Wednesday, May 27, 2020 News

Framing Infrastructure Decisions with Shared Open Values 

Open Access

The IUPUI University Library has long been a champion of advancing Open. Last year, staff members decided to agree on what principles that would guide its investment in open scholarship and infrastructure moving forward.

The result was the adoption of an Open Values Statement. It goes beyond Open Access to cover open as it relates to science, licensing, knowledge, data, and open educational resources. The document provides IUPUI’s newly formed Scholarly Communication Advisory Group with evaluation criteria to inform its decision making, according to Tina Baich, Senior Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication & Content Strategies, who helped spearhead the statement’s development at the state institution in Indianapolis with 30,000 students.

“We recognized there are many paths to advancing open. We thought we could have a stronger impact if we had a more focused effort,” said Baich, of forming the eight-person advisory group. “Starting with a statement gave a strong foundation for the group to build on.”

As is the case with many institutions, IUPUI is facing concerns about commercial interests making inroads with data management. The values statement is one way to provide an internal guidepost and justification so decisions are made in the best interest of students, researchers, and the university community, said Baich. It’s an effort for the library to be transparent and public about its core beliefs.

To develop the document, the library set up forums beginning in January 2019 to gather input and looked to other models, such as one adopted by Western Libraries. At a town hall meeting and focus group sessions, library staff members were asked what Open meant to them, and why – and how – the library should support Open. The responses were used to inform the language in the values statement, which was finalized in the summer and rolled out publicly during Open Access Week festivities in October. The statement was the subject of a blog written by Baich. 

In 2009, the IUPUI Faculty Council adopted an Open Access Policy. In the five years since its passage, the library has made more than 10,000 scholarly articles freely available through its institutional repository, IUPUI ScholarWorks. Next, the plan is for the library dean to share the values statement in meetings with other administrators on campus to further demonstrate the library’s commitment to work in Open. The hope is that the statement will be a tool that will inspire others making purchases and setting up infrastructure on campus to use a similar framework.

Others involved in the library’s Scholarly Communication Advisory Group include: Heather Coates, Digital Scholarship & Data Management Librarian; Chip Dye, Director of Operations; Justin Kani, OER & Business/SPEA Librarian; Mairelys Lemus-Rojas, Open Knowledge Librarian; Jere Odell, Scholarly Communication Librarian; Caitlin Pike, Research Engagement Coordinator & Health Sciences Librarian and Denise Rayman, Philanthropic Studies Librarian & Digital Archivist.

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