It’s Easier to Preach Than Practice

Reading Current Cites this morning I had to laugh (in a rueful way). It includes a summary of the now well-known survey done by the University of California’s Office of Scholarly Communication that found faculty may be on board when it comes to accessing information but their behavior doesn’t match. They don’t want to be forced to engage in open access practices and rarely bother to do it voluntarily. Oh, for shame!

The next item, from the Journal of Academic Librarianship sounded interesting – about linking practice and research in academic libraries. The DOI took me here.

Nice to have such a handy shopping cart, but if we’re expecting other faculty to take action, why won’t we do it ourselves? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into this. Even Elsevier allows authors to post preprint versions of articles on the Web (albeit with some weird and inconvenient rules). We know the stakes. Why do so few librarians bother to put our words into action?

Maybe because it’s work? Maybe because nobody says you have to? Maybe because we’re hypocrites?

Author: Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

One thought on “It’s Easier to Preach Than Practice”

  1. Hi Barbara,
    I completely agree with you. This is something that we need to question within our profession, and question it loudly. I admit that in the past I have published in non-OA journals, but I vow I will never do it again. If my research or even opinions cannot be shared with my colleagues regardless of what institution they work at, I am doing the profession a disservice. In order to support open access, you have to practice what you preach. I’m proud that there are many peer-reviewed OA LIS journals that give us the option to publish research where all our colleagues can read it and connect the research with practice. Let’s strengthen those journals by choosing to publish in them. I hope librarians will choose to publish in one of these many journals, as are listed in the DOAJ
    (disclaimer: I am an Associate Editor for one such open access LIS journal: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice)
    Denise Koufogiannakis
    University of Alberta

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