Promoting Public Access Policies – A New Role for Librarians
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The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) with its public access policy has joined a host of other granting agencies requiring researchers to provide open access to their research outputs. To help researchers comply with this policy, science librarians at York University have developed a diversified strategy for education and outreach on open access and scholarly publishing issues. Development of a website providing information on policy highlights and resources for enabling open access to research was the first step in this direction. The website has since been included under representative documents in a recent ARL Spec Kit on Public Access Policies. Advocating for institutional support for OA publisher memberships to cover article processing fees was seen as a logical next step to provide more avenues for faculty publishing in OA journals. The recent Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity provides a rationale for this approach. In this paper we will discuss how we sought to promote these initiatives through online community newsletters as well as through workshops organized by faculty research officers. Faculty uptake of these initiatives will be discussed based on informal feedback from researchers who have availed of these subsidies. The launch of PubMed Central Canada has been an added impetus to promote open access among researchers. Explaining the benefits of deposit in subject and institutional repositories is best done by librarians who understand the scholarly communications landscape. Library professional organizations increasingly view library support of public access policies as one of the future trends impacting libraries. In a special report on library liaison roles, the Association of Research Libraries has underlined the importance of the liaison librarian in promoting new models in scholarly communication. In this context we share our experiences in forging partnerships across the campus to promote public access to research and evaluate the approach we have used in terms of future directions.