Faculty: Unlock Your Scholarly Work, Connect with Readers & Communities

Image of lock and key.
Image from public domain text digitized by Library of Congress.

All UW Tacoma faculty members are invited to participate in “Unlocking UW Tacoma Scholarly Work,” a Strategic Impact Fund (SIF) pilot project the Library is launching this fall.

The goal of this pilot is to enable faculty members to openly share more of their scholarly articles through Library-supported author profiles and UW Tacoma Digital Commons. Through this effort, our campus deepens its participation in a global movement that employs Open Access (OA) models that are shifting the way that scholars disseminate their research and published scholarly work. 

If you sign up to participate in this pilot project, the Library will:

  • Create an author profile for you if you don’t already have one, and send a list of recent articles that you can share openly on your profile.
  • Contact you whenever you have published a new article eligible for OA deposit and sharing via Digital Commons, asking you to send the correct version so we can make it openly available.

SIF has generously provided resources to increase Library staff capacity so that we can significantly expand our support of faculty profiles during this pilot. Since spring of this year, we have been establishing new workflows so that we can offer this service to all UW Tacoma faculty members and developing dashboards that show the overall OA works currently being shared.

We are able to do this project because the UW Faculty Senate passed the UW Open Access Policy. Since the effective date of June 2018, faculty members can now deposit or share scholarly articles in a UW-supported digital repository. The UW Libraries is still developing a system-wide approach to implementing this policy, but here in Tacoma we will begin with this small-scale pilot implementation.

Benefits of Participating in Pilot

Scholars, students, and researchers from the local community and across the globe will be able to access your work for free without hitting a journal paywall. Many people searching for scholarly literature do not have access to the extensive collections of a research university like the University of Washington Libraries, and OA offers a clear way of allowing others to easily engage with your work.

OA works have been shown to receive more citations and engagement than those locked behind paywalls. Several studies have found that there is “open access citation advantage.” While some still question the correlation between OA and citation counts, sharing work through an OA framework can encourage other kinds of engagement (often called altmetrics).

Participation of UW Tacoma faculty will help shape the process, training, and development of services for the full implementation of the UW OA Policy. The Library sees this moment as a unique opportunity to adapt university-wide effort to the UW Tacoma context. By doing so, the campus can serve as a model of innovation and contribute to university-wide conversations around OA. 

Getting Help

Logo for Open Scholar Cafe

We anticipate a number of questions about this pilot that might range from the practical to the philosophical. In future posts, we intend to use this blog as a venue for responding to some of the most common questions. Yet sometimes, especially if you’re a faculty member interested in this project, the best way to get questions answered is one-on-one, face-to-face. For this reason, the Library is now offering:

  • Open Scholar Cafe, an informal drop-in consultation about how to openly share scholarship. Our first one will be held this Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the Snoqualmie Building entrance. Others will pop-up in different places throughout the quarter. Go to the library calendar for a full listing. (Yes, there will be donuts…)


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