• An Exploration of Faculty Experiences With Open Access Journal Publishing at Two Canadian Comprehensive Universities

      Yates, Elizabeth (Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 2016)
      Introduction: This exploratory study was intended to shed light on Canadian academics’ participation in, knowledge of and attitudes towards Open Access (OA) journal publishing. The primary aim of the study was to inform the authors’ schools’ educational and outreach efforts to faculty regarding OA publishing. The survey was conducted at two Canadian comprehensive universities: Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) in 2014. Methods: A web-based survey was distributed to faculty at each university. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Limitations: Despite the excellent response rates, the results are not generalizable beyond these two institutions. Results: The Brock response rate was 38%; the Laurier response rate was 23% from full-time faculty and five percent from part-time faculty. Brock and Laurier faculty members share common characteristics in both their publishing practices and attitudes towards OA. Science/health science researchers were the most positive about OA journal publishing; arts and humanities and social sciences respondents were more mixed in their Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, vol. 11, no. 2 (2016) 2 perceptions; business participants were the least positive. Their concerns focused on OA journal quality and associated costs. Conclusion: While most survey respondents agreed that publicly available research is generally a good thing, this study has clearly identified obstacles that prevent faculty’s positive attitudes towards OA from translating into open publishing practices.
    • Open Access funds: getting a bigger bang for our bucks

      Yates, Elizabeth; Hampson, Crystal; Moore, Patricia; Glushko, Robert (Charleston Library Conference 2015, 2015-11)
      Many libraries offer open access publishing funds to support authors in paying article processing charges (APC) levied by some OA journals. However, there are few standard practices for managing or assessing these funds. The Open Access Working Group (OAWG) of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) was asked to investigate and articulate best practices for successful open access fund management. In spring 2015, the OAWG surveyed Canadian academic libraries with OA funds to review their criteria and collect feedback on current practices. The survey proved timely because many OA funds are under review. Shrinking budgets, ending pilots, and questions around scale and sustainability of funds provide context for some institutions revisiting or reconfiguring these funds. At the same time, Canada’s principal funding agencies have issued the new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications (effective May 2015) which mandates open access for funded research and which is increasing the demand from researchers for financial support from their institutions to pay APCs and other OA costs. This paper addresses findings of the survey, some best practices for open access publishing fund management, counter-arguments for OA funds, as well as other strategies developed by international agencies including SPARC.
    • Walking the plank: how scholarly piracy affects publishers, libraries and their users

      Yates, Elizabeth (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2017-03)
      The arrival of technology supporting peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing in scholarly communication has, until recently, had minimal impact on libraries. However, threats posed by pirate sites including Library Genesis Project (LibGen) and Sci-Hub are now impacting both library users and library licensing agreements with publishers. Publishers are nervous as they witness their proprietary content leaking out of paywalled systems—not just hundreds of thousands of articles, but millions. Accordingly, publishers are monitoring activities in licensed products very closely for any behavior that they deem suspicious. When a user’s activities cause a publisher to question whether materials are being pirated, the outcomes can vary. Consequences can range from relatively minor inconvenience for blocked users, who must find workarounds to access scholarly content—to the potential for major disruption of a centuries-old proprietary publishing system. This article uses a case study involving a student at Brock University to highlight significant challenges facing libraries and the rights of their users in the current environment of piracy-wary academic publishers.