Scholarly Communication Education Initiatives · 13
surprisingly, nearly all the responding institutions
addressed faculty on the topics of the economics of
scholarly publishing, author rights management,
contributing to digital repositories, the benefits
of open access journals, and the implications for
teaching of giving away copyright. Other preva-
lent issues include public access initiatives such as
the Federal Public Access Act of 2006, the impact of
the new SC models on peer review and promotion
and tenure issues, and author activism (refusal to
publish in expensive journals), followed by editor
activism (working within scholarly societies to im-
prove open access to articles) and concerns about
the future of scholarly society publishing. Other
topics respondents have addressed include copy-
right, fair use, and the importance of depositing
into the local institutional repository.
Although none of the respondents have rigor-
ously gathered information concerning the efficacy
of their efforts with faculty, they were able to rank
which methods of delivery they thought worked
well with this group. The most commonly used
and most effective means of delivering the SC mes-
sage to faculty is one-on-one conversations; 69% of
the respondents indicating that it was somewhat
or most effective. The next most effective methods
are informal (52%) and formal (41%) group discus-
sions. Although nearly every responding institu-
tion now has a SC Web site, these were judged as
somewhat or very effective by just 18%—slightly
less effective than brochures and e-mail messages
(22%). Newsletter articles were the least used and
least effective means of communication. One re-
spondent commented that their, “lunch series was
highly attended by faculty. In fact, we are repeating
a couple of the sessions to accommodate those who
were not able to attend due to demand. Our most
effective communications have come where fac-
ulty talk with knowledgeable experts (library and
campus counsel) and with other faculty. The lunch
series is one example of that.” So, it appears that
talking to the faculty in small groups or one-on-
one—and feeding them—may be the way to go.
Non-faculty Researchers
Only 14 respondents (28%) indicated that they had
targeted programs toward non-faculty research-
ers. The SC topics discussed with this group are
essentially the same as those targeted to faculty,
primarily author rights management, contributing
to digital repositories, the economics of scholarly
publishing, and author activism. As with faculty,
the best way to reach this constituency is by means
of one-on-one conversations or informal group dis-
cussions. Other channels were rated only moder-
ately effective. Due to the small sample size, it is
probably unwarranted to draw other conclusions
about this category.
Institutional Administrators
All but a few respondents (49 or 85%) have target-
ed scholarly communication education messages
to institutional administrators; the majority (34 or
59%) have targeted a specific administrator such as
the Provost, Chancellor, or a particular Dean. Once
again, the most effective mode of communication
is one-on-one conversation, followed by informal
and formal group discussions. The topic most fre-
quently discussed with administrators is the eco-
nomics of scholarly publishing. Other commonly
addressed topics include author rights manage-
ment, contributing to digital repositories, and the
implications for teaching of giving away copyright.
The least frequently discussed topics are author
activism and editor activism. Respondents report
that they have also spoken of the “Importance to
the university for retaining its intellectual proper-
ty” and the “Prestige and grant-application value
of IR.” Other respondents added these comments:
“It’s most effective when its addressed in the con-
text of something the university is trying to accom-
plish.” “What we are trying to do is to offer sound
and practical advice and not to come off as a group
who believe that they have ‘special knowledge’
about an admittedly complex situation or an ideal-
istic ‘agenda’ like open access, etc., but to provide
all options as existing and changing realities.”
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