University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks is on a mission to open Carolina’s research to all – The Well : The Well

“I hope our scholars realize that this is something that has to be done. This is the tipping point for us. The money is not there to support the status quo. I’ve heard from many faculty who agree that that we need to change this system that we have.

The current model is unsustainable for universities and is inconsistent with the values of a public university. We’re “of the public, for the public,” designed to serve the state and the citizens of the state. So, I feel as though we have no choice but to transform this system to critique what we’ve done. That critique is going to have some consequences, which I think are good….

We’re negotiating with Elsevier to find out what kind of license we can sign that will be affordable, sustainable, promotes open access and is transparent. Those are the four values that we have set. We’re at a tipping point where it’s just not possible to keep doing business as usual….”

Free UKSG webinar – Working with Open Access | UKSG

“This webinar will introduce attendees to the basic concepts of Open Access and how they work together to build wider access to knowledge. Attendees will also be encouraged to think about the different ways in which librarians can build their skills and get involved in this rapidly growing and exciting area….”

Academic Libraries’ Stance toward the Future

Abstract:  The literature about academic libraries takes a strong interest in the future, yet little of it reflects on academic libraries’ underlying stance toward the years ahead: is there a sense of change or continuity? Is there optimism or pessimism? Consensus or divergence? This article explores these questions using data from interviews with a broad range of practitioners, commentators, and experts. Some see libraries as fundamentally unchanging, while others perceive innovation as a given. There is little consensus about upcoming trends. Some interviewees doubt libraries’ ability to deal with change, but others feel considerable optimism.


No Big Deal: An Assessment of Academic Library Staffing, Structure, and Communication Strategies in Support of Open Access

“You are invited to participate in a research study identifying academic library trends with respect to staffing, organizational structure, and communication strategies related to sustainable academic journal pricing and open access initiatives.  Our research will attempt to answer the following question: In the aftermath of the recently publicized breakups between academic libraries and academic journal publishers over renewal of “big deal” journal contracts, are academic libraries consciously planning for, or already making the pivot, to supporting open access initiatives as an alternative to traditional scholarly publishing practices?  

The survey [] will remain open until Wednesday September 25  and we welcome responses from academic libraries of any size or focus. …”

Survey of Academic Library Leadership: Evaluation of the Institutional Digital Repository

Abstract:  This 48-page report, based primarily on a survey of 73 largely research-oriented colleges and universities, presents the views of library directors, deans, university librarians and other high level library officials about the current state of and future plans for the library’s institutional digital repository.  The study helps its readers to answer questions such as:  how much are libraries currently spending on their repositories and how much do they plan to spend in the future?  How much staff labor is being spent on the repository and have staffs or use of staff time grown in recent years? How satisfied is upper library management with the digital repository? What are its plans for the repository over the next few years – for outreach, marketing, platforms, and more?

Data in the report is broken out by institutional type and size and other variables; for example data is presented separately for R1 and R2 level research institutions, for doctoral institutions and for all other types of college.  In addition, the data is broken out for some personal variables of the survey respondent, such as job title and age range.

Just of few of the report’s many findings are that:

More than 88% of the R1 level institutions in the sample had an institutional digital repository.
49.32% of survey participants felt that their institutional spending on their repositories would remain more or less the same over the next year.
Over the past three years private colleges have been more active than public ones in adding staff to their repositories.”

KU Libraries receive Institute of Museum and Library Services grant | Libraries

“The University of Kansas Libraries, along with North Carolina State University Libraries and Illinois School of Information Sciences, are pleased to announce a $247,128 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

KU Libraries and their partners will develop, populate and pilot the Scholarly Communications Notebook (SCN) — an open educational resource index and repository. The SCN will serve as the location for an active, inclusive, empowered community of practice for teaching scholarly communications to early-career librarians. …”

Bryant Fellowships, Harvard Library

“Harvard Library is pleased to announce the revival of the Douglas W. Bryant Fellowships, beginning this fall. Each cycle, awards of $500 to $2000 will be given to support independent research or scholarly activities by Harvard Library staff….

Fellowship recipients must produce a tangible product (i.e. scholarly article, monograph, working paper, app, code, website, etc.) as the result of their activities. This product must be made open-access/open-source….”

Roles and jobs in the open research scholarly communications environment: analysing job descriptions to predict future trends

Abstract:  During the past two-decades academic libraries updated current staff job responsibilities or created brand new roles.  This allowed them to adapt to scholarly communication developments and consequently enabled them to offer efficient services to their users. The global calls for openly accessible research results has shifted the institutional, national and international focus and their constant evolvement has required the creation of new research positions in academic libraries. This study reports on the findings of an analysis of job descriptions in the open research services as advertised by UK academic libraries.

METHOD: From March 2015 to March 2017, job advertisements relating to open access, repositories and research data management were collected.

RESULTS: The analysis of the data showed that the primary responsibilities of the open research support staff were: to ensure and facilitate compliance with funders’ open access policies, maintain the tools that enable compliance, create reports and collect statistics that measure compliance rates and commit to continuous liaising activities with research stakeholders.

DISCUSSION: It is clear that the open research services is a complex environment, requiring a variety of general and subject specific skill sets, while often a role may involve more than one area of expertise.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study could benefit prospective employees and universities that wish to embed open research skills in their curriculum.

The complex nature of research dissemination practices among public health faculty researchers | Hanneke | Journal of the Medical Library Association

Abstract:  Objective: This study explores the variety of information formats used and audiences targeted by public health faculty in the process of disseminating research.

Methods: The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve faculty members in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, asking them about their research practices, habits, and preferences.

Results: Faculty scholars disseminate their research findings in a variety of formats intended for multiple audiences, including not only their peers in academia, but also public health practitioners, policymakers, government and other agencies, and community partners.

Conclusion: Librarians who serve public health faculty should bear in mind the diversity of faculty’s information needs when designing and improving library services and resources, particularly those related to research dissemination and knowledge translation. Promising areas for growth in health sciences libraries include supporting data visualization, measuring the impact of non-scholarly publications, and promoting institutional repositories for dissemination of research.

Peter Suber: The largest obstacles to open access are unfamiliarity and misunderstanding of open access itself

I’ve already complained about the slowness of progress. So I can’t pretend to be patient. Nevertheless, we need patience to avoid mistaking slow progress for lack of progress, and I’m sorry to see some friends and allies make this mistake. We need impatience to accelerate progress, and patience to put slow progress in perspective. The rate of OA growth is fast relative to the obstacles, and slow relative to the opportunities.”