Skip to Main Content

ACRL/EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee

OA Email Topics Overview - Introduction to Series

Email sent to EBSS-L 09/21/2017

Subject: EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee Emails on Open Access Topics

Dear EBSS Librarians—

This year’s theme for International Open Access Week (Oct. 24-30) is “Open in Action.” As Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, notes, “As Open Access becomes a more and more familiar concept, we must focus on the small steps everyone can take to make openness in research a reality.”

In celebration of Open Access Week, during the month of October, members of the EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee will be posting a few messages to the EBSS list with information about selected OA topics and suggestions for engaging faculty members and graduate students in conversation.

It is our hope that these emails will inspire you to learn more about Open Access, and to reach out to faculty and graduate students to discuss Open Access topics during the month of October.

We welcome your feedback on this project. Thank you.


Ericka Arvidson Raber
Chair, EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee

NOTE: The following message was included in each topic mailing to restate the purpose of the email to EBSS-L and to solicit feedback:

Dear EBSS Librarians,

During the Open Access month of October, members of the EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee will post weekly messages about open access (OA) topics that include suggestions for how to engage graduate students and faculty members in conversation.

In this post, we provide brief overview of [OA Topic Spotlighted].

Please provide feedback on our initiative so we may improve it in future:

OA Topic 1 - Introduction

Posted to EBSS-L 10/5/2016
Subject: Open Access Week 2016: OA - A general introduction

Open Access IS:

  • “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” [1]

  • “ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.” [2]

  • a framework which in most cases requires attribution of the creator of the information


Open Access IS NOT:

  • the giving away of an author’s rights to intellectual content.

  • exclusive of “copyright, peer review, revenue (even profit), print, preservation, prestige, quality, career-advancement, indexing, and other features and supportive services associated with conventional scholarly literature.” [3]


Selected Open Access Topics


Want to learn more?

Start the Conversation

  1. Share Open Access information with your faculty & graduate students

  2. Schedule a workshop or lunch and learn for faculty & graduate students

  3. Identify who on your campus is engaging with Open Access, and highlight their efforts. Look for faculty who are: publishing in OA journals, creating or using OERs, or depositing Open Data


Are you new to OA?

Are you somewhat knowledgeable about OA?

  • Advise faculty on ways to make their work more open.

  • Identify relevant OA journals for program areas in your university community, either generally, or by subject area. Curate a list and maintain a guide to this information.

  • Help faculty deposit presentations or posters (or other largely ephemeral information) into your institutional repository

Are you experienced with OA?

  • Help faculty strategize how to disseminate their work more broadly (e.g., deposit pre- or post-prints in an open repository to increase access)

  • Help faculty understand author addenda, such as the SPARC Author Addendum [4]

  • Share and discuss these examples:

What can I do? (A Guide for Faculty & Graduate Students)

  1. Schedule an appointment with a librarian versed in my subject area to learn about OA in my area of research. Questions I can ask:

    1. What are some of the peer-reviewed journals that I can access to support my research?
    2. Does the campus administration or the libraries support faculty like me who want to publish in OA journals?
    3. How can I publish in OA journals?
  2. Share my work online. Not sure how or where? Talk to a librarian. Ask these questions:
    1. How can I make my prior publications freely available through an institutional repository?
    2. How can I work with my publishers to make future publications freely available to other researchers?
    3. When I discuss or share my work online, provide the DOI (digital object identifier, a unique ID for my article, book chapter, dataset, or code).





[2] Ibid.

[3]  Suber, Peter. “Open Access Overview.” June 21, 2004. Revised, December 5, 2015. Accessed September 25, 2016.



OA Topic 2 - Open Data

Sent to EBSS-L list on 10/13/2016
Subject: Open Access Week 2016: Open Data

Dear EBSS Librarians,
During the Open Access month of October, members of the EBSS Scholarly Communication Committee will post weekly messages about open access (OA) topics that include suggestions for how to engage graduate students and faculty members in conversation.

This week’s post is about Open Data.

Please provide feedback on our initiative so we may improve it in future:

Open Data is:

  • In its ideal form, Open Data is data that “can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose."

Though not every scholar is ready to make all of their data completely open, even helping them take small steps towards open data can begin to have a big impact…

The impact of Open Data:

  • Open Data advances scholarship by making research data more findable, mixable and replicable. Rather than hiding data away after one use, researchers can build on one another’s work to more quickly make new discoveries.
  • Open Data saves money because the same data no longer needs to be gathered twice.
  • Open Data makes taxpayer-funded data available to the public.
  • Open Data increases the likelihood that research data will be preserved.
  • Open Data can generate more funding! Researchers that produce and share impactful data can make stronger cases for future federal future.
  • Open Data can be citable data, and highly cited data-sets demonstrate impact on tenure and promotion applications.

What can librarians do?

  • Learn more about Open Data and research data management! The links below are great places to start!
  • Help educate your faculty on the value of Open Data.
  • Help scholars in finding appropriate places to archive their data.
  • Help with archival metadata, so preserved data is more findable and reusable.
  • Help write or consult on data management plans for funding applications.
  • Help researchers who have received federal funding to understand and/or comply with Open Data access policies.

Want to learn more?

OA Topic 3 - OA Journals for Education

Why Open Access (OA): open-access literature is free and available to anyone. Researchers anywhere in the world can read the scholarly output published in an open-access journal. In other words, a local teacher who does not have access to the journals subscribed to by university libraries can read the latest research findings published in an OA journal without running into a paywall.

Gold vs. Green: open access comes in two flavors.

  • Gold Open Access means the article is available for free, immediately upon publication on the publisher’s website.
  • Green Open Access, also known as self-archiving,allows authors to publish in traditional journals, then place a final author copy in an institutional or subject repository. There are no author costs involved in the green model.

How OA journals support themselves: Rather than charging readers a subscription fee, gold OA journals often use the "author-pays" model in which they charge authors an article processing charge (APC). Many authors charge these funds to their research grants. A number of institutions offer funds to help their authors pay for article processing charges. See the SPARC Campus Open Access Funds guide for more details.

OA Journals in Education (all of the gold OA journals listed below are peer-reviewed and online)

  • AERA Open: published by the American Educational Research Association, AERA Open emphasizes rapid review and dissemination of high-quality education research. Author fee: an “introductory rate” is currently set at $200.
  • Berkeley Review of Education (BRE): interdisciplinary journal edited by students from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education. Author fee:none
  • Cogent Education: mission is to "help researchers publish their work for a global audience." Author fee: allows authors to choose how much they contribute toward OA publication costs based on their unique financial circumstances.
  • Open Review of Education Research: publishes papers from a multidisciplinary perspective, accepting both quantitative and qualitative studies, as well as articles with historical or philosophical perspectives. Author fee: $850.
  • RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences: publishes cross-disciplinary collaborations on issues of interest to academics, policymakers, and the public at large. Author fee: none
  • SAGE Open: publishes original research and review articles in all areas of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. Author fee: $395.

Hybrid journals: It should be noted that many traditional, subscription-based journals allow authors to pay an article processing fee to make an article freely available. This is known as the “hybrid model”. Below is a very selective list of high impact hybrid journals and their open access fees:

Green Open Access: Authors who cannot afford to publish an article in an OA journal that charges APCs and who cannot draw on research grants or campus open access funds to help pay for an article processing charge, can take the green route by posting a final author version of their article on a campus open-access repository. Most journal publishers give authors this right; there are no author costs involved in green OA.

How to engage your constituents: start the conversation

  1. Share Open Access information with your faculty and graduate students.
  2. Schedule a workshop for faculty and graduate students.
  3. Identify who on your campus is engaging with Open Access, and highlight their efforts. Look for faculty who are publishing in OA journals or archiving their articles in a repository.


Margaret Phillips
Librarian, Social Sciences Division
Education/Psychology Library, 2600 Tolman Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

OA Topic 4 - Moving Beyond the Impact Factor

Moving Beyond the Journal Impact Factor

How do you show the impact of your research, teaching, and service?

We are no longer limited to the Journal Impact Factor to demonstrate the impact of our work. PLoS gave us article-level metrics and the altmetrics* movement has given us an abundance of data to indicate how people are engaging with our work online. Altmetrics can help paint a fuller picture of how our work affects the world, both inside and outside of academia. Altmetrics are also available for many of the products you already create that may not generate citations: presentations, white papers, teaching materials, code, and data. While no metric can measure the quality of a work, there are many metrics (e.g., altmetrics) in addition to the impact factor. These metrics, along with qualitative context, can describe the attention, discussion, readership, and reuse your work is getting beyond formal citation in journal articles. Plus, altmetrics begin to accrue much earlier than citations, which is particularly useful for early career tenure-track faculty.

Altmetrics offer four potential advantages:

  • A more nuanced understanding of impact, showing us which scholarly products are read, discussed, saved and recommended as well as cited.
  • Often more timely data, showing evidence of impact in days instead of years.
  • A window on the impact of web-native scholarly products like datasets, software, blog posts, videos and more.
  • Indications of impacts on diverse audiences including scholars but also practitioners, clinicians, educators and the general public.”                                                                   

(Heather Piwowar, 2013)

Piwowar, H. (2013). Introduction altmetrics: What, why and where? Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology39(4), 8-9.

Start the conversation (Librarian Activities)

  1. Send an email to faculty (template below)
  2. Schedule a workshop to walk through the faculty & graduate student activities below.
  3. Identify who on your campus already has an ORCID.

*New to research metrics, especially altmetrics?

  • First, check out the site What are altmetrics?
  • Then help faculty create an ORCID and add items not automatically imported. To identify faculty with ORCID, run author searches in Web of Science or Scopus, or check out the tips from ORCID.

Have some experience with publication and altmetrics?

Making progress: Advise faculty on ways to make their work more open

  • Using an author addendum
  • Depositing presentations or posters into the IR
  • Share products like teaching materials, code, data, or others on Figshare

Are you a metrics wonk or master of scholarly communication?

Help faculty strategize how to disseminate their work more broadly (e.g., deposit pre- or post-prints in an open repository to increase access) and gather evidence of attention and impact; Help them to aggregate and present evidence to support their narrative for promotion and tenure or in a grant proposal.

Share and discuss these examples:

Key resources for Librarians

A practical guide to altmetrics for Librarians (Natalia Madjarevic, Altmetric)

10 ways librarians can support altmetrics (Natalia Madjarevic, Altmetric)

What can I do? (Faculty & Graduate Student Activities)

  1. Sign up for an ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor ID) to get credit for your work. Put it on your website, CV, email, grant proposals, etc.)
  2. Share your work online (Not sure how or where? Talk to your librarian)
  3. When you discuss or share your work online, provide the DOI (digital object identifier, a unique ID for you article, book chapter, dataset, or code).
  4. Connect ImpactStory to your ORCID and check out your free metrics profile (; your ORCID goes at the end)
  5. Report a range of item-level metrics in the context of your field or community. Talk to your librarian for help!
    3. Reads

Key resources for Researchers

Quick & dirty guide to building your online reputation (Stacy Konkiel, Altmetric)

30-day Impact Challenge (Stacy Konkiel, ImpactStory)

Altmetric and Kudos: like peanut butter and jelly (Cat Williams, Altmetric)

The use of altmetrics in promotion & tenure (Konkiel, Sugimoto, & Williams)

Heather Coates, MLS, MS
Digital Scholarship and Data Management Librarian

IUPUI University Library - Center for Digital Scholarship
Phone: (317) 278-7125