The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, under the direction of Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes (GSSW, CSOM), recently was awarded its third round of grant funding from the Sloan Foundation. In conjunction with the new research initiatives, the Center is renewing its commitment to assuring the widest possible dissemination of the Center’s work through involvement in Open Access activities.
The mission of the Center is to promote quality of employment as an imperative for the 21st century multi-generational workforce. This involves the integration of evidence gleaned from the Center’s many research projects, with insights about the experiences of employees as well as workplaces, to inform innovative organizational decision-making. The Center works collaboratively with business leaders and scholars in a multi-disciplinary dialogue. The ability to provide free and open access to the Center’s publications to our diverse constituencies, many of whom operate outside of traditional academic settings, is a key to this process.
The Center’s goals include
The Center promotes the exchange of innovative ideas about aging and work among business leaders, academics, and policy makers. We have designed our publications, virtual forums, seminars and workshops, e-communications and online resources as vehicles for sharing high quality information and stimulating discourse about the experiences of today’s multi-generational workforce.
The Center publishes a variety of research reports, issue briefs, case studies and other publications on our website. These are accessible to all who visit our site or who discover particular documents through various internet search tools. Tracking of hits to these documents shows that they are widely viewed. These reports are of interest to academic and non-academic audiences.
The Center’s staff of academic researchers publishes widely in scholarly publications – peer-reviewed academic journals in such disciplines as sociology, psychology, management, and economics. We have deposited several manuscripts in our account in the BC Libraries e-scholarship repository. We are currently collaborating with BC library staff to make as many publishers’ pdfs, or authors’ pre-prints or post-prints accessible to all, in accordance with guidelines and standards governing repository use.
The Center has developed two unique resources that promote access to our own publications, as well as related work by other researchers and organizations. Our Literature Database is a publicly-accessible, searchable database of bibliographic records of articles and reports about the global multi-generational workplace. Our database is an access point for subject and keyword searching of over 3300 references selected from quality academic journals, agency/organization reports, books and book chapters, including publications from the Center. We provide direct links to the full-text of over 1500 publicly-available reports. For copyright-restricted sources like journal articles and book chapters, specific citation information is given to locate the items in libraries or through document delivery services. A recent enhancement is the ability to use the DOI to link directly to Google Scholar to locate both open-access articles and journal subscriptions at the searcher’s institution.
Our Aging & Work Facts Database provides bite-size pieces of information describing the US multi-generational workforce, based on evidence from data analysis of surveys and datasets from many sources. We select facts from openly-accessible reports published by non-profit and for-profit agencies and organizations, as well as from the Center's own research. Updated monthly, the database currently contains over 2700 records, each including a fact, a complete citation, and a brief study description. Facts are coded with one or more aging and work topics to allow for easy searching.
Last year we launched an extremely popular Fact of the Week email message to our constituencies, highlighting timely and interesting facts from the database. We provide a direct link to the original source of each fact. Our tracking shows that this approach has been effective raising awareness of open-access literature. A significant number of viewers link through to the original source publication or do further searching in our databases after receiving the fact of the week.