Exploring Open Access Practices, Attitudes, and Policies in Academic Libraries

Preprint at: https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1128&context=fpml

Abstract:  This article reports the results of a 2019 survey of academic librarians that investigated their attitudes, practices, and policies regarding open access (OA). This study asks if academic librarians write policies to ensure that they approach OA intentionally and systematically across all library services. The results indicate that, though librarians report favorable beliefs about OA and integrating OA into technical and public services, they seldom create OA policies.

 

Open Science in Kenya: Where Are We? | Research Metrics and Analytics

“According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It has great potential for advancing science. At its core, it includes (but is not limited to) open access, open data, and open research. Some of the associated advantages are promoting collaboration, sharing and reproducibility in research, and preventing the reinvention of the wheel, thus saving resources. As research becomes more globalized and its output grows exponentially, especially in data, the need for open scientific research practices is more evident — the future of modern science. This has resulted in a concerted global interest in open science uptake. Even so, barriers still exist. The formal training curriculum in most, if not all, universities in Kenya does not equip students with the knowledge and tools to subsequently practice open science in their research. Therefore, to work openly and collaboratively, there is a need for awareness and training in the use of open science tools. These have been neglected, especially in most developing countries, and remain barriers to the cause. Moreover, there is scanty research on the state of affairs regarding the practice and/or adoption of open science. Thus, we developed, through the OpenScienceKE framework, a model to narrow the gap. A sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model was applied in Nairobi, the economic and administrative capital of Kenya. Using the model, we sensitized through seminars, trained on the use of tools through workshops, applied the skills learned in training through hackathons to collaboratively answer the question on the state of open science in Kenya. While the former parts of the model had 20–50 participants, the latter part mainly involved participants with a bioinformatics background, leveraging their advanced computational skills. This model resulted in an open resource that researchers can use to publish as open access cost-effectively. Moreover, we observed a growing interest in open science practices in Kenya through literature search and data mining and that lack of awareness and skills may still hinder the adoption and practice of open science. Furthermore, at the time of the analyses, we surprisingly found that out of the 20,069 papers downloaded from BioRXiv, only 18 had Kenyan authors, a majority of which are international (16) collaborations. This may suggest poor uptake of the use of preprints among Kenyan researchers. The findings in this study highlight the state of open science in Kenya and challenges facing its adoption and practice while bringing forth possible areas for primary consideration in the campaign toward open science. It also proposes a model (sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model) that may be adopted by researchers, funders and other proponents of open science to address some of the challenges faced in promoting its adoption in Kenya….”

 

Researcher attitudes toward data sharing in public data repositories: a meta-evaluation of studies on researcher data sharing | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report a study of how research literature addresses researchers’ attitudes toward data repository use. In particular, the authors are interested in how the term data sharing is defined, how data repository use is reported and whether there is need for greater clarity and specificity of terminology.

Design/methodology/approach

To study how the literature addresses researcher data repository use, relevant studies were identified by searching Library Information Science and Technology Abstracts, Library and Information Science Source, Thomas Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus. A total of 62 studies were identified for inclusion in this meta-evaluation.

Findings

The study shows a need for greater clarity and consistency in the use of the term data sharing in future studies to better understand the phenomenon and allow for cross-study comparisons. Furthermore, most studies did not address data repository use specifically. In most analyzed studies, it was not possible to segregate results relating to sharing via public data repositories from other types of sharing. When sharing in public repositories was mentioned, the prevalence of repository use varied significantly.

Originality/value

Researchers’ data sharing is of great interest to library and information science research and practice to inform academic libraries that are implementing data services to support these researchers. This study explores how the literature approaches this issue, especially the use of data repositories, the use of which is strongly encouraged. This paper identifies the potential for additional study focused on this area.

SMILE: Sustaining Medical Education in A Lockdown Environment. Student Perceptions of a Free Online Access Medical Education Platform as An Adjunct to The Traditional Undergraduate Curriculum During Lockdown | British Journal of Surgery | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  Introduction

The coronavirus outbreak has had significant impact on medical students worldwide. SMILE is a free online access medical education (FOAMEd) platform. SMILE delivered 200 lectures during lockdown with up to 1400 students per session from UK medical schools and 33 abroad. Here we discuss student perceptions to SMILE during lockdown

Method

A survey was used to collect information from students who had utilised the platform during lockdown. This examined access to learning, impact on mental health during lockdown and the differences between FOAMed and more traditional based campus lecture-based learning.

Results

1306 students responded to the survey. The majority of students were concerned regarding their training during lockdown, with 71% reporting an impact on their stress levels and 44% reporting a negative impact on mental health.

On average students attended 4.3hours of teaching put on by their university per week, vs 7.9hours by SMILE.

Positives included anonymity, making 80% more likely to both ask and answer questions, the informal approach, ease of access and enthusiastic teachers. Negatives included time differences and technical issues.

Conclusions

Lockdown provided challenges in medical education, which platforms like SMILE addressed. Our experiences highlighted many positive outcomes of online medical education that may be applicable to other educators.

Dissemination of applied research to the field: attitudes and practices of faculty authors in social work

Abstract:  In applied research disciplines like social work, there is a clear disconnect between the production and dissemination of research and the access and use of research in practice. This research/practice divide is particularly problematic for practitioners required to work within evidence-based or research-informed frameworks. To explore this issue, we conducted a nationwide survey and qualitative interviews with social work faculty regarding their research dissemination attitudes and practices, especially to non-academic audiences. The survey and interviews provide data on faculty dissemination methods, attitudes toward gold and green open access and promotion and tenure considerations. Results demonstrate that faculty are primarily engaged with traditional publishing models and much less engaged with dissemination to non-academic audiences. Faculty are skeptical of open access journals, avoid article processing charges and are only minimally engaged with institutional repositories. Faculty are conflicted regarding the dissemination of their research, especially in the context of promotion and tenure. Shifting dissemination outside of non-academic audiences would require increased confidence in open access, support for the creation of practitioner-focused materials and prioritizing the impact of research on practice.

 

“Exploring Open Access Practices, Attitudes, and Policies in Academic L” by Rachel E. Scott, Caitlin Harrington et al.

Abstract: This article reports the results of a 2019 survey of academic librarians that investigated their attitudes, practices, and policies regarding open access (OA). This study asks if academic librarians write policies to ensure that they approach OA intentionally and systematically across all library services. The results indicate that, though librarians report favorable beliefs about OA and integrating OA into technical and public services, they seldom create OA policies.

Springer Nature and the University of California join together to better understand author attitudes to open research | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Springer Nature and the University of California (UC) today launched a new initiative to gain greater understanding of researcher attitudes to and motivations towards open research practices (including open access articles, data, and code; transparent peer review; and preprints). As part of the partnership, participating UC authors will also have the option to trial Guided Open Access (GOA) for some flagship Nature titles….”

Survey on Cross-Cultural Open Science

“In recent years, there has been growing interest in a new type of open and transparent research worldwide. More and more practices are emerging that not only change the research process, but have already become an integral part of research in some disciplines. Thereby, the spectrum of practices is broad. It ranges from the preliminary disclosure of all hypotheses and analytical steps to the detailed publication of conducted analyses and collected data. These practices are often summarized under the term “Open Science”. The use of these practices and attitudes towards them vary from person to person, subject to subject, and country to country. However, a global picture of use and attitudes has not yet been determined.

Therefore, essential questions about the integration of Open Science cannot be answered yet:

 

Which Open Science practices are used?
What are the obstacles to the use of certain practices?
Are some practices perceived as particularly positive or particularly difficult?
Are there any national trends and differences across countries?

Your answers to these questions should provide possible impulses for the future goals of scientific work and, thus, make a decisive contribution to the further development of scientific practice.

 

We appreciate your participation in this project! Whether you use Open Science practices frequently or you have never heard of them, whether you are an advocate or opponent of the Open Science movement, your opinion is important to us!…”

Survey on Cross-Cultural Open Science

“In recent years, there has been growing interest in a new type of open and transparent research worldwide. More and more practices are emerging that not only change the research process, but have already become an integral part of research in some disciplines. Thereby, the spectrum of practices is broad. It ranges from the preliminary disclosure of all hypotheses and analytical steps to the detailed publication of conducted analyses and collected data. These practices are often summarized under the term “Open Science”. The use of these practices and attitudes towards them vary from person to person, subject to subject, and country to country. However, a global picture of use and attitudes has not yet been determined.

Therefore, essential questions about the integration of Open Science cannot be answered yet:

 

Which Open Science practices are used?
What are the obstacles to the use of certain practices?
Are some practices perceived as particularly positive or particularly difficult?
Are there any national trends and differences across countries?

Your answers to these questions should provide possible impulses for the future goals of scientific work and, thus, make a decisive contribution to the further development of scientific practice.

 

We appreciate your participation in this project! Whether you use Open Science practices frequently or you have never heard of them, whether you are an advocate or opponent of the Open Science movement, your opinion is important to us!…”

Faculty Survey on OER: Perceptions, Behaviors, and Implications for Library Practice

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The Mary Couts Burnett Library at Texas Christian University (TCU) seeks to learn more about university faculty members’ perceptions and behaviors related to open educational resources (OER), and to identify one or more initiatives to increase adoption of OER at the university. METHODS The researchers sent a survey to all university faculty using Qualtrics™, and 104 persons responded. The survey used a combination of multiple-choice and free-text questions, and covered OER adoption and creation by faculty members, their perceptions of OER, and recommendations related to possible initiatives to increase OER interest. RESULTS Among respondents, almost half used OER either currently or in the past, while a fifth created their own OER. When comparing OER to traditional textbooks in terms of being scholarly, the majority indicated that OER and traditional textbooks were about the same level, but a quarter of faculty indicated that traditional textbooks were more scholarly. When asked about initiatives the library could pursue to increase faculty OER creation, the leading responses included financial support of faculty using OER, along with training opportunities. DISCUSSION The researchers were pleased to see that many faculty have used OER either currently or in the past, and that many had positive views surrounding OER. The researchers now have data that support the establishment of OER initiatives. CONCLUSION The survey informs the TCU Library and academic libraries in general. Two initiatives that libraries should consider are establishing an OER training program for faculty and developing a grant program to support faculty members who are adopting or creating OER. Libraries should collaborate with other units on campus such as the center for teaching excellence or the faculty senate.