Open Access and Faculty Acceptance

One of the continuing sagas of advocating for open access is getting faculty buy in. On October 13th, 2015, the Catholic University of America Libraries hosted a forum titled ‘How Open Access Benefits Faculty & Research.’ The two keynote speakers were:

  • Dr. Steven Lerman, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, George Washington University
  • Geneva Henry, University Librarian and Vice Provost for Libraries, George Washington University
Both speakers talked about their experiences (Lerman at MIT and Henry at Rice) advocating for open access policies before they came to George Washington University.
The motivations for moving to open access and developing an institutional open access policy include:
  • accelerate research
  • Share learning with society
  • Fuel innovation
  • Reduce/remove barriers to access
The problems with open access include:
  • What does ‘open access’ mean? Everyone has a different conception which leads to confusion
  • Grades of open access:highly restricted publisher sites to openly accessible
Two types of open access:
  • Gold OA: Journals make articles available at time of publication, a variety of payment models are possible, and some gold journals are for profit while others are not for profit
  • Green OA: Repositories that make published articles openly available, universities open access policies are green, required permission from publishers but most permit green open access
The push for open access came largely from funders who wanted to ensure that the product of funded research was made available to the public. The National Institutes of Health was an early advocate for OA.
Challenges
  • Faculty acceptance: will publishers accept my articles? Bureaucratic concern: how long does it take to get approval.
  • Faculty need to understand that freely available and peer reviewed are separate distinctions.
  • Implementation in libraries is hindered by general counsel.
  • Faculty concerns about peer reviewed: only peer reviewed material are put in OA repositories.
  • Get faculty on board is the key to success!
How does this benefit faculty?
  • The more people read your material the better off you will be. Impact factors good for faculty tenure and promotion.
  • Libraries preserve the human record.
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