The Vital Role of Librarians as Educators in Seeking to Mature an Institutional Repository and Implement an Open Access Policy

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

2016 Statewide Libraries Day

Conference Location

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Source of Publication

2016 Statewide Libraries Day

Peer Review



IPFW has run an institutional repository on the Digital Commons platform since 2009, but the adoption of a campus wide open access policy in the Spring of 2015 led to a greater sense of awareness of and concern about issues of repository content for many faculty members. The role of our librarians as educators in issues pertaining to open access and scholarly communications has thus become more important than ever.

In the summer of 2015, we began to hear concerns from faculty that some articles included in our repository were from open access journals of dubious quality-- some published by what have come be known in the scholarly communications field as "predatory publishers." These faculty members expressed hesitation about including their own future works in our repository, fearing harm to their professional reputations through "guilt by association." Some even seemed to equate open access publishing in general with poor quality and/or predatory publishing. In response to these concerns, we began an informational campaign designed to educate faculty as to the nature and purpose of an open access institutional repository, contemporary scholarly communications issues such as the threat of predatory publishers, and methods and criteria for determining publisher quality. Thus far, we have held two presentations for faculty about issues surrounding open access and determining publisher quality, and we have completed an extensive study comparing a snapshot of the contents of our repository against Beall's List, an online list of predatory publishers. This study has provided us with hard data showing the extent of the “predatory journal problem” in our institutional repository to be quite minor and confined to only a few specific individuals and departments. It is our hope that the results of this study will help to assuage fears and begin to shape official policy as we continue to educate our faculty, promote our institutional repository, and implement our open access policy.


predatory journals, scholarly publishing, open access


Library and Information Science | Scholarly Communication | Scholarly Publishing

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