Publications and Evaluations: Conducting a Baseline Assessment of Open Access Adoption and Support at an R2 University
Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication
INTRODUCTION This study reflects a mid-size university library's first attempt to assess faculty research output to shape future scholarly communications efforts. METHODOLOGY The assessment combined a qualitative analysis of the university's reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) documents with a quantitative analysis of faculty publications recorded in Digital Measures from 2015-2019. The RPT documents were coded to determine which indicators of scholarly value were emphasized, then
... asized, then compared with data on where and how faculty were publishing. RESULTS Within RPT documents, peer review was frequently emphasized, but open access and predatory publishing were not mentioned. The majority of publications occurred in hybrid journals, and publishing was concentrated among only a handful of publishers, with 11 publishers responsible for 62% of faculty's research output. OA journal publications have risen slightly in recent years but still accounted for only 20.7% of UCCS publications. However, predatory publishing was very low, accounting for less than 5% of UCCS publications. DISCUSSION More education is needed on the importance of open access and how to assess the quality of a journal. RPT criteria consistently mentioned certain indicators of scholarly quality, but these indicators were often vague and preferential to traditional publishing models. Both open access and predatory publishing remain low, and additional education may help faculty feel more confident in exploring alternative publishing models. CONCLUSION Assessing the research output of faculty and how scholarship is being evaluated within each college can help libraries to tailor their efforts to promote open access publishing. However, the lack of OA support in the RPT criteria suggests a larger cultural shift is needed to make faculty not only aware of OA, but also encouraged and supported in publishing OA. 1. Faculty activity reports or other faculty reported data can provide a different measure of scholarly outputs than traditional bibliometric tools. 2. A baseline assessment of where and how faculty are publishing can provide valuable information to guide scholarly communications efforts, collection development, and future publisher deal negotiations. 3. Although journal quality and metrics are emphasized in tenure and promotion criteria, faculty may not receive further guidance from their departments on how to understand or evaluate these when choosing a journal.