Todd Chavez, Director of Academic Resources, is a 2013 IR All-Star because of his early vision and fearless approach to open access journal publishing at the University of South Florida. Early on, Todd recognized that library-led publishing is the most powerful way for libraries to bring about real change in open access. His strategy was to seek out and actively recruit subscription-based journals with “an offer they couldn’t refuse”: free hosting, publishing, and support through USF’s ScholarCommons – as long as they agreed to become fully open access. For journals just barely keeping up with the costs of print and the effort to manage their subscriptions, Todd’s offer was a huge relief; once they took the leap, the increase in readership, visibility, and for one journal, even a boost to their impact factor, turned out to be even bigger rewards.
Todd set out the library’s vision in 2009: “Journal costs, regardless of format, are escalating and the Tampa Library’s decision to engage in open-access journal publishing is in part a deliberate response to the increasing cost of scholarly communication as measured in a variety of dimensions including costs of technology, distribution, and reacquisition of copyright permissions.” (http://works.bepress.com/todd_chavez/3/).
Since then, the library-led journal publishing program at the University of South Florida has grown to twelve open-access journals, none of which have any restrictions, embargoes, or author fees. Many of these journals came online with decades’ worth of back files available through open access for the first time, also thanks to the library’s support. Todd’s scholarly communications team has grown over the years, and the library now offers support with DOIs, indexing, and other professional publishing services, still at no cost to the journals.
Todd and his team have also expanded USF’s library-led publishing into new arenas: open access textbook publishing (a key mandate for public universities in Florida); conference publishing; and fully open-access theses and dissertations. Todd has brought the same entrepreneurial energy to these and myriad other scholarly communications projects by making a practical business case to departments and academic administration that open access isn’t only good for the world, it’s also more efficient for the university.
Todd continues to share his experiences and lessons learned with the library community, and you can follow his informative papers and presentations at his SelectedWorks site: http://works.bepress.com/todd_chavez.
To learn more about bepress’s 2013 IR All-Stars, see our announcement here.