Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future

“For many years, the academic and research library workforce has worked to accelerate the transition to more open and equitable systems of scholarship. While significant progress has been made, barriers remain. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) seeks to stimulate further advances through this action-oriented research agenda, which is designed to provide practical, actionable information for academic librarians; include the perspectives of historically underrepresented communities in order to expand the profession’s understanding of research environments and scholarly communication systems; and point librarians and other scholars toward important research questions to investigate.

This report represents a yearlong process of reviewing the scholarly and practice-based literature to take into account established investigation coupled with extensive public consultation to identify the major problems facing the academic library community. Through interviews, focus groups, workshops, and an online survey, over 1,000 members of the ACRL community offered their thoughts and expertise to shape this research agenda. Incorporating guidance and input from ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee and an advisory panel, this document recommends ways to make the scholarly communications and research environment more open, inclusive, and equitable….”

H.H. Barschall

In retirement, Barschall took up the cause of the high cost of scientific journals and the detriment to scientists. His research sparked an international legal battle and he was sued by German, Swiss and French publishing houses.

His studies of journal pricing were generally supported by the courts and made him a hero to a generation of research librarians. In 1990, The Association of Research Libraries gave him a special citation for this efforts. See for related information….”

The open access wars: How to free science from academic paywalls – Vox

“This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.

The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”

Will the Davids prevail?…”

Open Science: An Academic Librarian’s Perspective – Open @ CUNY

Open Science is a multifaceted notion encompassing open access to publications, open research data, open source software, open collaboration, open peer review, open notebooks, open educational resources, open monographs, citizen science, or research crowdfunding in order to remove barriers in the sharing of scientific research output and raw data (FOSTER). In other words, the goal of the Open Science movement is to make scientific data a public good in contrast to the expansion of intellectual property rights over knowledge propagated by the paywalled dissemination model. Therefore, Open Science is more of a social and cultural phenomenon aiming to recover the founding principles of scientific research rather than an alternative form of knowledge exchange. It is important to emphasize that despite the fact that Open Science is currently most visible in the area of “hard sciences” (due to large data sets generated by high-throughput experiments and simulations), it is not limited to only the STEM fields — it is also applicable to other types of scientific research….

In order to support open data-driven research, academic librarians have to expand traditional library services and adopt new data-related roles, which will require expanding their qualifications beyond library science and subject degrees toward information technologies, data science, data curation, and e-science. This will lead to a deep transformation in librarians themselves….”

Resource Management in a Time of Fiscal Scarcity: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment for Journal Package Cancellations: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  As a result of continual resource inflation and a decreasing budget, Kansas State University Libraries were required to conduct a large-scale electronic journal cancellation project. The current organizational model does not require librarian subject specialists to perform comprehensive collection development duties; therefore, content development librarians developed a methodology of collecting quantitative and qualitative statistics to collaboratively evaluate journals. This article will demonstrate the methodology of assessment, and serve as a working model for libraries operating under circumstances of labor shortages, budget cuts, and leadership restructuring.

Ethical Dilemmas in Collection Development of Open Access Electronic Resources: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  All across the United States universities are being called into critical conversations about social justice. The American Library Association Code of Ethics calls on librarians to “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom” and “distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties.” Our ethics shape our engagement in these critical conversations. This article presents two ethical dilemmas experienced in Open Access electronic resource collection development and acquisition. Discussed first is the discovery and remediation of sharp practice in article processing charges. Second is the challenge of commercial Open Access projects and the role of libraries as investors of production. The author discusses how library professional ethics are applicable to and stretched by the goals of Open Access.

Developing skills for scholarly communication | Jisc scholarly communications

“Over the last 2 years, representatives of several organisations and institutions  with an interest in skills development around scholarly communication have been trying to progress support in this area in a collaborative way (see full list of members below).

Blog posts by Danny Kingsley on the Cambridge Unlocking Research blog (July 2017, Nov 2017) describe initial discussions and early activities around identifying issues to address. These centred around concerns around a lack of training and support for these relatively new roles and a confusion for potential applicants around what these roles actually involve.

This post reviews activities from 2018 and looks ahead to this year. Most of the last year’s activities were related to library staff working in scholarly communications, mainly due to the heavy representation of librarians on our group, but also that this is a major area of development in academic libraries.

Our initial aim is to explore support for librarians and then review this to see to what extent it is appropriate for others involved in scholarly communications, such as research managers, researcher developers and, of course, researchers themselves.

One of first activities was to identify existing current provision in order to identify clearly the gap in what’s needed. We’ve drawn together this list and will keep updating – please add to it if there’s something you know of that’s missing….”

Come Together: Interdepartmental Collaboration to Connect the IR and Library Catalog: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  While institutional repositories (IRs) often include a built-in search tool and/or are indexed by web search engines, some patrons go directly to the online library catalog with their information need. Rather than hope that users will stumble on the IR from the library website or assume that they will start their research with a Google search, librarians can enhance IR discoverability and usage by integrating its content into the library catalog. With strong teamwork, good communication, and a shared vision, this endeavor transforms the IR and library catalog from separate, siloed platforms into a more cohesive collections package. At the University of San Diego, librarians and administrators across three departments came together to share information and work in concert to explore the benefits of auto-harvesting IR content into the library catalog. Driven by a vision of enhancing discoverability and access, as well as promoting the IR and enriching the catalog, the team members worked cooperatively to identify specific IR collections appropriate for harvest, investigate technical logistics, consult outside vendors (including Innovative Interfaces, Inc./III and bepress), and experiment with implementation.

Using “NASIG Core Competencies for Scholarly Communication Librarians” as a Framework to Develop Campus Support and Use of a New Institutional Repository: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  In August 2017, NASIG approved and adopted a set of core competencies that can serve as a roadmap for a new Scholarly Communication Librarian working to promote and build collections for a new campus Institutional Repository. This presentation addressed how to utilize the specific competencies to scaffold priorities when building a new repository, including developing campus partnerships with administration, colleges, departments, faculty, and students. The Core Competencies can also be used to develop effective short- and long-term goals, both for the librarian and for the Institutional Repository, and can provide communication and outreach strategies to share those goals to the campus community.