Practice Article

Using Outreach Weeks to Examine Labor, Assessment and Value in Open Advocacy

  • Robin Champieux orcid logo (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Camille Thomas (Florida State University)
  • Ali Versluis orcid logo (University of Guelph)


INTRODUCTION Like the scholarly communication system it aims to transform, open advocacy work is broad in scope and reflects many influences, practices, and players. Despite having a rewarding mission, scholarly communication librarians frequently juggle multiple roles, may experience isolation and career stagnation, and produce outputs that are not readily understood. METHODS These challenges inspired the creation of the Open Action Kit, a suite of tools to help practitioners plan, execute, and assess open advocacy weeks, particularly Open Access Week. This resource sought to make explicit parallels between the activities and scope of open advocacy work and leadership skills that could aid in career progression. RESULTS The project’s aims and structure matured to focus on a broader, critical appraisal of the nature of scholarly communication work. Its encouragement of dialogue between its members and audience more thoroughly recognized and addressed the tensions between open advocacy work and professional success. DISCUSSION Open advocates expressed many frustrations with their work: they often felt isolated or burnt out, hindered by structures or expectations from their organization. While relational work is fundamental to the cultural change inherent in scholarly communication work, the overly simplistic, quantitative measures typical of library assessment do not accurately capture its nuance or complexity. CONCLUSION Centering the relational components of open advocacy work is necessary for it to be successful, sustainable, and appropriately valued. While the Open Action Kit has not been updated since 2017, it serves as a useful model for translating and centering relational work through distributed leadership, advocacy, and skill development.

Keywords: open access, scholarly communication, collaborative librarianship, assessment, professional development, community of practice

How to Cite:

Champieux, R., Thomas, C. & Versluis, A., (2020) “Using Outreach Weeks to Examine Labor, Assessment and Value in Open Advocacy”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 8(1), eP2371. doi:

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Published on
08 Sep 2020
Peer Reviewed