And Never the Twain Shall Meet? Institutional Open Access Policies (IOAPs) and Review, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT)

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Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

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Makula, A.Y. (2024). And Never the Twain Shall Meet? Institutional Open Access Policies (IOAPs) and Review, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT). Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 12(1), eP16899.

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Library and Information Science

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Introduction: Institutional open access policies (IOAPs) express an institutional commitment to making scholarly knowledge openly accessible, typically by asking academics to deposit their scholarship into an open access (OA) repository. Faculty, however, must prioritize other scholarly requirements, such as those specified in review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) processes and policies. If IOAPs are ignored or in conflict with RPT, they will not be as effective as possible. Literature Review: Despite the fact that many higher education institutions say they value scholarly research contributing to the public good, they often do not articulate that OA is a necessary component to achieve this goal. Parallelly, increasing numbers of higher education institutions have adopted an IOAP, but few of them include the policy in RPT policies. Methods: An electronic survey was disseminated to members of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) in order to quantify how many include the concept of OA and/or their IOAP in their RPT mechanisms. Results: Only four out of 28 respondents indicated that the concept of OA is integrated into RPT at their institution, and only one out of 28 reported that the IOAP is present in RPT. Discussion: Consistent with sparse examples in the literature, this study suggests that most IOAPs exist in separation from RPT, and this separation threatens the success of IOAPs. Conclusion: Faculty prioritize RPT guidelines in order to advance their careers, but these policies rarely address OA and IOAPs. More attention to the relationship between IOAPs and RPT is necessary in order to discover how they can complement one another and enhance scholarly knowledge production and exchange.