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Re: Open Access & the changing roles in libraries: an example

Michael, Use of the HSDL to experiment with provision of an overlay
ejournal along traditional peer review lines will advance the
affordability and access problems immensely. A few working exemplars are
needed out there.  The can either be gold or low-cost. What is key here is
academic ownership. Brian Simboli

Michael Leach wrote:

Dear Colleagues,

As a follow-up on my earlier email, let me speak further to the issue of
the changing roles of libraries in an era of open access with one

The Harvard Science Libraries are in the pilot-project/test phase of
their Dspace-based institutional repository, called the Harvard Sciences
Digital Library (HSDL). Unlike many other implementations of Dspace,
the HSDL has a library-centered structure for its communities and
collections. What this means, in essence, is that the libraries are
actively collecting and supporting (through metadata creation,
copyright/digital rights management support, object uploading, etc.) the
input of materials into our repository. We see this support as
essential for building the repository and, in the greater picture,
supporting the OA movement.

Naturally, such a library-centered structure requires resources--human,
IT, fiscal, etc.--for successful operation. My fellow Harvard
colleagues and I are examining work flow, work load, retraining, etc. on
numerous levels in each of our libraries, so we can shift resources to
support this new project.

While some changes were obvious (e.g. a shifting of fiscal resources
from binding to the HSDL, since we buy fewer serial titles each year,
and in some instances, are going e-only), other changes are more
challenging (such as restructuring personnel, or professional
development to learn new skills).

It is in light of these changes and challenges that I am reaching out to
our community--to learn best practices, determine in what directions
others are headed, what areas need further study and evaluation, etc. I feel there is much to be gained from communicating and collaborating.


Michael R. Leach
Harvard University
leach@eps.harvard.edu or mrleach@fas.harvard.edu