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Administration and Leadership Studies Alumnus and Advisor Publish on Open Access Scholarly Publishing

ALS Graduate Dr. Tom ReinsfelderRecent ALS PhD graduate Tom Reinsfelder and his advisor, John Anderson, published “Observations and Perceptions of Academic Administrator Influence on Open Access Initiatives,” originally published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship and now available online for free.

The open access movement has frequently been studied from the perspectives of authors, publishers, and librarians. With the help of Anderson, Reinsfelder’s recent dissertation research investigated the influence of another important but often neglected stakeholder group: academic administrators. The results were recently accepted for publication as a peer-reviewed scholarly article in the Journal of Academic Librarianship. Unfortunately, because this is not an open access journal, the publisher's version of this article is only available to those who pay a fee or have access through a subscribing library. So, please be sure to view the originally submitted open access version posted online and available to everyone.

When academics produce scholarly writings they often do so with the intent of sharing that knowledge with as many readers as possible, and they are not usually motivated by financial gain. In fact, most academic authors would be happy to give their work away. But instead of giving their work away to readers, many authors give their academic articles away to publishers who then sell this content back to readers and libraries at very high prices. Who does this benefit? Not the author, not the readers or peer reviewers, and certainly not libraries. Why do authors do this? Because, in the past, these publishers were needed for printing and distribution. In the digital age, however, things are very different. Open access scholarly publishing provides opportunities for authors to maintain greater control over the distribution of their work, while preserving critical elements of the traditional scholarly publishing system such as peer-review. Open access may be achieved by either publishing in open access journals (peer-reviewed, but no subscription required) or uploading author copies of accepted articles to personal or institutional websites. 

For a further introduction to the Open Access movement, including what it is and what it is not, see Suber, P. (2012). Open Access. MIT Press.

Note: Tom Reinsfelder is the cofounder and coeditor of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research and Practice, an open access, peer reviewed scholarly journal for the Pennsylvania Library Association. This journal just published its second issue.

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