Open Access Week is almost here! In celebration of OA Week 2010, the Right to Research Coalition will be co-hosting an official student webcast with UC Berkeley on Thursday, October 21st at 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT. If you are a student, are interested in working with students on Open Access, or just want to know what’s going on with students in the Open Access movement, you should plan to join us! The webcast is open to anyone, and everyone will be able to participate, comment, and ask questions both live on the call and by using Twitter and backchan.nl.
Students demand Open Access because access to the research they need is a right, and the quality of their education suffers when students – teachers, and researchers – can’t afford access to what they need.
The Webcast will feature two presentations: one from myself on the current state of Open Access and student involvement, and one from Julia Mortyakova, the immediate past president of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) and Advocacy and Education Coordinator for the Right to Research Coalition, who will discuss Open Access from the graduate student perspective and NAGPS’ involvement in the Open Access movement. For those unfamiliar with Open Access, it will be a great crash course on this issue and how students fit into the movement, and for those already engaged with OA, it will be a good update on where we stand and in what direction student involvement is heading.
To participate, register by emailing stacie [at] arl [dot] org, and you will be contacted with the log in details by Thursday morning. During the webcast, you’ll be able to comment live either by going to our backchan.nl or by tweeting with the hashtag #studentOAW.
While Open Access Week is less than a week away and there may not be lots of time left to plan something elaborate, there are still plenty of ways to participate. The most important thing is just to do something, however small, to show your support and let others know you support Open Access. Here are just a few ideas:
Make a video explaining the challenges you face when trying to get access to research, and enter it in the Sparky Awards. You could win $500 for making a 2-minute video!
Follow us on twitter (@R2RC)! Keep an eye on our twitter account for updates all week long, and be sure to tweet about Open Access Week yourself using the hashtag #OAW2010.
Talk to friends about Open Access and make sure to mention all the real world benefits that come with opening up the scholarly record.
Bring up the issue of access to research with your student government and any student organizations that you participate in, and urge them to join the Right to Research Coalition.
Get in touch with your campus librarian and let them know you’re interested in Open Access. They’re a great resource and will almost certainly be happy to work with you in engaging your campus on Open Access.
Host a viewing party or an event on campus: it may be crunch time, but you can still plan an informal event during Open Access Week, or even plan an event in the next month using some of the webcasts (including ours) that will be archived and available after Open Access Week on the Open Access Week video page.
Watch some of the many videos coming out for OA Week: the video section of the Open Access Week website is already stocked with great video and will be regularly updated, or you can keep an eye on the Right to Research Coalition blog or Twitter feed for student updates all week long. OAW productions will feature speakers like Dr. Harold Varmus, a 1998 Nobel laureate and former Director of the NIH, as well as many others!
Sign the Student Statement on the Right to Research as an individual. The Student Statement isn’t just for student organizations anymore! You can show your support for Open Access no matter who you are – it’s open to students, researchers, librarians, administrators, and everyone else!
Write a blog post or an op-ed to raise awareness about Open Access. You can write about anything: share a story about the times you’ve been unable to access research you’ve need, describe how high journal prices put those at less well-funded institutions at a disadvantage, explain how locking away research behind subscription barriers slows science and hinders innovation, or just say why you think Open Access is a good idea. Make sure you email a link to nick [at] arl [dot] org!
Explore the Right to Research Coalition website to learn more about Open Access and what you can do as a student to make a difference.
Explore our page for individual students for more ideas about how you can get started advocating for Open Access during OA Week!