Awareness of Open Access Issues Differs among Faculty at Institutions of Different Sizes
Keywords:open access, academic librarianship
AbstractA Review of:
Kocken, G. J. & Wical, S. H. (2013). “I’ve never heard of it before”: Awareness of open access at a small liberal arts university. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 32(3), 140-154. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1080/01639269.2013.817876
Objective – This study surveyed faculty awareness of open access (OA) issues and the institutional repository (IR) at the University of Wisconsin. The authors hoped to use findings to inform future IR marketing strategies to faculty.
Design – Survey.
Setting – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a small, regional public university (approximately 10,000 students).
Subjects – 105 faculty members.
Methods – The authors contacted 397 faculty members inviting them to participate in an 11 question online survey. Due to anonymity issues on a small campus, respondents were not asked about rank and discipline, and were asked to not provide identifying information. A definition of OA was not provided by the authors, as survey participants were queried about their own definition.
Main Results – Approximately 30% of the faculty were aware of OA issues. Of all the definitions of OA given by survey respondents, “none . . . came close” to the definition favoured by the authors (p. 145). More than 30% of the faculty were unable to define OA at a level deemed basic by the authors.
A total of 51 (48.57%) of the survey respondents indicated that there are OA journals in their disciplines. Another 6 (5.71%) of the faculty members claimed that there are no OA journals in their disciplines, although most provided a definition of OA and several considered OA publishing to be “very important.”
The remaining 48 participants (46%) were unsure if there are OA journals in their disciplines. Of these survey respondents, 38 answered that they have not published in an OA journal, 10 were unsure, and 21 believed that their field benefits or would benefit from OA journals.
Survey respondents cited quality of the journal, prestige, and peer review as extremely important in selecting a journal in which to publish.
Conclusion – The authors conclude that the level of awareness related to OA issues must be raised before IRs can flourish. They ponder how university and college administrators regard OA publishing, and the influence this has on the tenure and promotion process.
How to Cite
The Creative Commons-Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License 4.0 International applies to all works published by Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Authors will retain copyright of the work.