Cynthia Hudson Vitale
Head, Digital Scholarship & Data Services
Pennsylvania State University
Dean of University Libraries
University of Arizona
It is imperative that openness in scholarship be perceived not only as a virtue but also as an amplifier of the overall return on investment (ROI). Open access supporters almost exclusively use value statements to try and convince skeptics of the importance of openness, without much empirical evidence of its true impact beyond citation counts. There are audiences where these value statements are often unconvincing in contrast to the additional time and labor required to make scholarship open. For this reason, additional research and analysis to measure the direct impact of openness in terms of dollars, jobs, and lives saved or improved are essential. Framed another way: what is the direct loss of dollars, jobs, or lives saved/improved by research not being open? This presentation will (1) propose a mixed-methods, mixed-effects approach to modeling impact as well as a collaborative framework for collecting these variables, (2) report out on early research measuring the ROI on open research in terms of these high impact variables, (3) discuss how we plan to move beyond white-papers to creating interactive environments for exploring and visualizing this data in order to reach a broader audience, and (4) discuss how this data might be leveraged by universities to advance open access models.