On October 16-17, 2018, University of California (UC) libraries hosted a working forum in Berkeley, California entitled “Choosing Pathways to Open Access” (“CP2OA”) (see https://cp2oa18.com/). Sponsored by the University of California’s Council of University Librarians (“CoUL”), the forum was designed to enable North American library or consortium leaders and key academic stakeholders to engage in action-focused deliberations about redirecting subscription and other funds toward sustainable open access (“OA”) publishing.
This report was prepared by members of the forum’s Planning Committee1 as a way to update CoUL on forum outcomes, and to synthesize these outcomes into recommendations for further collective (UC multi-institutional) action to advance OA. The recommendations reflect the opinions of the report drafters; they are not an official statement by CoUL, nor should publication of this report signify CoUL’s endorsement of our recommendations. We (the Planning Committee) instead hope that CoUL will consider the recommendations in due course, particularly as some of them reflect efforts already underway within various UC libraries.
The library addition and renovation project will provide much-needed space for new programs to support the rapidly changing research environment, but will have no impact on the library’s ability to provide access to the scholarly record. Because of the insufficient collections budget, UCSB access to global research necessary for our faculty to compete and excel is now severely at risk. Despite high inflation in the cost of scholarly information resources over the last decade, the collections base budget has remained flat. As a result, UCSB now stands at a significant competitive disadvantage, ranking last among AAU public institutions in collections expenditures. Although the faculty have identified collections as the library service most in need of improvement, acquisitions will decline sharply starting next year. Even with the cancellation of a thousand journals, book purchasing will decrease by 50 percent, with further steep declines in the following years. We invite a campus conversation about a critical issue that concerns the entire UCSB community and urgently requires our collective deliberation and action.
In 2012 the Data Curation @ UCSB Project surveyed UCSB campus faculty and researchers on the subject of data curation, with the goals of 1) better understanding the scope of the digital curation problem and the curation services that are needed, and 2) characterizing the role that the UCSB Library might play in supporting curation of campus research outputs. The findings argue for the establishment of a campus unit possessing data curation expertise and providing curation-related assistance to campus researchers, and possibly hosting curation services.