OA Week idea: the Open Book

Oct 14 2010 Published by under Open Access

Here's something I'm going to try for our local Open Access Week event. If the idea works for you too, by all means use it.

I've bought a small ruled notebook, notable because (this is important) there's nothing particular on the pages or the cover that makes holding it right-side-up any more natural than upside-down.

On the arbitrarily-chosen "front," I've put an Open Access sticker and glued a strip of paper with the title "The Open Book." Inside the front cover is the following text:

This is the Open Book. In this side of the book, please tell a story about open access to the scholarly literature benefiting you.

  • Perhaps you benefited from a research resource made freely available online.
  • Or perhaps you benefited from making something you created freely available online.

Please consider leaving an email address, telephone number, or other contact information, in case your story should be shared further.

Flip the Open Book over once you’ve told your story!

On the "back," held so that it's oriented just like the front (so, upside-down), I've put another sticker and another title strip. Inside that cover, appropriately oriented, is the following text:

This is the Open Book. In this side of the book, please commit to a specific action that you believe will open access to more scholarly literature. Some ideas:

  • Self-archive your own work in a reliable disciplinary or institutional digital repository.
  • Discuss open access with colleagues.
  • Submit your next article to an open-access journal.
  • Find out your scholarly or professional society’s stance on open access, and let them know you believe it is important.
  • Change tenure and promotion policies to reward open access.

Flip the Open Book over once you’ve made your promise!

I don't know if this will work, or if people will think it's too gimmicky to live. I'm going to prime the pump with my own story and promise, of course. Ideally, though, we'll pick up a few stories we can use locally, and perhaps even something good enough to share with the various OA-story-collecting projects out there.

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