The Accessibility of Open Access Materia…

The Accessibility of Open Access Materials in Libraries :
« Librarians often champion open access (OA) as a sustainable alternative to the current scholarly communications system, which is widely accepted as being in a state of crisis. However, there has been little insight into how far libraries are making this support tangible by providing access to OA publications in their OPACs and other library pathways. This study conducted a large-scale survey of US library holdings to determine the extent that records of journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals are held by WorldCat-affiliated Academic libraries. It then followed up with a questionnaire inquiring into the attitudes and practices of librarians from 100 libraries that were ranked highest out of the total population in terms of their holdings of DOAJ journals. The main objective of the study was to develop a better understanding of the factors influencing the incorporation of OA materials into a university library’s holdings, where and by what means they typically appear on library websites, and how librarians feel about having these materials in their collections. Our findings suggest that the majority (54%) of WorldCat-affiliated US academic libraries have at least one record for a DOAJ journal in their holdings. It additionally suggests that librarians from institutions holding high numbers of DOAJ records generally have very positive attitudes towards OA, even though most of the respondents from these institutions were largely unaware that their holdings were more heavily weighted towards DOAJ records than at comparable institutions. Regarding library selection of OA titles, a journal’s subject matter was highlighted as a more important consideration than its access model. Additional findings suggest that large publishers of OA journals tend to have a higher representation in library holdings than smaller independent publishers.  »