After the whirlwind

Now the dust has settled after Open Access Day 2008, it’s time to bask briefly in the warm glow of what we achieved and to think about what we can improve next time.

The best way to sum up the positive feedback that we’ve received about the day is through this simple fact. We asked the 120 organizations who signed up to participate in the day, who originated from more than 27 countries, whether they would participate again next year – 90% said YES.

Then we (the organizers of Open Access Day: PLoS, SPARC and Students for Free Culture) asked ourselves whether we felt that we’d achieved our goal which was:

“To broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access, including recent mandates and emerging policies, within the international higher education community and the general public.”

Our answer was also a resounding YES. Although next year we’ll encourage participants to organize their activities at any point during “Open Access Week” to ease scheduling headaches, we’ll bring some more international folks into our organizational team, we’re seeking a technology partner, and we’ll give greater advanced notice of the next event!

We are pleased to announce that next year’s Open Access Week will be in October 2009, dates to be confirmed. To hear about the latest development please complete this form.

There were many different ways to measure the success of the 2008 day apart from the level of participation. Here are just a few of them:

• An explosion of new open access materials and their organization – not only did we create many new resources for the day but the good folks at the Open Access Directory compiled a Wiki to help organize much of the world’s material into an easy-to-use source.

• Significant blog coverage – ranging from about 400 posts about the day and the activities to over 40 superb posts in response to the synchronous blogging competition – the two winners were Dorothea Salo for her post My Father The Anthroplogist and Greg Laden for his Poem for Open Access Day.

• New Association launched – we were delighted that the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association chose that day to announce their formation.

• New video content – we prepared six 1- minute videos presentations from a Teacher, Librarian, Funder, Student, Physician Scientist and a Patient Advocate on why Open Access Matters to them (also available on YouTube and Internet Archive), several video shout-outs (messages of support from the community) and two webcasts from Sir Richard Roberts and Dr Phil Bourne.

• Comments that we received from participants after the event –

“The day showed that we are not alone in doing OA”
“The downloadables were great, particularly “A very brief introduction to Open Access
“It was good to let the people know the phrase – Open Access”

We’d like to make next years’ event in October 2009 bigger and better than ever. To hear about the latest developments, please complete this form.

Drum roll please – and the winner of the blogging competition is…?

True confession. There were so many entires of such a high standard that in the end the judges decided to have 2 winners. I am going to cross post both in full to the plos.org blog site in a few minutes. They are:

Dorothea Salo, for her post My Father The Anthropologist. The judges comments about this post were:

  • “Very personal, very well-written, just as we wanted!” Bora, Scientist and Blogger, A Blog Around the Clock.
  • “Warm and engaging, I thoroughly enjoyed this.” Liz, PLoS Communications.

On hearing of her joint win Dorothea said “you made my day.”

Dorothea Salo’s professional interests include scholarly communication, usability and design, data curation, and digital preservation. She is the Digital Repository Librarian at the University of Wisconsin, where she serves the state university system’s consortial institutional repository, MINDS@UW.

Greg Laden who wrote A poem for Open Access Day. The judges comments about this post were:

  • “Epic success! A winner. Brilliant.” Aaron, Scientist and Blogger, Wired Science.
  • “Funny and uses one of my favorite phrases “democratization of information” superb.” Liz, PLoS Communications.

On hearing of his joint in Greg said “Wow, this is the FIRST TIME I’ve ever won anything! Thank you!. Well, the first time in a while, anyway”. He then blogged the news for your enjoyment.

Greg Laden is part time independent scholar and part time adviser with the Program for Individualized Learning, University of Minnesota. He is also on one or more graduate faculties at The U, depending on the status of various graduate students. He has a PhD in Archeology and Biological Anthropology, and is interested in human evolution; the biology of gender and sexuality; and the biology of race. He conducts field research in Africa. His most recent paper, with Gil Tostevin and Mischa Pen, is an evaluation of a traveling exhibit on race and racism, and is published in the journal Museum Anthropology.

Warmest Congratulations to both our winners and thanks to everyone who entered. We will be sending them each a bag of swag in the next few days.

Cake and T-shirts

We’re getting ready to start our own Open Access Day event and 5th birthday party at PLoS in San Francisco (where the sun always shines and it is today).

We have a delicious cake to share…

And here’s a photo of business planner extraordinaire, Anji Desai with her Bhangra dancing buddy Liz Allen wearing the “Hamsters Love PLoS” t-shirts that were given to all PLoS staff as a gift earlier today.

OA Scholarly Publishers Association launches today

I am delighted to let you know that a new organization, OASPA, launches today with a mission to support and represent the interests of Open Access journal publishers globally in all scientific, technical, and scholarly disciplines.

Founding members include:

OA Professional Publishing Organizations

o BioMed Central
o Co-Action Publishing
o Copernicus Publications
o Hindawi Publishing Corporation
o Public Library of Science
o SAGE Publications
o Utrecht University Library (Igitur)

OA Scientist/Scholar Publishers

o Journal of Medical Internet Research (Gunther Eysenbach)
o Medical Education Online (David Solomon)
o The Canadian Journal of Sociology (Kevin Haggerty)

Other Organizations with Voting Privileges

o SPARC Europe

They welcome new members so organizations and journals that occupy this growing sector of the STM market can get on board if they wish.

Book launched for Open Access Day

In celebration of the first-ever Open Access Day, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and Fundação Getulio Vargas Law Schools announce the launch of Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development.

The book is now available for print orders as well as free download. This title marks the Information Society Project’s first release as an open access publisher, and is the first in a series of original research produced by the Access to Knowledge Global Academy.

OA day in Rwanda

News of OA day has spread far and wide. Not only are they aware of it in Nepal but folks involved in health care issues in Rwanda just expressed this sentiment… “An open access web based Journal is a blessing in our region because physical libraries are inexistent and subscription to journals are expensive considering the salaries of teachers, researches, doctors, nurses and other health workers”.

Managing the creative outpouring for OA day

A great thing about working in the OA advocacy movement is the way that many folks make full use of Audio, Video, Educational Materials and Promotional Downloads and Creatables to get the word out and use tools like Wikis, Blogs and Friend Feed to keep everyone up to speed. The nice thing about many of these techniques is that they are highly effective and are low cost, or even free!

To help keep us organized tomorrow, the OAD wiki has set up some lists where you can log in and share your resources with the community.



Today is the day our video series goes live

Things are at fever pitch here at PLoS HQ. Emails flying to and fro with last minute items. Amid this flurry of activity, I want to remind you that our video series goes live to the public today, 4pm PDT, 7pm ET.

I want to publicly thank our two young filmakers Matt Agnello and Karen Rustad for all their hard work filming and preparing these 1 minute clips for posting.

And, if your weekend whizzed past without you finding time to write a blog post on why OA matters to you for the competition, there’s still time to work on it tonight and post it tomorrow morning!