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Open Access Champions at University of Central Florida
Academic Library Marketing [blog] Oct. (2015) (2015)
  • Barbara Tierney, University of Central Florida

Open Access Champions at University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida (UCF) Background
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is located in Orlando, Florida and is a member of the State University System of Florida. It is the country's second largest university by total enrollment (60,810) with 52,532 undergraduates, 8,278 postgraduates, and an academic staff of nearly 2,000. The university offers over 200 degree options through thirteen colleges and twelve satellite campuses throughout Central Florida. (Please see Acknowledgements below)

UCF Libraries' Scholarly Communication program
How does an academic library go about growing its own Scholarly Communication (SC) program with no budget, no staff, no dedicated office space, no partners, and no experience? The University of Central Florida Libraries responded to such a challenge during 2012-15 by creating a grassroots SC program staffed by a volunteer 20-member library staff advisory group.

The group began its work by creating an innovative “Research Lifecycle” model to help define an evolving menu of scholarly communication resources and services that could be turned on, when available, to UCF constituents.

Other steps to achieving success included creating a “Publishing in the Academy” workshop series with the College of Graduate Studies,  a Grants Writing workshop series with the Office of Research and Commercialization, and a strong slate of academic faculty “Open Access Champions.” 

Creating the UCF Libraries’ “Open Access Champions” program​
During spring 2013 planning for UCF Libraries’ “Open Access Week 2013,” the UCF Scholarly Communication library staff advisory group began their deliberations by asking themselves how best to get academic faculty involved.  They pondered the following questions with regard to Open Access:

  • Whom do academic faculty listen to… librarians or academic faculty colleagues?

  • What if UCF Libraries had a distinguished group of academic faculty who would publicly support Open Access on the UCF Libraries website?

  • Would endorsement of Open Access by academic faculty colleagues get the attention of other academic faculty across campus and increase support for Open Access on campus?

Once the UCF Scholarly Communication library staff advisory group decided to go forward with their “Open Access Champions” idea, the next question was "What would be the best way to identify academic faculty willing to serve as Open Access Champions?"  Their answer……why not ask UCF’s  new Subject Librarians to get involved.

  • In spring 2013 UCF Libraries created a new Subject Librarian service model

  • The new Subject Librarians got to work profiling their assigned academic faculty and departments

  • Subject Librarian profiling revealed faculty who were involved with Open Access journals

  • Subject Librarians reached out to these  likely faculty via email [see below sample notes] and invited them to become UCF “Open Access Champions” by submitting their photos and “Open Access statements” for publication on the UCF Libraries website

  • Junior faculty seemed especially interested in supporting Open Access.  Having their photos and Open Access statements displayed on the UCF Libraries website  (and later on large color posters displayed in the John C. Hitt Library main foyer, 2013) and in the UCF Honors College lobby, 2014) appealed to them.

  • Open Access Champions also were invited to make presentations relating to their Open Access activities at the  2013 and 2014 Open Access Week programs sponsored by UCF    Libraries and were presented with  “Certificates of Appreciation” (please  see below sample).


2013 Open Access Week events
Several events involved UCF Open Access Champions:

Thursday, October 17, 11:00-12:00 Library room 223
How librarians can help researchers navigate open access choices – webinar synopsis and Q&A

Monday, October 21, 3:00-4:00 Library room 223 – Guest speaker!
Social Media for Academics: Promoting Your Research, Creating Community and Increasing Access
Watch the recording of Kimberly Voss’ presentation on Social Media for Academics online

Wednesday, October 23, 1:30-2:00 Library room 223
UCF Open Access Champions Meet and Greet

Wednesday, October 23, 2:00-3:00 Library room 223
ASERL's Open Access Week Chat with Peter Suber 
2014 Open Access Week events

Several presentations given by UCF Open Access Champions:

  • Dr. Peter Suber: Answering questions about Open Access submitted by attendees

  • Dr. Barry Mauer: Lost Data: The Specter of the Information Age

  • IEEE: Publishing in Open Access

  • Springer: Publishing in Open Access

  • Gale: Publishing in Open Access

  • Taylor & Francis: Publishing in Open Access

  • Q & A session with IEEE, Springer, Gale, and Taylor & Francis

  • Dr Nancy Stanlick: Open Access Journal Publication

  • Dr. Scot French: Open Access and Digital Public History

  • Dr. Bruce Janz: Digital Humanities, Open Access and Scholarship in Africa

  • Dr. Joyce Nutta and Dr. Florin Mihai: Publishing using the Open Journal System Platform

  • Dr. Kimberly Voss: Blogging and Tweeting your Open Access Work: Build Buzz and Citations with Social Media   

Where We Are Now

The UCF Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Office, Fall 2015:
The UCF Libraries’  grassroots Scholarly Communication program proved to be so successful  (2012-2015) that in 2015 UCF Libraries received a UCF Technology Fee award to finance a bepress “Digital Commons” institutional repository and also received funding to hire a full-time Scholarly Communication Librarian (instead of Officer.) 
The Open Access Champions initiative is still very much in existence.  As part of a new initiative to increase academic faculty involvement with the Scholarly Communication Office, a new Scholarly Communication Faculty Advisory Board has been created that includes eleven UCF academic faculty members.  Several of the original “Open Access Champions” are now members of this new advisory board. 


Anderson, N. (2015) With 54,000 students and growing, University of Central Florida storms higher ed.  The Washington Post
University of Central Florida. Institutional Knowledge Management Office. (2015)  2014-2015 Common Data Set
University of Central Florida Libraries. (2015) Scholarly Communication [web page]. Retrieved October 7, 2015 from

Staff and Faculty Credits

UCF Libraries’ Staff who assisted with Open Access ChampionsBarry Baker, Director, University of Central Florida Libraries.
Dr. Penny Beile, Associate Director, Information Services /Scholarly Communication, University of Central Florida Libraries.
Cynthia Dancel, Senior Art Specialist, Information Services/Scholarly Communication Division, University of Central Florida Libraries.
Lee Dotson, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Information Technology and  Digital Initiatives, University of Central Florida Libraries.
Davina Hovanec, Technical Assistant, Information Technology and Digital Initiatives, University of Central Florida Libraries.
Barbara Tierney, Head, Research & Information Services, University of Central Florida Libraries.
UCF Open Access Champions:
(Each faculty member has a photo and a comment about open access on this webpage)
Dr. Bruce Janz,           Philosophy Dept. (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Mark Kamrath      English Dept.      (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Peter Larson          History Dept.     (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Barry Mauer          English Dept.    (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Rudy McDaniel    (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Joyce Nutta           Teaching, Learning, & Leadership (College of Education & Human Performance).
Dr Maria Santana        Women’s Studies Program (College of Arts & Humanities)
Dr. Kim Voss              Communication, Nicholson School of
Dr. Chrysalis Wright   Regional Campuses – UCF South Lake

In 2014, the American Library Association LLAMA Division named the University of Central Florida Libraries the 2014 Best of Show Award Winner for their “Open Access Week 2013 Wall Exhibit” which featured large color posters of UCF Open Access Champions, in  the main foyer of the John C. Hitt Library.

  • Open Access
Publication Date
October, 2015
Citation Information
Barbara Tierney. "Open Access Champions at University of Central Florida" Academic Library Marketing [blog] Oct. (2015) (2015)
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