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Ethical Dilemmas in Collection Development of Open Access Electronic Resources

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All across the nation, universities are being called into critical conversations about social justice. The ALA Code of Ethics calls on librarians to “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom” and “distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties.” Our ethics shape our engagement in these critical conversations. In my presentation, I will address the ethical dilemmas raised in open access electronic resources from predatory journals, to article processing charges (APCs), to xenophobic collections. We will discuss how our professional ethics are applicable to and stretched by the goals of open access. Real examples of ethical dilemmas will be shared for open discussion.

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Ethical Dilemmas in Collection Development of Open Access Electronic Resources

  1. 1. Ethical Dilemmas in Collection Development of Open Access Electronic Resources Amanda Echterling, VCU NASIG 2018 Atlanta, GA
  2. 2. Background - Professional Ethics The foundation of professional ethics rests on values of conduct that govern the decision-making practice of an individual or group who are in the same profession. The primary purpose of the codes is to give the members a set of agreed upon rules to guide not only their professional behavior but also their business decision process. If professional ethics are not recognized or followed by the members of the occupation, then both the ethical standards and the occupation could be at risk of failing and of breaking the public trust. (Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions, page 12) Professional Ethics are in relationship with but not identical to individual, social and legal ethics.
  3. 3. ALA Code of Ethics The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations. 1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests. 2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources. 3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted. 4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders. 5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions. 6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions. 7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources. 8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
  4. 4. ALA-ALCTS Statement on Principles and Standards of Acquisitions Practice In all acquisitions transactions, a librarian: 1. gives first consideration to the objectives and policies of his or her institution; 2. strives to obtain the maximum ultimate value of each dollar of expenditure; 3. grants all competing vendors equal consideration insofar as the established policies of his or her library permit, and regards each transaction on its own merits; 4. subscribes to and works for honesty, truth, and fairness in buying and selling, and denounces all forms and manifestations of bribery; 5. declines personal gifts and gratuities; 6. uses only by consent original ideas and designs devised by one vendor for competitive purchasing purposes; 7. accords a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions; 8. fosters and promotes fair, ethical, and legal trade practices; 9. avoids sharp practice; 10. strives consistently for knowledge of the publishing and bookselling industry; 11. strives to establish practical and efficient methods for the conduct of his/her office; 12. counsels and assists fellow acquisitions librarians in the performance of their duties, whenever occasion permits.
  5. 5. Background on OA Collection Development Initiatives ● Institutional Repository ○ Researcher Preprints ○ Datasets ○ Open Educational Resources ○ Journal Hosting Services ● Open Access Publishing Fund ○ Individual Author Subvention Publications ● Published OA Books, Journals, Databases and other digital-born content available for selection into local catalog and discovery systems. ○ DOAJ and OAPEN ○ KnowledgeUnlatched, CERN SCOAP3 Blend ● Seed money for a commercial OA venture ○ REVEALdigital
  6. 6. The Rise of OA Collection Development Policies University of Toronto (2014) did an early study of academic libraries collections librarians and found mixed results an no best practices. ● Format ● Business Model DYAS-CORREIA, Sharon and DEVAKOS, Rea (2014) Open Access and Collection Development Policies: Two Solitudes?. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 108 - Acquisitions & Collection Development. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France. http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/839
  7. 7. OA Author APC Fund Library Goal: To encourage authors to publish in OA Journals and reap institutional cost savings while advancing public scholarship. Publisher Reality: Managing thousands of payments a month in various formats (check, credit card, deposit deduction) from various funding sources (individual, funder, library) is difficult. With difficulty and an imbalance of power, comes ethical challenges.
  8. 8. The Warning Date: Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM “Please note that if online payment is not made within 7 days an invoice will be issued and an administration charge will be added to your total APC. Once an invoice has been issued the option to pay online is automatically removed and cannot be reversed. Note, invoice (offline) payments will incur an additional charge of $75.00.”
  9. 9. The Invoice Fees ● Terms of payment 20 days net ● Changes to the invoice will incur an additional charge of $55. ● If you make a bank transfer please make sure to cover your own bank costs. ● If paid by check, please add $23. ● If you wish to pay with credit card, a minimum of 3.4% will be added to the total sum to cover the PayPal service costs. ● We reserve the right to charge 10% interest on the gross amount if this invoice is not settled within the due date as indicated above.
  10. 10. Consumer Responsibility - Sage “Can an institution pay the article processing charge for authors?” It is ultimately the responsibility of author(s) to arrange payment of the APC. However, a number of institutions and funding organizations have declared their willingness to make additional funds available to cover the costs of open access.” https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/faqs
  11. 11. Consumer Responsibility - Nature/Palgrave “What time period do I have within which to make the payment? Credit card payments are processed immediately. Usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of original invoice. Invoices will be chased periodically, but if after 60 days no payment is received, the author will be contacted. Failure to pay invoices within the stated credit term may result in restrictions placed upon authors' ability to publish with Nature Publishing Group in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings. However, NPG recognizes that often authors do not pay themselves and if an author's institution is to pay the APC, it may take some time for an invoice to be paid.” http://www.nature.com/openresearch/publishing-with-npg/article-processing-charges-faqs/
  12. 12. OA APCs and Professional Ethics “We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.” “Subscribes to and works for honesty, truth, and fairness in buying and selling,...” “Fosters and promotes fair, ethical, and legal trade practices;”
  13. 13. OA Author APC Funds Discussion Ethical Challenge: Using library collections budgets and library personnel to uphold the unsavory collections practices of OA Publishers toward authors. Practices that even skirt the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Is this who we are? Is being business model agnostic in compliance with our ethics?
  14. 14. VCU Collections Guidelines “ 4. Collection Format … Open access publications are a key focus of collecting, and critical for scholarly communication and the future of education. Accordingly, collection librarians choose open access publications whenever available and appropriate to support a discipline.” https://www.library.vcu.edu/research/collections/guidelines/
  15. 15. UNT Collection Development Policy for Open Access and Born-Digital Resources ● Quality ● Authoritativeness ● Objectivity ● Currency ● Functionality http://www.library.unt.edu/policies/collection-development/oa-collection- development-policy
  16. 16. Xenophobic OA - The KKK Newspapers The initial request ● VCU Libraries Labs - Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915 - 1940 The institutional conversation The conundrum
  17. 17. Reveal Digital Prospectus - The KKK Newspapers“The goal of this project is to assemble a comprehensive and hopefully complete collection of KKK newspapers into a fully-searchable open access database.” “The project is funded by Reveal Digital’s Diversity & Dissent Digitization Fund and the generous support received from participating libraries.” “This collection is scheduled to be complete and fully funded no later than January, 2020, at which time it will become open access. Prior to this date, access to the complete collection will be limited to funding libraries.”
  18. 18. Reveal Digital Prospectus - Why The KKK Newspapers“To understand today’s version of populism, American nationalism, and the Alt-right, we need to go back to the 1920s when the Klan re-emerged as a slick and successful recruiting and marketing engine that appealed to the fears and aspirations of middle- aged, middle-income, white protestant men in the middle of America.” “The primary mission of Reveal Digital’s open access publishing program is to document a range of viewpoints that chronicle the historical record of 20th century America, whether driven by racial, gender, social or political motivations.”
  19. 19. Institutional Conversation - Headlines “VCU, UR students confront question: ‘What would a truthful representation of Richmond’s history look like?” -VCU News April 7, 2017 “VCUarts Leads Initiative to Reimagine Richmond’s Historic Monument Avenue” - VCUarts News June 29, 2017 “VCU asks students to stay away from Monument Avenue on Saturday” - WWBT Broadcast Station website September 14, 2017 “VCU history education professor: How Confederate monuments and the ‘Lost Cause’ narrative distort our understanding of the Civil War” - VCU News October 3, 2017
  20. 20. Photo by Dave Parrish, Models Cheats & DJ Mentos Copyright 2017 Credit VistRichmondVA.com
  21. 21. Inherit Potential Tension ALA Code of Ethics Uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources. Distinguish between personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources. Principles of Acquisitions Practice Gives first consideration to the objectives and policies of his or her institution; Subscribes to and works for honesty, truth, and fairness in buying and selling,
  22. 22. The Academic Conundrum
  23. 23. UNT Collection Development Policy for Open Access and Born-Digital Resources ● Quality ● Authoritativeness ● Objectivity ● Currency ● Functionality http://www.library.unt.edu/policies/collection-development/oa-collection- development-policy
  24. 24. Examples KKK Newspapers Database Homepage Google Search
  25. 25. Funding “The project is funded by Reveal Digital’s Diversity & Dissent Digitization Fund ...” “A civil society is a public space between the state, the market, and the ordinary household, in which people can debate, engage, and act. This inaugural digitization fund will invest in projects that embody the civil society; those non-governmental/non- commercial organizations that helped shape and guide America through two world wars, promoted equality across gender and race, campaigned for worker rights, and voiced alternative social views that challenged and ultimately changed societal norms.”
  26. 26. Recommendations Library Marketplace ● Develop comprehensive collection development policies for OA ○ Involve the greater community ○ Question neutrality in business models ● Press commercial primary sources publishers for OA ● Evaluate OA initiative prospectus thoroughly ● Keep up with project and editors as it develops Local ● Involve greater faculty and students ● Internal reflection on why outsource this ● Press RevealDigital ○ revisions of project selection process ○ revisions of database homepage
  27. 27. Questions and Comments

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