Cultivate and Support Good Research!

Susan R. Jones
Director, Core Council for the Generation and Dissemination of Knowledge

The generation and dissemination of knowledge is central to the mission, values, and activities of ACPA. Whether through our highly regarded and exemplary publications such as the Journal of College Student Development, About Campus, the books published through ACPA’s Books and Media, or the scholarly presentations at national and regional conferences, ACPA leads the way in promoting and supporting the cutting edge scholarship in the field.

Strong publications and presentations come from good research. And good research requires willing respondents and participants. As you know, ACPA works very hard not to bombard our members with email messages. However, as we have moved in to the age of web-based surveys and almost total reliance on the internet for communication, nearly all of the requests that come to the national office for access to ACPA members for research are for internet-dependent strategies of communication. A task force appointed by then-President Jeanne Steffes worked hard to develop policies and procedures for those making research requests to membership. These have been approved and are now available on the ACPA web site, under the research link. We hoped to create policies and procedures that were clear, fair, and accessible so as to support research efforts, but also to put some safeguards in place. We have received a number of requests for access to members for research purposes, each of which meets our criteria. We have been reluctant however, to send each request out via email or in the ACPA E-lert, which then often results in significant delays for researchers, who often are working on carefully planned timetables.

To facilitate research efforts of our members, we will include an e-mail announcement with research invitations only or, depending on the timing, include a research announcement in the monthly E-lert. These will only occur whenever we have ACPA-approved research requests that cannot be incorporated into the ACPA Master Calendar. Please note that the current research policy only allows for three ACPA-approved research studies per semester. This helps ensure ACPA members are not unreasonably burdened with research participation requests. We know the addition of an announcement with research invitations only will mean more email from ACPA, but hope you will think kindly of requests to participate in research as this is how good scholarship is produced. Thanks in advance for your support and cooperation.

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