Research libraries in an Open Access world
peter.suber's bookmarks 2023-12-06
"For the past decade or so, research libraries worldwide have advertised job openings for Open Access Librarians, Open Scholarship Librarians or Open Educational Resources Librarians to be appointed in newly established organisational units such as Offices of Scholarly Communication, Open Research Teams or Digital Scholarship Services. Job listings such as these illustrate an acknowledgment that libraries need to engage with evolutions in scholarly communication if they wish to stay relevant in the context of teaching, learning and research. At the same time, the creation of these positions and units strengthens the impression that these are new tasks for libraries, distinct from their traditional roles in scholarly communication and therefore best organised separately. Though this might have been an efficient approach when there was a pressing need to develop new skills and expertise at a high pace, we may wonder how meaningful this still is in a context where a very significant percentage of new scholarly articles are now published OA, and OA books are slowly but surely becoming mainstream.
Are our libraries prepared for this OA world or have we been lulled into a false sense of preparedness by creating these small teams in the margin without making substantial changes to the majority of our legacy processes such as acquisition and cataloguing? Have libraries changed sufficiently at their core to continue playing a central role in scholarly communication in a context which is not only digital but also OA? Is developing publishing programs within the library the only answer to that question and does this affect other areas of the library in a significant way? Or should libraries focus completely on a future as student-oriented learning centres and leave research support to others?"