Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Changing a conservative scholarly culture...

The question I have today is -- how can the library change a very conservative scholarly culture when it comes to the sharing of faculty publications and research?

Some/many of the faculty here are not used to sharing their ideas, papers and presentations over the web. (They could be afraid people will steal their great ideas...) In fact, some of our faculty were simply shocked to learn that DU doctoral dissertations were available online through Proquest. Some faculty are worried that their doctoral students will have a hard time finding a book publisher to publish the dissertation. Thus, they would have difficulty getting tenure after leaving DU. (There is no strong evidence to support this conclusion.)

The library would like to see more faculty involved in sharing their research through either our Institutional Repository or through the DU Portfolio Community. I am the head of a group called the "Open Access and Scholarly Communication Taskforce". In mid-May, we will be presenting some/all of these resources (see below) to a group called the Library Liaison Advisory Group or LLAG for short. The LLAG meetings invite one faculty member from each department, so this is a small representative sample of the DU faculty. I will probably only have about 10-15 minutes to present this to the faculty.

Here are some things I would like to present concerning the broad topic of "scholarly communication". This is probably too much information in the time allotted, but I am not sure what to cut out. What do you think? What should I take out or add?

1) Start with the Create Change Website and the "old" 6 page brochure.

2) Quickly look at the updated serials and book expenditures chart from the ARL, 1986-2006.

3) How researchers benefit from expanded dissemination of their work.

4) Mention the Harvard case and the SPARC response -- "Open Doors and Open Minds" white paper. (I am sure we will get questions about Harvard. Maybe some will also know about the MIT mandate and others.)

5) Address misunderstandings about Open Access.

6) How to make the new scholarly communication system work for the faculty in various roles.
• As a researcher and author
• As a reviewer
• As an editor or editorial board member
• As a society member
• As a faculty member
• As a teacher
7) Ask for advice on where to go from here. How do we change the "culture of DU"?

I was just talking to a grad student yesterday who is working with a faculty member about how to make greater open access to his faculty publications through DU portfolio, and I showed him the Sherpa Romeo website that explains which publishers allow for various flavors of green OA. I think many more faculty need to know that the majority of journal publishers allow for green OA in local repositories. Should I mention Sherpa Romeo at the meeting?

I know the culture will not change overnight, and it varies quite a bit by department, but we have to start somewhere.

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