do you at times feel like you are drowning in a glut of information and data? Well, quite honestly, you are. According to this recent study HMI? How Much Information, the American consumer is subjected to almost 12 hours of information (defined “… as flows of data delivered to people and we measured the bytes, words, and hours of consumer information a day.”) or 1.3 TRILLION hours in 2008. And information from the workplace was not included. No wonder we are tired. Information overload in the business environment is addressed here. “Information overload” is a term coined by Alvin Toffler.

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Exit Poll Results

For those who cannot wait for the official announcements, this site from the most excellent Poynter Institute will direct you to exit polling data. This site from ABC News explains what an exit poll is, how it is conducted, and what questions are typically asked. A brief history of exit polls is available here. Some polling sites worth mentioning are: Pollster.com, PollingReport.com, and the American Association for Public Opinion Research; while you are at the latter site, please peruse its very informative “Poll and Survey FAQS.”

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Incidence of Diabetes Doubles in Ten Years

In a rather ironic coincidence, a major report on the prevalence of diabetes is released on the day most closely associated with candy. The October 31, 2008 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report presents compelling evidence indicating that the incidence of diagnosed diabetes has doubled in ten years. What is unique to this report is a state-by-state examination of the increase in this disease. 33 states are represented, and New Jersey is among them. This state’s increase amounts to 64%, which is actually among the lowest of the states reported. The highest, with incidence rates of 200% or more, include Florida, Texas, and Idaho. There is much that can be done to control diabetes. Check out this CDC site and this one from the National Library of Medicine.

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2007 College Student Health Report

Based on a survey given on 14 Minnesota campuses with a return of 10,000 completed forms, this report can be generalized to other colleges and universities as well. Among its findings: students with health insurance had a 3.25 GPA compared to a 3.17 GPA for those without(p.10); stress and sleep difficulties were cited the most by students, 32.9% and 20% respectively(p.12); and 59.4% of those students who reported a learning disability had their academic performance adversely affected, while those who complained of allergies had only 6% experiencing academic difficulties. As this report states: “For college students, health issues that affect their ability to attend class, complete projects, write papers, or take tests can have a profound impact on their ability to succeed academically.”(p. v) A good literature review on stress and health can be read here, and this site on campus health contains valuable information. And please remember that anytime you are experiencing problems, you always have the skilled staff at the following NJCU offices to assist you: the Counseling Center, Health and Wellness Center, or the Office of Specialized Services for Students with Disabilities(Project Mentor).

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Latest Population Figures for Jersey City(and Elsewhere)

The Census Bureau has just released the 2007 American Community Survey, an annual investigation of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of states, counties, and municipalities with populations exceeding 65,000 people. Over 3,000,000 households were surveyed for this survey, giving government planners more current data than those supplied by the decennial census(which is required by the Constitution, btw). So, if you come from a state, county, or municipality which has more than 65,000 people, you can get recent population information right here. And since Jersey City fits the above criterion, its figures can be accessed here.

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Best Movies Ever

Once again, the American Film Institute(AFI)has issued another “best movie” list, this time it is the 10 Top 10 - an enumeration of the top ten films in ten separate genres ranging from animation to the western.(We are gratified to note that The Searchers heads the list for westerns. In our humble opinion, a best film list is not a best film list without the inclusion of The Searchers.) This new compilation joins others that the AFI has produced, such as the 100 and 400 lists. Of course, not everyone will agree with this newest entry in the field; after all, criteria for these lists are highly subjective or specific. Other efforts at determining the best films can be found at the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, IMDb’s Top 250 Movies, the decennial lists compiled by the British Film Institute(BFI), Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Movies, the New York Times Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, and Yahoo’s Top Rated Movies of All Time for example. And let us not forget the Academy Awards.  Did you know that the Guarini Library has over 3000 films in both VHS and DVD formats, and that they can be watched in our video viewing rooms?  The films range from the 52-part The Unfinished Nation to The Kite Runner to the original Bad News Bears. All you need to do is present a current NJCU GothicCard at the second floor service desk(the films are on the second floor), and you will be allowed to view the film in one of our air-conditioned viewing rooms which can accommodate up to fifteen people. How do you find what films the Library owns? You consult OSCAR, the Library’s online catalog, where underneath the six dialog boxes, you will see a “location” pull-down menu. Limit your selection to “Media(Videos),” enter the movie title in the “Title” dialog box, or look for movies by “Subject,” and the results you will see will be from our video collection. And yes, we do own The Searchers. “That’ll be the day” when we don’t.

 

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Library Survey Results

Remember the library survey we asked you to fill out in Fall 2005? Nearly 1,500 faculty and students filled out a survey form. If you would like see what they had to say, go the Library’s Survey page and click on the left menu bar to see these Word documents: 

  1. Improvements Made in Response to the Survey
  2. Tech Support Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Faculty Survey Form and Survey Results
  4. Student Survey Form and Survey Results
One of the things we were interested in learning was which resources faculty and students use the most to support their teaching and learning.

The top five resources used by faculty were:

  1. Their own books and articles or other resources from their files (88.9%)
  2. Websites found through search engines (87.7%)
  3. Web sites recommended by friends or colleagues (65.4%)
  4. Library databases (53.1%)
  5. Other university libraries (45.7%)
The top five resources used by students were:

  1. Web sites found through search engines (89.1%)
  2. Web sites recommended by friends (58.1%)
  3. Library databases (57.57%)
  4. Oscar, the library’s catalog (51.8%)
  5. Their own books & articles (36.5%)
These results are interesting in several ways. It appears that faculty and students use similar resources and in similar proportions. Students seems to use library resources a bit more than faculty, while faculty make greater use of materials from their own files, which are presumably larger than those of students. But students also use their own materials: it was their 5th choice.

Another interesting aspect of the survey which really hasn’t been much commented on is the confusion of terminology. For example, faculty’s 5th most used resource was other university libraries. What do faculty do when they visit those other libraries? Do they check out books, photocopy articles from journals, consult specialists? And which libraries are they gaining access to?
Librarians tend to be sticklers when it comes to terminology. We know for instance the difference between a web site, a database, and electronic journal. Students however often conflate all of those and prefer instead to assign the word “web site” to anything online. They often, for instance, refer to databases as web sites or search engines, much to our chagrin. It is possible that our results, which fail to take account of those differences in mental models, are somewhat skewed as a result. Check back for other survey results, which will be abstracted here periodically.

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