Surveying the Scalability of OA Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences


In June of 2016 the University of Michigan Library (U-M Library) and Knowledge Unlatched (KU) began a collaboration “to study and overcome remaining obstacles to the spread of Open Access (OA) scholarly publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).” We are now very pleased to announce that one product of this partnership will be a survey of academic librarians in the United States conducted by Christopher Barnes, PhD, a fellow at U-M Library and an LIS student in the School of Information.

The survey, to be released towards the end of November, will target librarians involved in the decision-making process behind participation in OA initiatives targeting monographs in the HSS. Librarians currently considering joining an OA initiative, or who have declined to join, are also encouraged to participate. The goal is to determine the major impediments to the scalability of initiatives like KU from the perspective of collections staff, both in terms of increasing the number of participating libraries and the percentage of OA HSS monographs in their collections. Financial and budgetary concerns will of course feature prominently in the study, but so too will issues like discoverability, preservation, and workflow.


Dr. Barnes will conduct a series of follow-up interviews in early 2017 to add context and nuance to the survey responses. He will complete his work in the early spring, present his findings to U-M Library and KU on 10 May, and then hopes to publish in a scholarly journal.