Integrating and positioning scholarly publishing into agricultural liaison and outreach services
This program will report on various strategies employed at the Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture & Veterinary Medicine Library at the University of Tennessee to integrate information about scholarly communications into our outreach efforts. While scholarly communications are at the heart of both librarianship and the research process, it can be difficult to make the issues raised in scholarly communications literature relevant to patrons. For the non-specialist, the wealth and breath of resources available can be overwhelming, both for liaison librarians as well as their patrons, who frequently have other, more immediate, priorities. Similarly, librarians must balance scholarly communications information with all of the other crucial outreach messages they want to convey.
Our efforts have focused on finding the appropriate informational role for the liaison librarian as well as creating services to support that outreach. This has led to natural partnerships with non-liaison librarians, as well as administrators and faculty outside the library who have helped to provide expertise and context. Crucial to this effort has been finding ways to effectively frame the issue, such as using the language of “scholarly publishing” as a starting point, rather than the broader, more theoretical term “scholarly communications”.
At the University of Tennessee this has also meant harnessing the vast array of open access resources and translating them into brochures and subject guides that are relevant to the primary user groups of an Agriculture library. While resources such as Sherpa/Romeo and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) are useful almost universally, they can be made more intriguing by presenting them alongside discipline specific concepts, such as CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development), or by drawing connections to familiar concepts such as Extension.
The resulting conversations with researchers, administrator and other patrons are collaborative. The librarian can be an effective facilitator by utilizing their insight into the realm of publishing as well as their subject knowledge. However, responsibility for change depends on the practitioners. These techniques leverage the liaison relationship, and flow naturally from ongoing outreach work by providing information and facilitating discussion, while also recognizing the limitations of that role.
Peter Fernandez. "Integrating and positioning scholarly publishing into agricultural liaison and outreach services" Bi-annual conference of the United States Agricultural Information Network. Minneapolis MN. May. 2012.
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