Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ego? What ego?

One of the biggest challenges for academic librarians is getting faculty to deposit their articles into the university's institutional repository (IR), assuming there is one, of course. There are numerous reasons why faculty don't or won't deposit their articles, and there are numerous strategies, some more effective than others, for convincing them to do so. John Willinsky (UBC professor, and author of "The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship") believes the key is to appeal to their ego. Faculty love to see their work widely disseminated, read, praised and cited. It feeds their ego, they're human. But what's the hook?

John suggests putting a section on the university website homepage that advertises the IR and the university's research output with a feature called "Faculty Article of the Day" (or week, if daily seems too arduous), with a link to the article in the IR. He claims that many faculty check their institution's homepage regularly to see what's new and which faculty member's work is getting attention. It won't take long before faculty realize that if they want their research featured on the homepage, they'd best find a way to deposit it in the IR.

Why not go a step further and add the same feature to the university library homepage? Double-boost those egos, and increase access and exposure while you're at it?

Thanks, John, for an excellent idea for promoting OA and IRs.

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