The article highlighted below appears in the latest issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP).
J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Vol. 13, No.3 (2018)
From the Article
Like many scholarly communication librarians, I have worked towards the goal of free and open access to scholarly articles and books by establishing an advocacy program at the University of Utah, a public research university in Salt Lake City with approximately 2,000 faculty researchers. Advocacy efforts from 2008 to 2014 included organizing Open Access Week events, developing workshops about scholarly journal publishing, drafting a public access policy, promoting deposit in the institutional repository, and starting an open access article publishing fund.
The advocacy program had mixed results. Attendance at Open Access Week events and publishing workshops, on average, was very low (the exceptions being the keynote lectures by John Willinsky in 2009 and by John Wilbanks in 2010). The public access policy failed because university administrators did not see the value of additional work time being dedicated to the deposit of articles since PubMed Central was coming on board at the time.
This range of experiences led me to reconsider at what level the goal of public and open access resonated with researchers at the institution and whether or not the expectations placed on them by their peers and the institution’s leaders incentivized free and open distribution of research articles and books. Rather than continue with the advocacy program, I decided to take a step back and look for additional sources of evidence to determine the level of commitment to public and open access and to further inform a scholarly communication program.