Introducing the new model of scholarly publishing : A library outreach initiative to biomedical researchers at The University of the West Indies
Medical Sciences Library, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago
The Medical Sciences Library (MSL) at the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is located within the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) in Trinidad and Tobago.
The MSL has taken advantage of an opportunity to increase the exposure of Caribbean scientific literature through participation in BioMed Central. The objective is to allow UWI researchers in the medical and life sciences, across the three campuses of the University, i.e. in Barbados, Jamaica and
Trinidad and Tobago, opportunities to gain exposure for their research, through publishing in this medium. In addition, by encouraging the use of the freely available scientific literature, it was felt that issues of more equitable access to the published literature could also be addressed.
This study is intended to provide a perspective on the role of the medical sciences library in creating awareness of the new paradigm in scholarly communication as well as to assess the extent to which this initiativ
e has impacted to date on increasing the research output of faculty members in the
database. Awareness among faculty members of the wider range of concepts within the issue of scholarly communication - such as self-archiving, and institutional repositories will also be explored.
The paper will report on the process by which one of the concepts promoted by the new model of scholarly communication, that is, choosing to support peer-reviewed open access journals was introduced to this group of academic staff; discuss the pattern of use of the resource and the experiences of prospective and published authors regarding submissions of research
articles; and explore possible barriers to acceptance of the open access concept. The paper will also discuss the development of a survey, which will be used among selected UWI researchers to assess knowledge of and attitudes to open access to scholarly communication.