OA week wrap for 2015: what’s next?

5 days of frenetic  #OAweek activity and then OA can go back in the closet for the rest of the year? That doesn’t seem a good use of the momentum that the week generates. Below are some snapshots of the week and some thoughts for what’s next. There is a lot more on the OATP. Did we miss anything important? Let us know.

OA events in Australia and New Zealand

A lot went on in #OAweek across the region – much of which was compiled here before the week started.
Highlights included the Tuesday NZ/AU tweetchat – see tweet reach analysis, above, There was good discussion, including how the timing of the event works (or doesn’t) in this part of the world.
The Brisbane tri-university event on Back to the Future day was, as  Sue Hutley from QUT noted, extremely eclectic, with examples of best practice in “openness” being shared across disciplines. And that seemed like a particularly important theme overall.

UTS had a blog updated each day of OA week Other events to highlight (not already on the AOASG page) were Charles Darwin University’s event which included Professor Lawrence Cram, Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Research Training and Georgina Taylor, Co-lead, Open Access Button – as well as the presentation of an OA prize.
In support of Open Access Week the University of Newcastle Library offered UON staff and RHD students the chance to win an iPad. Simply by submitting a copy of their full-text, peer-reviewed manuscript (Final accepted version) to the NOVA repository during the promotion period they were entered into the iPad draw. All entrants also received a free coffee. The promotion was well received by current repository users as well as encouraging new open access supporters (approximately 25% of entrants this year had not previously archived).

The University of Queensland had librarians fanning out across the university to talk to researchers about OA in an OA Awareness campaign. And UWA library did a set of tweets of OA facts

OA videos and audio

If you haven’t already seen them – take a look at  these videos produced for OA week from Griffith UniversityUWA Curtin Library. All are also listed on the AOASG video page. You can also listen to Designing for serendipity on ABC RN and how OA fits in.

Open Science Prize Announced

Big news of the week was that the Wellcome Trust has teamed up with the US National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to launch a new prize that will seek to unleash the power of open content and data to advance research and its application for health benefit. The prizes are substantial and are specifically aimed at stimulating international collaboration. Closing date Feb 29 (yes, it’s a leap year) 2016.

Australasian Open Research Video Competition

Our OA week competition was to partner with thinkableon a competition to highlight OA work.   The Australasian Open Research Video Competition will showcase the best video abstracts, as voted by the community. It is open to any researcher based in Australia or New Zealand, of work published in an open access journal or which is made freely available via an open access repository. The competition is open for submissions for another month – so get making your video.

Open Access roundups


In addition to the OA events from across across the world, there were some good roundups of the  history and state of play in OA notably from – Creative Commons Aotearoa, JISC in the UK, and also in the UK, the Wellcome Trust produced a timeline of its 10 years in OA – and released the code so anyone can use it. Stephen Pinfield reflected on the State of OA in 18 Statements Peter Suber posted his suggested readings for OA week

 New resources for Open Access

Creative Commons Australia produced a handy new resource on CC licenses “Know your rights“. Pasteur4OA project produced a set of OA advocacy resourcesORCID officially partnered with OA week and had some new graphics to link the two. SPARC launched an OA Spectrum Evaluation tool which quantitatively scores journals’ degrees of openness.

Open Access and why it is important –  quotes from across the region

Alex Holcombe, University of Sydney “I’ve had friends at small tech companies ask, jealously, how they can get the access to thousands of pay-walled scholarly journals that I enjoy. It’s often the engineers at a small start-up company, or a suffering medical patient, who would get the most use out of a published paper, not we academics.”
Alice Williamson from Open Source Malaria.  “The Open Source Malaria Consortium publishes all research data and results online so that anyone can read about, contribute to or use the data generated. This has effectively lowered any barriers to participation in the project and means that we can collaborate with scientists from very different backgrounds – from highly experienced medicinal chemists to high school students!” 

David Jakabek, Editor in Chief, Australian Medical Student Journal

“Open access is exciting for medical students for both academic study and research projects. With increasing journal numbers, fewer library subscriptions, and limited finances, Open Access allow medical students to draw on a wider array of research output than would otherwise be possible. From a publishing point of view, Open Access at the Australian Medical Student Journal reduces barriers for medical student work to be accessible to the wider scientific community. Students and colleagues can see medical student work being read and cited, which encourages further medical research in our future doctors.”

Roxanne Missingham, ANU

“Open for collaboration gave the opportunity for Dr Dan Andrews and Dr Julia Miller to give terrific presentations to more than 60 at the ANU providing very important insights into the complex nature of genomic and language data, the important of managing data well, the importance of considering the role of researchers in curating rather than owing data and the challenging of working towards national and international alliances to make data open.  Globally sharing data as openly as possible, with appropriate protections,  is essential for the creation of new research within both science and the social sciences and humanities.”

Open Access (and open data – the next “open” week?) in the news

The week started off in the Conversation with an article on the “Battle for OA” which has attracted many comments  – and rounded off the week with a Q & A featuring Lucy Montgomery from Curtin and Knowledge Unlatched and Tom Cochrane from QUT. Alex Holcombe reflected back on the week in a piece which asked whether we need an open data week

OA Quiz

and finally.. test your knowledge with the 15 question quiz on OA from BMC.

Why the Open Science Prize is important

Fabiana Kubke reflects on the launch on the Open Science Prize

Contact Twitter: @Kubke

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.51.08 pmIt gave me great pleasure to see the launch of the Open Science Prize in the middle of this year’s Open Access Week. Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this prize provides a great incentive for international collaborations that help foster Open Science.

Science should be Open and collaborative – anything else just creates barriers for the application of or challenges to the findings, which are at the core of how science works and moves forward. As researchers we have, however, managed to build communities that tend to disincentivise this open collaboration. We have traded the Mertonian values for a form of commodified science that does not take advantage of the opportunities offered by the technologies of today (cue in Internet, digital technologies). As our individual ability to openly and freely communicate our science increases, so do the forces that fight to control the knowledge increase.

It is in this context that the Open Science Prize is important. Backed by three major international funding agencies the Open Science Prize sends a clear signal to researchers about what the Science enterprise should be expected to look like and puts their money where their mouth is. This prize is not just about celebrating successes in Open Science, it is also about specifically funding it. It brings Open Science into the mainstream, and, I hope, will get people thinking (and talking) about why it is important.

At the end of the day, Open Science should not be seen as some odd peripheral way of doing things or contrasted against mainstream science – but rather as a synonym of Science itself.  I look forward to the day when we frame the conversation around contrasting Science to ‘Closed Science’ instead.

I am honoured to have been invited to join a great panel of expert advisors, and of course to bring a ‘down under’ perspective to the process. I look forward to working on the rest of the process with the rest of the team.

Fabiana Kubke is a neu­ro­science researcher and teacher at the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land. She is an Academic Editor for PLOS ONE and PeerJ and Chair of the Advisory Board of Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.

She is on the panel of Expert Advisors for the Open Science Prize

Everything you wanted to know about OA updates in #OAweek – without having to leave your desk

The focus of this post is OA week – the global (and local) event on all things Open Access. The  global list of events is here  and you can follow events throughout the week on twitter #OAweek

OA events in Australia and New Zealand

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 12.43.38 pmThere’s lots going on in #OAweek across the region. A list of events is here. Tell us if we missed anything & let us know about events you attend: tag on twitter –  #oaweek #AOASG or contact us via the website.

OA videos

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UWA researchers talk about OA

Several institutions across the region are featuring researchers talking on what  Open Access means to them. Check out videos from Professors Andrew Brown and Sydney Dekker from Griffith University and Professors Paul Low, Robyn Carroll, and Christopher Vernon from UWA.  Curtin Library has a new video on an introduction to open access.
And for Open Access as Shakespeare would have written it, don’t miss “Sherpa Romeo and Juliet”  from Southern Cross University Library   Got videos you’d like to share? Let us know.

#OAweek #AOASG tweetchat

If you do nothing else this OA week, tune in for an hour of tweetchat from across the region on Tuesday. Everyone is welcome. Just use the #OAweek and #AOASG on tweets

#OAweek competition on Thinkable

To encourage researchers to spread the word about their research we have partnered with thinkable on a competition to highlight OA work.  Video abstracts can increase the reach of open research. The Australasian Open Research Video Competition aims to create an engaging forum to showcase the best video abstracts, as voted by the community. It is open to any researcher based in Australia or New Zealand, of work published in an open access journal or which is made freely available via an open access repository.

Open Access content on Wikipedia

This year’s focus of OA week is to expand open access content on Wikipedia – without question the world’s largest free resource. The need for accuracy is highlighted by what happens when you type pretty much any scientific term into Google – your top hit will be Wikipedia. Having accurate information displayed at this first point is essential.
More information is available from the OA week site – highlights excerpted below.The edit-a-thon will aim to accomplish three goals during the week:

  • to improve already existing Open Access-related pages,
  • to create new content where it needs to be added,
  • to translate Open Access-related pages into languages where they don’t yet exist.

You don’t need to be an expert Wikipedia editor to contribute.  In fact, you don’t need any editing experience at all!   All you need is an interest in Open Access and willingness to share your knowledge by adding it to an article or translating information into a new language.  Training for new editors will be provided as part of the event.

A homepage for the Open Access Week Edit-a-thon has been setup on the Wikimedia website at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/The_Wikipedia_Library/OA_week.  On this page, you’ll find everything you need to participate, including:

  • Detailed instructions for creating, improving, and translating Open Access-related articles
  • Lists of Open Access-related articles that need to be improved
  • Suggestions for relevant articles that need to be created
  • Information of daily check-ins and training events
  • Links to tutorials on how to edit Wikipedia for beginners

Blogs on the AOASG website

We have a line up of blogs for OA week. You can also check out recent posts, including why ORCiD is so important in OA and how hard it can be to collect solid data on APCs from an institution.

Resource of the month: Open Access Tracking Project – OATP

Without question, there is a LOT of daily news about OA. The Open Access Tracking Project is the best source of this news OATP for daily updates. It works as follows- “The goal is for the primary project feed to include all new OA-related developments. In practice, it includes the new OA developments noticed and tagged by participating taggers.” If you think it is missing something you can “Become a tagger and tag items yourself. Recruit other taggers.”

Highlights from the past month include:

Open Access in the news

The Conversation – especially in its science & education sections, has covered many aspects of open access and the wider publishing landscape over the past few years. It is running
Your Questions Answered on open access research” during OA week and has a post at the beginning of OA week from AOASG on the “battle for open access“.
The Australian Higher Ed section has also covered hot topics, including discussions about Elsevier’s embargo periods earlier this year.
Open Access has also been on the radio with a Background Briefing programme on those who seek to exploit new developments in publishing and conferences and features in this week’s edition of Future Tense with the wonderful topic of “Designing for Serendipity“.

Open Access across the world


This week is a great time to get a view of local initiatives from across the world. Many have associated webcasts to follow or resources that can be watched later – so you don’t have to leave your desk.

Open Access week resources

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Finally, if you need materials to promote OA or OA week, take a look at the OA week resource page.