Open access in social sciences and humanities: a librarian perspective from Lithuania

Juratė Daubarienė, from the University of Applied Sciences, talks to us about OA in SSH at her institution

Our library provides all the information, from A to Z, about the importance of research for our present and future. We see it as our role to champion this kind of work.

– Juratė Daubarienė

Juratė Daubarienė, Information Consultant, Kaunas College, University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania.

Please introduce us to your institution…

  • The University of Applied Sciences is one of the major state professional higher education institutions in Lithuania with over 5000 students. It meets the requirements of EU education policy, and studies are orientated towards practical training.

    We provide over 40 study programmes in different fields including technology, informatics, engineering, social sciences, education, and law.

    Depending on the course, lecture material is presented in a variety of formats from online team tasks, independent research, and project presentations. There are lots of ways for our students to learn.

4 students gathered around a laptop

What role does the library play in increasing collaboration and cross-disciplinary relationships?

  • Library services have a significant impact on the dissemination of scholarly communication. We have a very strong and robust system of support for academics who can easily access the information they need about up to date research. The results of their research are published in scientific sources, research results are shared, quality is assessed, and interdisciplinary research is encouraged and funded.

    We have access to many subscription resources as well as open access databases and scientific sources. The library regularly organizes training on how to use databases (among them we are proud to have access to the excellent Taylor & Francis!), as well as training sessions on how to select scientific information, use it correctly in the text, indicate the authors in the text, how to indicate the bibliography correctly. We see helping researchers get this right as a core part of our role, and the training sessions help them to meet each other.

    As well as this, we train researchers on the key elements of publishing: how and where best to publish their works, and how to choose the right journal or venue. A lot could be written about this because our library provides all the information, from A to Z, about the importance of research for our present and future. We see it as our role to champion this kind of work.

How does your university increase collaboration and cross-disciplinary relationships?

  • An interdisciplinary element is one of the seven key criteria that we encourage when researchers make applications for new projects, along with elements such as international partners, a plan to disseminate the activities and results, and originality. The following main features are distinguished in the policy of college studies and applied scientific and artistic activities: practical applicability of results, interdisciplinarity, integration into studies, and internationality. So, all our researchers know that it is a key focus.

          • Projects at Kaunas College include applied scientific research, experimental development, and artistic activities. Applied scientific activities are aimed at solving the problems of social development, creating relevant programs for business companies and organizations, and improving the quality of the study process.

          • One project we are involved with is ‘Increasing Study Availability’, this project focuses on the physical environment of universities and how they can better serve the needs of students with special needs. By its nature, this includes students and lecturers from lots of different backgrounds whose common interest is accessible higher education.

          • We are looking at the impact of Covid-19 on researcher/student relationships and the effect on how students learn to research, with a focus on finding out if there has been an impact on the quality of studies, this project is led by our business department.

          • We also have several fascinating research projects in the area of agriculture, led by our Faculty of Technologies, that encompass everything from creating new juice drinks to using satellite data to inform agrotechnical and agrochemical processes, and solving grassland quality problems.

          Do you think open access agreements can help support OA across all subjects?

          • Yes, of course, and librarians who have knowledge about open access will share it with the academic community. Together we will make a significant contribution.

          What are transformative OA agreements?

          Libraries and publishers make transformative agreements (TAs) to cut the cost of article publishing charges (APCs) for researchers. These agreements allow open access to a range of research as well as allowing researchers to continue reading subscription content.

          Find out more…