US News & World Report LIS rankings

cjovalle writes "It's that time of decade again, and the US News & World Report Library and Information Studies programs rankings are available (premium or print edition necessary to see the entire lists). How much credibility do these rankings have, do you think? ^_^"


Their methodology is laughable. They sent surveys to 150 people, 3 at each library school. They were asked to choose a number a la Michelin guide to vote for each school or program, or they could choose don't know. The return rate was 51% (so 76.5 surveys were returned -I think Rutgers was the .5)

So 76 people decided who was the best school for Digital Librarianship, oh please almost as many people - people who work in the profession and not just librarians but people who are outstanding in the profession- were ambivalent.

Find 76/150 people who know you need a Masters to be a librarian on the NYC subway any Tuesday and I'll consider that significant.

Not that the colleges don't take this seriously I recieved 3 mail messages to various lists from my alma mater making note of the fact that they were #1 in Children's services. Unfortunately the college changed its name six months ago from FSU School of Information Studies to the College of Information (LIS-> CI) but of course the magazine labels it Library and Information Studies (SLIS) which it was six years ago. I have no idea why FSU CI keeps changing their name, but USNWR could have at least looked at the website (or the redirect from before going to press.

We're number one, We're number one, We're number one in part of a poll conducted using absurd methodology that serves little purpose, we're number...oh nevermind.

Yes, I've already received several emails from various folks, to include the Dean of course, in the past day about "our" outstanding success.

Last night, out at the bar with assorted profs, PhD students, the assorted librarian (people who should know better and would never tolerate such methods in research) were doing a lot of gloating. At the same time, they were asking "How the heck are we #1 in such-and-such?" "Oh, because we have a program named that," was the answer. Very sad, but true.

As for true credibilty, these rankings have absolutely none. As for perceived credibilty, well, it carries an awful lot of credibilty with many, many people. I guess that can't hurt many of us come job search time, but I don't feel good about it. Gender privilege, race privilege, "#1 school" privilege--all based on equally invalid "methods."

I do find it very telling how so many academics who would never ever tolerate such loose methods in anyone's research can get so taken up with this stuff. Very sad.

Go Illini!!

As was proven in the NCAA finals of Men's Basketball last year. UNC over Ill. every time.

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