Building Community Across Teams: The Experience of Developing an Open Investments Strategy at the University of Guelph
The Open Access landscape is complex and rapidly evolving. Business models, technologies, organisations, initiatives, mandates, and mergers proliferate, while at the same time libraries have limited staffing, expertise, and financial resources to devote to OA. How can libraries optimize the use of open investment funds and labour? How can we support initiatives that align with our values, notably that scholarly communication should be a public, rather than a private good?
In 2020, the University of Guelph Library created the Open Investment Strategy Committee (OISC) as part of our broader strategy to position itself as ‘the hub of open initiatives’ on campus. Allocated a modest but growing sliver of the Collection budget, the committee’s mandate is to (1) develop and drive an Open Investment strategy; (2) develop explicit investment criteria; (3) manage the OA budget; (4) maintain a public list of investments; and (5) work with consortial and other partners to further OA priorities.
Join us for a discussion of how this cross-team committee is approaching this mandate, building open access community within the library, and across campus. We will discuss how we worked to establish transparent, values-based criteria to evaluate and prioritize potential open investments; developed new workflows in collaboration with our Acquisitions, ERM, and Communications teams; and plans for retention criteria to assess our renewal decisions. We hope to provide useful insights about how a solid set of values, assessment tools, and workflows can help libraries to navigate the increasingly complex ecosystem of open investments.