Research Article

University Faculty Awareness and Attitudes towards Open Access Publishing and the Institutional Repository: A Case Study

  • Zheng Y (Lan) Yang (Director of Document Delivery Services, Texas A&M University Libraries)
  • Yu Li (Digital Repository Librarian, Texas A&M University Libraries)


INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study was to understand TAMU faculty awareness of open access (OA) publishing; assess their attitudes towards, and willingness to, contribute to an institutional repository (IR); and investigate their perceptions of newer OA trends and resources, including Open Educational Resources (OER) and DMPTool. The survey also served as an outreach tool to inform and educate TAMU faculty about OA publishing, the IR, and the Libraries’ OA services. METHODS The 34-question survey was conducted between Nov. 6–Dec 15, 2014 using Qualtrics, a web-based survey tool. Responses were anonymous, and participants were prevented from answering the survey more than once. Two hundred ninety-five faculty responded to the survey, resulting in a response rate of 11 percent. RESULTS Survey results suggest that tenured faculty are more engaged and interested in OA publishing topics in general, and tenure-track faculty are more willing to adopt new initiative such as Open Textbooks. Overall, the responding TAMU faculty are willing to consider publishing in OA publications, and almost half of them believe OA journal publications are acceptable for consideration of tenure and promotion in their departments. Despite their positive attitudes towards OA publishing, they are not so positive towards OA mandates. The survey also revealed there is a low awareness level of the TAMU IR, as well as of newer OA trends and resources. CONCLUSION The majority of responding TAMU faculty are aware of OA journals in their fields, and indicated their willingness to publish in an OA publication. Being unaware of the IR deposit process stood out as the greatest barrier that accounts for the low IR participation rate at TAMU. In line with previous studies, copyright concerns, as well as the perception of IR contents as being of lower quality, are the second most significant barriers. Workshops or seminars on copyright, data management, and the IR are badly needed. Several participants appreciated this survey because it provided many web links to the resources mentioned for them to explore further, and as a result they learned a lot from the survey. Despite our best efforts to make faculty aware of the abundance of resources made available by the Libraries, it seems that our audience continues to remain unaware of some of our services and resources. This only reinforces the need for continuous communication—after all, there is no such thing as too many reminders.

How to Cite:

Yang, Z. Y. & Li, Y., (2015) “University Faculty Awareness and Attitudes towards Open Access Publishing and the Institutional Repository: A Case Study”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 3(1), eP1210. doi:

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Published on
06 May 2015
Peer Reviewed