Future of Library in the age of OPEN access publication

The library and its role in academic research is no doubt going through a clear transformation in the 21st Internet access is becoming more of a human necessity than a privilege [1].

The future of libraries in the age of open access publication may involve less library-based activities and more information management activities at the national or supra-institutional level. This is because the universal availability of scholarly content on open access platforms means that anyone with internet connectivity can access it.

Open access is especially important for research and academic libraries since all academic institutions are research-intensive and a library’s main mandate is to support the teaching, learning and research activities of their parent institutions [2].

However, libraries may still play a vital role in the dissemination of scholarship, which could lead to an increase in the positive impact of libraries on scholarly communication. In addition, open access could benefit the research community and society by improving information provision.

Some say that open access must ultimately be about impact. In a world with a cost of living crisis and climate crisis, it’s not enough for research to just be about citations. Open access should result in research making a real difference to people’s lives and addressing the challenges faced by the world.

In the age of open access (OA) publication, academic libraries are poised for transformation. Let’s peer into the future:

  1. Shift in Roles:
    • Current Role: Libraries traditionally acquire and provide access to scholarly information.
    • Future Role: As OA becomes the norm, libraries will transition from merely purchasing information to actively managing and disseminating scholarship produced by their faculties and other authors within relevant disciplines. They’ll become hubs for open, unfettered access to research results.
  2. Economic Realities:
    • Dysfunctional System: The existing scholarly communication system, often closed and costly, faces challenges.
    • Deployment of Funds: Libraries will redirect subscription dollars toward supporting OA initiatives, fostering wider accessibility and knowledge dissemination.
  3. New Librarian Roles:
    • Emerging Roles: Academic librarians will take on fresh responsibilities.
    • Change and Adaptation: They’ll adapt to the evolving landscape, embracing roles that align with OA principles.
  4. Benefits of OA:
    • Global Access: OA democratizes research by making it freely accessible worldwide.
    • Speed and Visibility: Research results reach audiences faster, enhancing visibility and impact.

In summary, libraries are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of scholarly communication, championing openness and accessibility for the benefit of researchers and society at large.


  1. Venkataramana, D. P. (2011). Future of Academic Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities.
  2. Jain, P. (2012). Promoting open access to research in academic libraries. Library Philosophy and Practice, 1.

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