Engrossed, Enraged, Engaged: Empowering Faculty in Transforming Scholarly Communication
Bazeley, Jennifer W.
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Librarians are deeply invested in the scholarly publishing lifecycle. This investment, in tandem with an evolving scholarly communication system, has encouraged librarians to become advocates for transformation in this landscape. At the same time, some faculty have been slower to understand both the complexities of the current system and its evolution. At our university, traditional communication methods weren’t sufficient to meaningfully engage faculty in these evolving trends. As a response, several librarians designed and co-facilitated two scholarly communication Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) for two academic years. These FLCs have been the most successful method of increasing faculty understanding about publishing issues. The FLCs brought together university community members comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate students interested in learning more about scholarly communication. Each group spent two semesters doing readings, attending panel presentations, and meeting for seminar-style discussions about current issues and trends in scholarly publishing. Over the course of the year, FLC members became more aware of the nuances in the lifecycle of scholarly publication and learned which scholarly communication issues affected them most. As a result, we saw a rapidly growing understanding about problems inherent in the current system of scholarly publishing, a substantial increase in faculty discussions on scholarly communication, and greater faculty-led advocacy for open access publishing. Additionally, community members appreciated the cross-disciplinary nature of the FLC, which afforded them the opportunity to escape traditional disciplinary silos. This presentation will discuss how we used the learning community format to successfully change faculty behavior about issues in scholarly communication and how these experiences altered librarian perceptions and improved interactions with faculty. Attendees will leave the presentation with a better understanding of how the learning community model can be applied at their own institution, including some of the challenges and rewards of implementing such a model.
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