July 29th’s OpenCon Community Call was a tale of two conversations – jubilation at big policy developments on the one hand, and grassroots Open Access advocacy troubleshooting in the other.
Exemplifying the pace of change in the Open Access world, there were ‘whoops’ of joy halfway through the call as news came through that the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act had passed successfully through a US Senate committee, meaning the passage of the bill into law is one big step closer. FASTR ensures publicly funded research must be made available free online for others to read. It ensures progress made under president Obama’s directive is not lost when his term ends, a milestone for the global movement. This move came with the help of students and grassroots action as part of the #moveFASTR campaign.
At the other end of the spectrum; how do we get our local institutions to develop Open Access policies? One aspect of this discussed in depth was how to develop institutional repositories. The mix of librarians and data management experts on the call were able to highlight the diversity of options, such as linking in with existing institutional repositories versus using Open Source repositories such asePrints orDSpace. TheSHERPA/RoMEO database is also a great resource to help authors work out what they can put in a repository depending on the journal it’s published in – often, a pre-print – that’s an early version of a manuscript – can be put online without breaching copyright.
This article reflects the views of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Right to Research Coalition or SPARC.