Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln




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Surveying the Scalability of Open Access Monograph Initiatives: Final Report Barnes, Christopher; Welzenbach, Rebecca; Folger, Kathleen


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In June of 2016, the University of Michigan Library (MLibrary) and Knowledge Unlatched (KU) announced the start of a collaboration “to study and overcome remaining obstacles to the spread of open access scholarly publishing in the humanities and social sciences.”1 This survey grew out of that partnership and was designed to gather data useful for determining the scalability of library-supported open access (OA) initiatives focusing on monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences such as Luminos, Open Book Publishers, and KU. The survey was designed and conducted by Christopher A. Barnes, Ph.D., while a graduate student in library and information science at the University of Michigan School of Information. It comprised the capstone project for his graduate fellowship at MLibrary. Kathleen Folger, Electronic Resources Officer at MLibrary, and Rebecca A. Welzenbach, Director of Strategic Integration and Partnerships at Michigan Publishing, served as advisors throughout the academic year. Dr. Frances Pinter, founder of KU, and Associate Professor Lucy Montgomery, Director of KU Research, provided feedback on the design of the survey and helped with its dissemination. The survey was targeted at collections units of academic libraries because the question of scalability for libraryfunded OA initiatives hinges on issues of budgets, discovery, workflow, and strategic collecting priorities. The population was limited to libraries at four-year colleges and universities in the United States, and respondents were told that they would be answering on behalf of their unit. Soliciting one authoritative response per library was intended to encourage internal consultation and responses that reflected institutional rather than individual perceptions and processes. If respondents indicated that they were not prepared to answer on behalf of their library, they could not complete the survey. The survey was conducted from 1 December 2016 through 7 February 2017. It was advertised on Twitter, ALA listservs, the websites of Michigan Publishing and Knowledge Unlatched, and was shared by LYRASIS 2 representatives with their client libraries. Beginning in January of 2017, many of those libraries participating in KU and related initiatives that had not yet responded were emailed directly. In the spring, a series of follow-up questions were emailed to the 38 respondents who indicated their willingness to answer a few additional questions. 10 of the librarians wrote back with responses and they are included here in an appendix.