A Review of Open Access in Action, a year-long initiative between Dove Medical Press and Library Journal
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Lauren M. Young, MLIS, MA, AHIP
Instruction Coordinator/Reference and Research Services Librarian
Samford University

In February 2016, Dove Medical Press and Library Journal announced a unique partnership: a year-long initiative named Open Access in Action with the goal of analyzing the ways in which librarians are interacting with and supporting the open access publishing model.[1]

Hosted on the Library Journal website, the Open Access in Action home page can be found at: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/openaccessinaction/

Background

Dove Medical Press, or Dovepress, founded in 2003, describes itself as “a privately held UK company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.”[2]  A for-profit open access publisher with a current journal list comprising over 100 titles, Dovepress offers author-direct publishing models as well as institutional membership plans that allow organizations and institutions to absorb some of the article-processing charges for their publishing faculty.[3]

Library Journal, founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey, the creator and namesake of the Dewey Decimal System,[4] bills itself as “the most trusted and respected publication for the library community,” offering features, news reports, and extensive reviews via print, digital and live content media.[5]

A browse through LJ’s archives reveals that the publication has long been discussing open access publishing as it concerns librarians, making it a natural partner for Dovepress in this initiative.

Content

The primary content authored for Open Access in Action comes in two forms: featured video interviews and featured articles.

Five featured video interviews find host Gary Price, librarian and founder/editor of LJ’s infoDOCKET, interviewing the following individuals:

  • Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Open Access Project and the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication (February 1, 2016)
  • MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian at UC Davis (March 1, 2016)
  • Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication at University of Utah (March 16, 2016)
  • Jean-Gabriel Bankier, President/CEO of bepress (April 6, 2016)
  • Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC/Scholarly Publishing and Academic Research Coalition (April 20, 2016)

Hosted on a YouTube channel entitled LJ Video Interviews [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz6BNF7Ev00Krf2ekrG2Ciw], the videos feature web-based, remote interviews between Price and the interviewees ranging from 22 to 29 minutes in length.

To date, Open Access in Action hosts five featured articles discussing increasing buy-in for your institutional repository; libraries’ roles in supporting open data expectations for researchers; funding trends for article-processing charges; the EU’s Open Science Policy Platform; and discovery of peer-reviewed open access literature.[6]

The Open Access in Action home page includes additional Library Journal articles that are related to open access; links to open access resources; infoDOCKET open access articles; and several ads for Dovepress, which is listed as the initiative’s “exclusive sponsor.”

Assessment

A 140-year-old library publication partners with a 13-year-old open access publisher for a 1-year-long initiative. Who stands to gain the most?

Some might argue that Dovepress has the most to gain from this relationship. Library Journal is a highly read, well-respected publication. Dovepress will gain a lot of exposure and likely garner additional trust from librarians during this initiative due to being so prominently featured on LJ’s website.

It is also arguable that Library Journal will assert itself as a leader in the open access discussion by participating in this joint venture. The publication stands to draw new attention from health sciences librarians, given its partnership with a medical publisher they might know and have an interest in.

Ultimately, the entity that stands to gain the most from this partnership is the librarian looking for a clean, dynamic, well-designed website that offers access to numerous open access resources, articles discussing a variety of issues and topics surrounding open access, and video interviews featuring respected scholars and librarians knowledgeable in this domain.

It will be interesting to see what future Open Access in Action installments will hold, as well as how the site will be archived for future reference once the year-long initiative concludes.

(Editor’s Note: Dovepress has been promoting its OA initiative with Library Journal in an ad appearing on Doody’s Collection Development Monthly newsletter and website since February.)


[1] Dove Medical Press and Library Journal Launch a Year-Long Program Exploring Issues in Open Access. February 9, 2016. https://www.dovepress.com/press_releases.php?content_id=3447

[2] About Dove Medical Press. August 24, 2015. https://www.dovepress.com/about_dovepress.php.

[3] Membership plans. May 7, 2015. https://www.dovepress.com/member_page_1.php

[4] Fialkoff, Francine. Happy Birthday, LJ! September 30, 2011. LJ Insider. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/09/opinion/lj-insider/happy-birthday-lj/

[5] About. n.d. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/about/

[6] Archives for OAIA. n.d. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/tag/oaia/

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