Administrator Interest is Perceived to Encourage Faculty and Librarian Involvement in Open Access Activities
AbstractA Review of:
Reinsfelder, T.L., & Anderson, J.A. (2013). Observations and perceptions of academic administrator influence on open access initiatives. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39(6): 481-487. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2013.08.014
Objective – To better understand the roles and influence of senior-level academic administrators, such as provosts, on open access (OA) activities at the institutional level, including whether librarians perform these activities regardless of administrative interest.
Design – Web-based survey questionnaire combined with multiple regression analysis.
Settings – The research was conducted online using surveys emailed to potential participants at not-for-profit public and private academic institutions in the United States with a FTE of greater than 1000.
Subjects – Academic library directors at selected colleges and universities.
Methods – Using directory information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and filtering institutions according to not-for-profit status, size, and special focus, a survey sample of 1135 colleges and universities was obtained. Library websites were used to acquire contact information for library directors. In summer 2012 the 43-item survey questionnaire was distributed to respondents online using Qualtrics. The four primary variables were each comprised of multiple questionnaire items and validated using factor analysis, and the data was explored using multiple regression.
Main Results – The survey received 298 respondents for a 26% response rate, though the number of incomplete responses is not stated. Among four stakeholder groups (faculty, publishers, librarians, and senior academic administrators), library directors perceived librarians as having the greatest influence in regards to the adoption of open access (mean = .7056), followed by faculty (.3792), administrators (.1881), and publishers as having a negative impact (–.3684). A positive correlative relationship was determined between Administrator Attention to Open Access—a key variable operationalized by combining eight questionnaire items—and the variables Librarian Commitment to Open Access, Faculty Commitment to Open Access, and Faculty Proclivity Toward Open Access, with the latter especially the case at lower levels of administrator support. Regarding institution size, library directors perceived a higher likelihood of faculty adherence and librarian commitment to OA at large institutions (over 20,000). A given institution’s public or private status and geographic region were not significant predictors of faculty or librarian commitment or adherence to open access.
Conclusions – The study finds that academic library directors perceive librarians to have the strongest influence upon adoption of open access, and senior academic administrator attention to open access is positively linked to the OA activities of faculty and librarians. Larger institutions are considered to have greater commitment to OA, potentially due to differing missions according to institution type. The authors recommend that open access advocates consider administrator roles and target administrator support when seeking to increase participation in OA.
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