Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies

Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies

This post was written by Tracy Creagh, Queensland University of Technology, and Team Leader for this Project

A set of open publishing case studies supported by Australian university libraries has been released.

The Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies Project forms part of the Advancing Open Scholarship (FAIR) program as part of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.

This project developed a series of five case studies of university libraries’ open publishing initiatives, and accompanying researcher case studies that demonstrate the value of these initiatives. These publishing strategy case studies describe the work of the featured institution, identify critical success factors and sustainability issues and provide evidence of impact via a researcher’s perspective of using the publishing initiative.  The researcher’s impact narratives discuss the benefits of using these various publishing initiatives to improve research impact.  Making their research accessible to relevant organisations outside of the usual academic environment ultimately improves their professional visibility and, most importantly, the value of their research.

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It is anticipated that the case studies may be expanded in the future. An easy-to-use case study format was developed to provide a template for other practitioners who may wish to include their own institutional publishing initiatives in this preliminary group.

Case studies were selected via a scoping activity that utilised Open Access Australasia’s curated Directory of Open Access initiatives in Australasia Directories ( The Directory is a curated list of open access initiatives across Australasian institutions and is comprised mainly of higher education institutions, but also includes research organisations and associations.

Five case studies were eventually selected with team members nominating themselves as authors. 

Key themes around challenges and sustainability were consistent across each case study:

  1. Resourcing and staffing are a challenge for initiatives, particularly in a time of institutional flux and change across the higher education sector.  Also, the loss of institutional knowledge and skills, particularly for staff supporting IT and software, has a significant impact
  2. The economic impact on sustaining initiatives remains a key area of focus for some initiatives.  As well, initiatives are constantly exploring opportunities for collaboration or partnerships that might improve or elevate the profile of these initiatives.
  3. Raising awareness of the benefits of these initiatives is ongoing, and there are opportunities to alter existing perceptions of open publishing initiatives. While the benefits of open publishing may be obvious to library staff and those involved directly in OA publishing, recognition of these benefits at other levels of university management is still lacking. 

The Project Team would like to thank Professor Ginny Barbour who acted as the Team’s critical friend and reviewed the case studies. We also acknowledge the ongoing assistance and guidance from Kate Davis Director, Strategy & Analytics (CAUL) and Catherine Clark, who at the time of this project was the Advancing Open Scholarship Program Director (CAUL). Thanks also to Cicy Zheng, CAUL’s Engagement and Administration Officer.

Project team:

Tracy Creagh, Queensland University of Technology

Jayshree Mamtora, James Cook University

Aliese Millington, Flinders University

Loretta S. Khanna, University of New England

Helen Slaney, La Trobe University

Lucy Walton, Western Sydney University

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