I’ve been thinking for a while (years, actually) about how complex open access outreach is — what sells one audience (say, faculty) on open access sometimes leaves another audience (say, students, or administrators) completely cold. I realized early that I needed to adjust my messaging for different audiences, and I’ve made many adjustments — some hits, some misses — over the years.
I recently wrote a column about the challenges of open access outreach, featuring snippets of an interview with the greatest (or at least most SMASHING) open access advocate of all time: the Open Access Hulk (@openaccesshulk on Twitter). The column hasn’t appeared yet (fingers crossed the editors don’t decide it’s too goofy, too CAPS LOCK’d to publish!), but the full Twitter interview is now archived on Storify. (On Twitter too, of course, but it can be difficult to follow a long exchange on Twitter itself.)
The Open Access Hulk is not our most syntactically sophisticated colleague, but he’s very informed, very perceptive, and very wise, and he had incisive, myth-SMASHING answers to my questions, which were:
- @OpenAccessHulk, what brought about your #openaccess awakening, your transformation from researcher to paywall smasher?
- I am so angry, but my anger doesn’t seem to win #openaccess converts. Why is righteous SMASH not smashing success?
- I keep thinking I need to rage better, rage smarter, rage faster on my feet. Maybe not, maybe need different tack?
- Over the years, I’ve become very aware that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to #openaccess outreach. E.g., not many non-librarians are concerned about serials crisis or moved by [the serials costs] chart. So I’ve developed different pitches for different audiences, focusing on different angles/problems/solutions. I’m guessing the same is true for @OpenAccessHulk — sometimes you SMASH, sometimes you sweet-talk? Which brings me to Q: What does @OpenAccessHulk think is best way to teach/excite students about #openaccess? Faculty? Scientists? Humanists? Administrators? Editorial board members of paywalled journals? Policymakers?
- When in room with publishers, all my anger seems to convert to exceedingly polite and mild disagreement. Does @OpenAccessHulk struggle with telling truth to power? Why are otherwise ordinary people so scary when speaking on behalf of publisher?
- @OpenAccessHulk‘s purple wardrobe smashing. Other color preferences? Preference between gold and green #openaccess?
- What’s the plainest possible way to ward off knee-jerk negative assumptions about #openaccess journals?
All of his interstitial conversation is great too — I highly recommend reading the whole thing, embedded below: