ARL Libraries and Research: Correlates of Grant Funding

Author : Ryan P. Womack

While providing the resources and tools that make advanced research possible is a primary mission of academic libraries at large research universities, many other elements also contribute to the success of the research enterprise, such as institutional funding, staffing, labs, and equipment.

This study focuses on U.S. members of the ARL, the Association for Research Libraries. Research success is measured by the total grant funding received by the University, creating an ordered set of categories.

Combining data from the NSF National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, ARL Statistics, and IPEDS, the primary explanatory factors for research success are examined.

Using linear regression, logistic regression, and the cumulative logit model, the best-fitting models generated by ARL data, NSF data, and the combined data set for both nominal and per capita funding are compared. These models produce the most relevant explanatory variables for research funding, which do not include library-related variables in most cases.