I was checking out The Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) repository and saw the announcement that Open Access Fellows are Harvard students (both undergraduate and graduate) who help faculty to make deposits into DASH, answer questions about the Open Access Policies, and help depositors complete metadata descriptions of items being placed in the repository. Great idea!
As student jobs in academic libraries have been relegated to staffing evening service points or shelving a declining number of circulated books, providing a student job for direct open access repository assistance and indirect advocacy among student peers and classroom instructors satisfies many constituencies on campus.
In terms of biomedical open access, DASH currently holds 1185 articles from the Harvard Medical School and 564 articles from the Harvard School of Public Health. 457 of the articles from the Medical School are in PLoS publications, and there are direct links to the publisher’s open access copy. There is also a deposit waiver option, which I think the Open Access Fellows must become intimately acquainted.
So far, my advanced searching of Google for “open access fellows” has not turned up any other university explicitly copying this model. But if it is anything like the “personal librarian program” that was started at my library more than 10 years ago, there certainly will be followers. Particularly as more academic libraries establish an “Office of Scholarly Communication” and decide student jobs are a priority.