Open Access Week @Exeter

What we wanted

In the beginning there was the word, and the word was ‘Openaccess’. I know, ‘Open Access’ should be two words, but never mind that.

When I joined the Open Exeter Project, at the back end of August, Open Access Week @Exeter was little more than idea. We knew that we wanted to raise awareness of, and spread the word about, Open Access across the University of Exeter. We wanted to attract some of the big names, and we wanted to make it clear that the University of Exeter takes Open Access seriously.

I think we managed that.

What we did

We began with a list of names; Cameron Neylon, Alma Swan, Brian Kelly, and many others. The invitations were crafted, a timetable was drafted, and promo materials were commissioned (grafted is too much of a stretch, even for me).

The response was overwhelming– and positive, which was great.

We had Cameron Neylon speak on ‘How I learnt to stop worrying and love the RCUK policy’

We had Alma Swan speak on ‘Open Access and You: a relationship with promise’

We had Brian Kelly speak on ‘Open Practices for the Connected Researcher’


More than that we also had Mark Thorley talking about the RCUK policy, we had founder Mark Hahnel talking about figShare, Ann Grand on Open Science, Alejandro Lopez Cobos from BioMed Central and Margaret Hurley from the Wellcome Trust.

It wasn’t just external speakers either, we also had excellent input from internal staff such as Gareth Cole’s workshop on How to Write a Data Management Plan and Caroline Dominey on Data Storage, Protection and Sharing.

The great thing about it from an Open Access point of view is that we were able to record the majority of our speakers so the talks are available to anyone who is interested. You can find them on the University of Exeter Library’s YouTube channel, and we’ve even got the slides on SlideShare.

What came out of it

The goal was to raise the profile of Open Access within the University and we did that, and not just with a focus on the researcher and academic, but also for the staff who support them.

Before I began working for Open Exeter I didn’t know much about Open Access, but after Open Access Week @Exeter I have a much better understanding. The full week of events across a broad range of areas has added a lot to my knowledge, and more than that all my friends and family have heard of Open Access now too. Whether they wanted to or not.

Posted under Open Access

This post was written by James Nathanael Beeson on December 11, 2012

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