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.)
As most readers of this blog know, CUNY recently launched Academic Works, an open access repository that is the ideal way for CUNY scholars to make articles, book chapters, data, etc. available to their research communities and the broader public.
Why should you care about Academic Works? Let’s start with three key reasons:
1) Academic Works is the perfect place to satisfy grant funders’ open access and open data requirements. If you want more grants in the future, you need to learn how to comply with funders’ requirements for openness!
2) Academia.edu and ResearchGate.net are seriously suboptimal. First, they’re commercial sites. (Yep, despite its URL, which it never should have gotten, Academia.edu is not connected to any educational institution.) And commercial ventures might disappear at any time (taking your papers offline too), whereas Academic Works is designed to last for the long term, longer than commercial sites and longer than personal websites. They’re also much more likely to be smacked with (and blindly comply with) take-down notices from publishers. And, as commercial entities, they exist to make money. How do they do that? By forcing users to log in to see documents, tracking their actions, and selling that data. If you’re uncomfortable with how Facebook commodifies your information, you should be uncomfortable with Academia.edu and ResearchGate too!
This week, October 19-25, is International Open Access Week, an annual opportunity for students, faculty, and other researchers to learn about open access (OA) to scholarly literature, find out how to make their works OA, and help make OA the new norm in scholarship and research. (Read more about Open Access Week and about OA in general.)
Of course, CUNY is a very big place, and we like to think big. So here at CUNY, it’s not just Open Access Week but Open Access Month: Numerous CUNY librarians are making a point to promote understanding, acceptance, and adoption of OA alllll monnnnnth looooong. (Actually, we’re alwayshappy to talk about OA — any day, any week, any month, any year!)
During Open Access Week/Month, you might hear about open access from many sources:
Once Open Access Week/Month has whetted your appetite for OA, join the Graduate Center Library for workshops addressing two key aspects of OA: Does my publisher allow me to share my work (i.e., make it OA)? And if so, how and where am I allowed to share it?
Find out the answers to these and other questions at the following workshops, each offered twice — click the links to learn more and RSVP (non-GC folks are welcome to attend too!):
Who Owns Your Journal Article: You or the Publisher?