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Journal article

A resonant message: aligning scholar values and Open Access objectives in OA policy outreach to faculty and graduate students

19 Dec 2016


Faculty contribution to the institutional repository is a major limiting factor in the successful provision of open access to scholarship, and thus to the advancement of research productivity and progress. Many have alluded to outreach messages through studies examining faculty concerns that underlie their reluctance to contribute, but specific open access messages demonstrated to resonate most with faculty have not been discussed with sufficient granularity. Indeed, many faculty benefits and concerns are likely either unknown to the faculty themselves, or unspoken, so the literature’s record of faculty benefits and perceptions of open access remains incomplete at best. 

Description of program:

At Rutgers University, we have developed a targeted message that both addresses these unspoken/unknown concerns and benefits and speaks to the promise and inevitability of open access in a changing scholarly communication landscape. This paper details that message and its rationale, based on a critical review of the literature currently informing outreach programs, in order to provoke further discussion of specific outreach messages and the principles underlying them.

Next steps:

A robust scholarly communication organization, open access policy advisory board, expanded outreach, and sustained momentum will be critical to ensuring success with measurable outcomes. Metrics used to evaluate both OA policy implementation efforts and institutional repositories should be re-evaluated in light of the governing objectives of open access outreach efforts and tools. It is hoped that a reassessment of the message and the metrics will better align both with the true promise and prerequisites of open access.

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