Reporting back on our ACRL 2021 conference panel: Open access investment at the local level
Last year the UC Berkeley Library’s Collection Services Council charged a working group to develop local best practices to guide investment in open access (OA) products and services. Advancing open access to scholarship is one of the Library’s key goals, and addressing how and when UCB invests in OA resources and materials is one path to supporting this priority. In May 2020 the working group completed its report, recommending key criteria and a workflow for evaluating open access investment opportunities.
Even though the Library is in the early stages of implementing the proposed criteria and review process, we submitted a proposal for the 2021 ACRL Conference to share our work with the broader academic library community and to receive feedback as we develop the process. We also wanted to hear how related projects address open access investments, and understand the challenges (and hopefully, solutions) others have encountered along the way.
Our panel was titled Open access investment at the local level: Sharing diverse tactics to improve access & affordability. We know that many decisions about open access investments take place at administrative or consortial levels, but librarians frequently field requests for access, resources, or partnerships at the local level through their relationships with students, researchers, and faculty. The panel aimed to share real-world examples of where and how academic libraries decide to invest in open access resources, and discuss commonalities and differences in strategies and give attendees examples they can apply in their own roles.
- Sam Teplitzky, Open Science Librarian, UC Berkeley
- Timothy Vollmer, Scholarly Communication & Copyright Librarian, UC Berkeley
- Sharla Lair, Senior Strategist, Open Access & Scholarly Communication Initiatives at LYRASIS
- Tom Narock, Assistant Professor of Data Science at Goucher College
- Justin Gonder, Senior Product Manager, Publishing, California Digital Library
Tim discussed the findings and recommendations of the UC Berkeley Library Open Access Investment Working Group, including the main criteria and processes by which the Library could evaluate open access investment opportunities. Sharla outlined the Open Access Community Investment Program, a new community-funded OA publishing program launched by LYRASIS and Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA). It aims to match nonprofit publishers who are seeking financial investments with funders looking to support OA publishing projects. Tom and Justin talked about the goals and infrastructure required to support preprint servers such as EarthArXiv, and explained the partnership that EarthArXiv entered into with the California Digital Library. Sam led the group discussion at the end of the panel.
We thank the panelists for their time and engaging conversation, and hope the discussion sparks ideas for open investments beyond Berkeley. You can view the panel presentations and discussion below. If you have questions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.