Author Archives: jwadland

UW Tacoma Faculty Profiles & Open Access

Map of Open Access Downloads

Map showing showing total downloads since 2012 of UW Tacoma faculty scholarship shared openly through UW Tacoma Digital Commons.

by Justin Wadland

Open Access and Publicly Engaged Scholarship

In recognition of Open Access Week (October 23-27, 2017), I would also like to take stock of UW Tacoma Digital Commons and the Library’s efforts to provide faculty a platform to showcase scholarly and creative work through author profiles. UW Tacoma has identified publicly-engaged scholarship as it’s second impact goal in the recently completed strategic plan. As a librarian and advocate for Open Access, I believe that one clear, achievable way that the campus can champion publicly engaged scholarship is to promote and support Open Access to the published research of its faculty. By doing so, the public would be able to read and engage with the campus’s scholarly activities without encountering the paywalls that usually come up for subscription-based journals.

Faculty and Departmental Participation in SelectedWorks

Using the total number of faculty from Autumn 2016, I have created this estimate of faculty who had SelectedWorks profiles:UW Tacoma Faculty with SelectedWorks Author Profiles

I use the word “estimate” because we have quite a few profiles that are in-process and have not yet been made live one our site.

Here are the total number of profiles by department:

Unit Faculty Profiles
 Education 3 Profiles
 Institute of Technology 6 Profiles
 Milgard School of Business 5 Profiles
 Nursing and Healthcare Leadership 17 Profiles
 School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences 84 Profiles
 Social Work and Criminal Justice 16 Profiles

Again, this list doesn’t include about a half dozen faculty members who have profiles that are still in the process of being built.

All of the profiles draw from departmental collections in UW Tacoma Digital Commons for books and publications. Here is a breakdown of the total number of works shared across these collections:

Unit Books Publications*
 Education 18  113
 Institute of Technology  # 182
 Milgard School of Business  3 103
 Nursing and Healthcare Leadership  7 135
 School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences  96  798
 Social Work and Criminal Justice  28  464

*Publications here refers to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, op-eds, and any number of non-monograph publications.

Adding up all these works bring us to this graph, which shows the total number number of works shared and which percentage is openly available:

The Open Access works identified here are usually the post-print prints (or final manuscript drafts) of peer-reviewed journal articles. Usually, authors may deposit and share their work based upon the journal polices. When an article cannot be deposited, we provide a link to the electronic version, whenever available.

Besides allowing the general public to read their publications, the faculty members who openly share their scholarly work through UW Tacoma Digital Commons are able to get analytics on how often a work has been downloaded and where the readers are located throughout the world, among other data points.

Different Strategies for Creating Profiles

To understand why these numbers look the way they do, I would like to provide some context:

The Library began offering UW Tacoma Digital Commons as a pilot project in 2012, and in that time we have experimented with several approaches to create faculty profiles. We have ultimately evolved into a service model where a small number of library staff do most of the technical work for faculty, including:

  • Creating and updating author profiles;
  • Checking the rights agreements for published articles;
  • Uploading full-text of appropriate versions of the article in UW Tacoma Digital Commons;
  • Purchasing books and linking to electronic versions of materials whenever available.

In providing this service, we have found two primary strategies to be successful for creating profiles:

Partnership with departments, units, or faculty groups: Library staff have partnered with specific groups at UW Tacoma to systematically create profiles for small groups of faculty. This has proven to be an effective way for faculty to understand Open Access and the role of profiles in sharing their work. To do this, I first meet with a faculty leader and broadly discuss the process, then I attend a faculty meeting to present the process and answer questions, and then Library staff work closely with faculty to create profiles.

General calls for profiles and publications: In order to keep up with faculty publications and provide other opportunities for individuals on campus to have profiles created, the Library is now also sending out quarterly calls for new publications. I have made calls like this twice, and we typically receive about a dozen requests to update or create profiles. A variation on this approach has also been to create profiles individually for faculty when when an interview with them is featured on this blog.

Questions for the Coming Year

As I share data about the adoption of author profiles, I would like to emphasize that the Library has undertaken this project on its own initiative in response to faculty members’ expressed needs to:

  • Share the unique scholarly and creative work produce on campus.
  • Connect with other researchers on campus around common interests.

As the Library’s lead for this effort, I have focused my efforts on demonstrating how a platform like UW Tacoma Digital Commons and the SelectedWorks author profiles can be used to achieve these aims. For this project to be successful — and for it to fully align with the campus’s strategic goal of publicly engaged scholarship — I recognize that campus leadership and the wider academic community must have wider conversations about the role of Open Access and the supporting technologies available to share faculty and student work.

There are two significant developments that will raise questions and perhaps encourage the wider conversations in the future:

Elsevier acquisition of bepress: During the summer, the scholarly communications corporation Elsevier announced that it has acquired bepress, the company behind the Digital Commons platform. I am exploring the implications of the acquisition on our own repository and considering its long-term effects, and I intend to share the Library’s position during Winter Quarter. For anyone interested in learning more about this, I would encourage you to read these pieces by Roger Schonfeld: “Elsevier acquires bepress” and follow-up reflections.

UW Open Access Policy: The UW Faculty Senate is expected to vote, possibly in November, on a Class C Resolution that would establish an Open Access Policy that would apply to all scholarly articles authored by UW faculty members. Gordon Aamot, the UW Library Scholarly Communications Librarian, will presenting to the UW Tacoma Faculty Assembly Executive Committee in December, and I hope that there might be additional opportunities for UW Tacoma faculty to learn about it. If this resolution is passed, it will likely lead to significant changes in the system the UW Libraries uses to share faculty research, which in turn could influence our approach to sharing faculty work. Please see the UW Libraries Scholarly Publishing & Open Access pages for more information.

Both of these developments bring into relief larger questions that have lingered in the background of the UW Tacoma Digital Commons project. The digital landscape will continue to change and evolve, but the Library remains committed to gathering, sharing, and preserving the unique intellectual and creative work that is happening on campus. It is one of the ways the Library will continue to fulfill its mission to ” our students, faculty and staff achieve their goals.”

Call for Recent UW Tacoma Faculty Publications

UW Tacoma Faculty: Please let us know about your publicaitons

If you are a UW Tacoma faculty member and have published a new book, article, op-ed, or other scholarly or creative work, please let the Library know so that we can share your work on your Author Profile in SelectedWorks.

There are now two ways to send us this information:

  • Create/Update profile – If you don’t yet have a profile or you’d like us to make any changes to your profile, use this form.
  • Submit publication(s) – If you’d like to submit a new publication or list of publications, use this form.

If you send us information about your new or forthcoming publications, Library staff will then take care of updating your profile. What we’re able to publicly share largely depends on the type of work:

  • Books and monographs: The Library strives to purchase all of the books published by UW Tacoma faculty. If you send us the title, we’ll purchase a print copy for UW Tacoma Faculty Publications Collection and an electronic version for the UW Libraries, whenever available.
  • Articles, book chapters, and shorter work: For scholarly peer-reviewed articles, we check the journal policies via Sherpa/ROMEO and determine which version of an article can be shared publicly. We will then provide you with a publication report that shows which articles can be publicly shared on your profile. If the journal doesn’t allow deposit – or if you don’t wish to share the work – we provide a link to the UW Restricted version on your profile. You may also provide direct links to any articles available online in other places. For book chapters, we will need confirmation from the publisher that you have the rights to deposit it.
  • Multimedia: We have the capacity to embed media files hosted on third-party sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud. If you have media materials you’d like shared on your profile, just send us the link, and we’ll work with you to determine the best place to post it.

For more information about the author profiles and UW Tacoma Digital Commons, please view the Faculty guide to SelectecWorks or email

Written by Justin Wadland, Associate Director, UW Tacoma Library & Head, Digital Scholarship Program