Open research in 2015: a look back

Open research in 2015: a look back

Today marks the start of Open Access Week 2015, and it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on some milestones from the last year, and also look ahead to the future. Open Access to Research Gold Open Access We’ve launched several new open access journals over the past year, bringing our total of fully…

Celebrating a new era in scholarly publishing

Celebrating a new era in scholarly publishing

We continue our celebration of Open Access week with a reflection on the past, present and future of the movement from Deni Auclair of Outsell Inc.   This week, Deni participated in the Wiley/CCC webinar: “Open Access: Case Studies Yield Insights for Societies”.  View the recorded webinar here. In response to the rise of open access, Elsevier is quoted…

Open Access and the early career researcher

Open Access and the early career researcher

We’re kicking off Open Access week fittingly.  With a theme this year of “Generation Open”, highlighting the role of students and early career researchers in the open access movement, it seems appropriate to hear what this community has to say.  As a part of this generation, Wiley Advisor and Sense About Science Voice of Young Science member Daniel Amund shares his thoughts and feelings on Open…

Don’t miss these 4 webcasts to bring you up to speed on Open Access and Open Educational Resources!

In the run up to OpenCon 2014 we’re happy to present four webcasts that take you from the very basics, to the leading edge of Open Access, Open Education and Open Data in just a few hours. You can sign up for reminders below! 

The Open Access Week Kick Off event – October 20st

This October the 20st at 8pm BST, (3PM EDT, 12PM PST, 9PM CET) join SPARC and the World Bank here to kick off International Open Access Week 2014.

To celebrate the start of Open Access Week SPARC and the World Bank highlight some of the most interesting student and early career researcher-led initiatives that exemplify the “Generation Open” theme for International Open Access Week. The kickoff event will feature questions from both the in-person and online audiences.  The panel will discuss the role that institutions central to a career in research can play in supporting—and rewarding—early career researchers in making their articles and underlying data openly accessible.

To find all the information for joining, and ask questions of the panel head here.

Open Access 101 with Nick Shockey – October 29th

This October the 29st at 4pm BST, (12PM EDT, 9AM PST, 5PM CET) join Nick Shockey here for an introduction to Open Access.  

Nick is the founding Director the Right to Research Coalition. A coalition of local, national, and international student organizations that advocate for researchers, universities, and governments to adopt more open scholarly publishing practices.  Under Nick’s direction, the coalition has grown to represent just under 7 million students in approximately 100 countries around the world and has facilitated student lobbying in over two hundred Congressional offices. Nick is a leading expert on Open Access, and has spoken to audiences across the world on the topic.

Open Education 101 with Nicole Allen and David Willey – October 31th

This October the 31st at 5pm BST (1PM EDT, 10AM PST, 6PM CET) join Nicole Allen and David Wiley here for an introduction to Open Education.

Nicole Allen is SPARC’s Open Education Director and a leading figure in the Open Education Movement. In her time Nicole worked with college students to organize numerous large-scale grassroots campaigns on OER and related issue areas, including a 40-campus, cross-country van tour called the “Textbook Rebellion” and organizing 3,000 professors to sign a commitment to consider adopting open textbooks. Nicole is widely cited in the media for her work, and is considered one of the leading issue experts on college textbook costs.

Dr. David Wiley is Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to increasing student success and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources by middle schools, high schools, community and state colleges, and universities. He is also currently a Shuttleworth Fellow, Education Fellow at Creative Commons, and adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology.

Open Data 101 with Ross Mounce – November 4th

This November the 4th at 4pm BST (11AM EST, 8AM PST, 5PM CET) join Ross Mounce here for an introduction to Open Data.

Ross Mounce is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath studying the use of fossils in phylogeny and phyloinformatics, completing his PhD at the University of Bath last year. Ross was one of the first Panton Fellows and is an active member of the Open Knowledge Foundation, particularly the Open Science Working Group. He is an advocate for open science, and is actively working on mining academic publications to reuse scientific data in meta-analyses to gain higher level insights in evolutionary patterns.




Open Access,

Open Access Week,

Open Education,


How orange bananas could make your Open Access Week a success! Tips and Ideas for Open Access Week.

Last Friday Joe McArthur and I presented an Open Access (OA) Week Planning webcast. We thought it best to follow that up with a simple post detailing the key points of the discussion. If you’d like to watch the whole webcast, it’s embedded for your viewing pleasure at the end of the post. The slides used can also be downloaded, again, we’ve embedded them below.

Your OA Week does not have to be overly academic and boring. Appealing to students and people who have absolutely no idea what OA is means you need to make OA sexy. Here are a few tips to help you organise a really cool event:

  • Head outside the bubble

Advocating for OA to people who are already supporters is much like preaching to the choir. This not to say that those already participating in furthering the OA mandate should be side-lined, but our suggestion for OA Week is to venture outside the OA bubble and try to appeal to those who have no idea what OA is about. This could mean finding out what the campus hot-topic is about and trying to insert the OA dialogue in to the discussion in a relevant way. You could also tie OA to research impact, career choices and campus policy rather than just talking about it in isolation.

  • Find support

The more support you have, both within and outside of your campus, the more successful your OA Week will be. The first point of call would be to get your library involved. Hold an info session for librarians about OA and OERs so that if students approach them during the week they are well informed. Ask librarians whether they would be willing to display journal price tags, posters, programmes, and stickers in the library.

Secondly, look at involving student organisations in the week’s events. Getting the Student Representative Council on-board for the week is useful as they are the primary proxy for reaching students. Ask them whether they would be willing to wear promo OA t-shirts for the week to increase visibility on campus. You could also approach research groups and debating unions.

Linking back to the point of heading outside the bubble, contact organisations outside your campus to participate in discussions during OA Week. Last year, OpenUCT Initiative at the University of Cape Town held a panel discussion about access outside the ivory tower to raise awareness around NGO’s, like Rape Crisis in South Africa, that struggle to access research relevant to their cause. In doing this, you could also establish a network between organisations outside the insular campus space and students with access to research.

Finally, R2RC, OKF, SPARC, OA Button and are useful if you have any questions or difficulties with your events.

  • Everyone wants free stuff!

If you can afford to get your hands on t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and bags please do! Students love nothing more than free stuff and it can be used to incentivise participation in activities. Offer a free meal during a workshop or panel discussion and watch them walk straight in the door.

  • Don’t hold an event

DO NOT WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO YOU, GO TO THEM! Make yourself visible on campus– hand out flyers, orange balloons, and free OA promo giveaways. It’s important to get your foot in the door with people so that you can follow that up with engaging discussions about what OA is and how they can get involved. The great thing about going to organisations and large groups of people is that they already have the large base of students and this makes the whole process easier.

  • Do something different

As I mentioned earlier, having an overly academic week of activities isn’t fun. Students want to be engaged in things that are interesting and sexy so you gotta think outside the box. Host Access Challenges and OER Hackathons (anything with the word “Hackathon” in it is super hot right now!). Why not really do something really different and cover your campus in orange bananas. This can get your campus asking questions which you can answer with a video message or signs. More here : 

  • Do something easy

If you are hosting an event for the first time you don’t have to go all out and over-commit yourself. You can do simple things to attract attention during the week– watch the kick-off events and stream OA videos from YouTube. At the University of Cape Town we streamed the following videos on loop at high-trafficked campus zones:

Open Access Explained and How Open Access Empowered a 16 year old to make a Cancer breakthrough

The great thing here is that the work has already been done for you, you just have to show it to students.

  • Join the global discussion

Do not isolate yourself from the global discussion ongoing during the week. Join the page and create a profile to document your events during the week. This way you can also get an idea of what other groups and universities are doing. Use the OA Week hashtag on twitter (#oaweek #oer #oa #openaccess etc) and blog about your experiences as much as you can.

  • Give people tools

Students can be lazy and apathetic, so go to them and give them the resources they need to engage with OA. Create a list of OA journals and sites where you can access free stuff. At UCT we created a PowerPoint entitled Finding Open Stuff, which lists all the free content, from pictures to research available. You can find it here:

  • Get feedback

Make sure you get feedback from events; this will help you to gauge where people are regarding OA and how you can tailor future events.

  • Follow up on it

It is important to follow up your OA week events to increase momentum– host satellite events of OpenCon etc. You need to create outputs from each event so think about creating policy groups after OA week and give people actions they have to build on. If possible, keep in touch with students who participated in OA week activities via email and twitter.

From everyone at R2RC we wish you a successful OA Week, and please feel free to contact us should you have any queries or concerns.



Open Access,

Open Access Week,