Ithaka S+R Religious Studies Project: Report of Interviews of Religion Faculty at Baylor University
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This report summarizes Baylor University’s part in the Ithaka S+R Religious Studies Project. Ithaka S+R created the Religious Studies Project in order to examine the impact in Religious Studies of shifting research emphases within the academy and of methodological shifts as faculty adopt a more interdisciplinary approach to their work. The Project also seeks to shed light on how libraries might help meet the changing research needs of faculty. Baylor, along with 17 other institutions of higher learning, participated in this study by interviewing Religion faculty and examining the results. A research team from Baylor interviewed fifteen religion faculty selected from the Department of Religion in the Baylor College of Arts and Sciences, from the Honors College, and from George W. Truett Theological Seminary. The team used a semi‐structured approach that involved asking a set of twelve questions to Religion faculty and allowing them freedom to respond to the questions in ways they deemed important. The questions invited comments related to several broad themes. Themes of particular interest highlighted here include what theories and methods do the faculty use; what kinds of sources do they typically rely upon for their research; are they publishing in any non‐ traditional venues such as open access journals, blogs, or popular presses; how are they using the library and its services; and what are some of the challenges they are experiencing themselves personally or that they perceive to be challenges in their respective disciplines.