LIDP was successful in proving that:
“There is statistically significant relationship between both book loans and e-resources use and student attainment. And this is true across all of the universities in the study that provided data in these areas.
“We want to stress here again that we realise THIS IS NOT A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP! Other factors make a difference to student achievement, and there are always exceptions to the rule, but we have been able to link use of library resources to academic achievement.”
An initial (outline) report on how the University of Lincoln’s own activity-attainment holds up to this same statistical inspection is available to download from here [PDF]. As much as possible of the library activity data used in the project will be released under an Open Data Commons Attribution License in the near future, and hosted on the project blog.
Thanks are due to Graham Stone, Dave Pattern, Bryony Ramsden, and all the project partners for the opportunity for Lincoln to participate in this project. We had fun getting our together. The end-of-project blog post for LIDP is here – it suggests some very interesting areas for further investigation.
Personally, I’m very interested in looking for cross-institutional comparisons – perhaps trying to explain particular levels of activity-attainment attached to individual subject areas, irrespective of which university the student is at (i.e. does a Lincoln computing student have more in common with a Lincoln business student, or with a Huddersfield computing student?). I’d also be interested in looking particularly at those students whose library activity behaviour changes through the life of their course, and who then go on to get a better degree than they might have been predicted based on their library activity in their first year.
“Finally, we have been astonished by how much interest there has been in our project. To date we have two articles ready for publication imminently and have another 2 in the pipeline. In addition by the end of October we will have delivered 11 conference papers on the project. All articles and conference presentations are accessibly at: http://library.hud.ac.uk/blogs/projects/lidp/articles-and-conference-papers/“
I can see this project getting cited, and cited again, simply every time anyone wants to argue that academic libraries are A Good Thing.