Editor’s Choice: In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: Librarian, Heal Thyself: A Scholarly Communication Analysis of LIS Journals

January 2014 saw the launch of Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), which was the first major disciplinary or field-specific shift toward open access. Considerable numbers of journals and publishers are moving to embrace open access, exploring a variety of business models, but SCOAP3 represents a significant and new partnership between libraries, publishers and researchers. Simply, 10 journals under the SCOAP3 program were converted to open access overnight and are being supported financially by libraries paying article processing charges through a consortium rather than purchasing subscriptions. The Physics field has been at the forefront of open access for more than 20 years, beginning with the foundation of arXiv.org and followed by their premier society, American Physical Society (APS), actively evolving their publications to provide efficient open access options for authors. There has yet to be any such movement in the professional literature of Library and Information Sciences (LIS), despite the fact that the library world is inextricably linked to “open access” both in principle and in practice. The authors note this disciplinary discrepancy, and through an analysis of LIS journals and professional literature hope to inspire those researching and publishing in the LIS field to take control of our professional research practices. We conducted this analysis by grading 111 select LIS journals using a metric we propose to call the “J.O.I Factor” (Journal Openness Index), judging “How Open Is it?” based on a simplified version of the open access spectrum proposed by Public Library of Science (PLOS), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). It is our hope that doing so will lead to the shifts in the scholarly communication system that libraries are necessarily pursuing.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Schneider based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Anu Paul, Elizabeth Goins, Chiara Bernardi, James O'Sullivan, Beth Secrist, Amy Williams, Angela Galvan, Aisha Clarke, Sayema Rawof, Sarah Canfield Fuller, Andrew Hyde, Souvenise St. Louis, Kevin McQueeney, and Rebecca Nesvet