Guerilla OA activity

Blogged by Peter Suber:
Graham Steele, Conference Report, McBlawg, September 29, 2007.  Excerpt:

Here is a report in relation to my attendance of NeuroPrion 2007 26th – 28th September, Edinburgh, Scotland….
Given the approximate number (~ 800) [of attendees], clearly, it would not be possible to cover OA/IR’s with many on a one-on-one basis as originally planned. Having unfortunately previously *lost* my short podium slot, I started to consider other methods of getting my message across….Thankfully, with “Research Made Public” brazened on the front of my t-shirt all that day, this set the tone. A large proportion of delegates noticed this and I was the only person present with any *message carrying* clothing on that I was aware of.
I chose my “I’m Open” t-shirt for day 2 since it was a much more visible and striking one.
More familiar with the surroundings/set up, I noted that there was a 2 hour lunch/poster session which appeared to be, on paper at least, the best time to swoop into action. One hour in though, the only manned booths were commerce diagnostic related – so I had to quickly think of something else….Since I clearly couldn’t “post” on posters, I rapidly started to leave some basic “Open Access” posters and postcards on the tables where all the delegates were in discussion with one another. Process took only a few minutes and then *I vanished*.
The ~ 950 were all on the lower floor with only two means of exit to ground level:- stair or escalator. I decided to leave a trail of the same “Open Access” postcards meaning that almost all (delegates) of them would see them….On the tables on the ground floor, I chose to leave some more of the same posters along with a few dozen DOAJ postcards….
To a smaller extent, a few seeds were dropped up to level 3 where the main auditorium is situated….Within 20 minutes, I managed to place *something* on ~ 800 seats/armrests. Armrests are great since they cover two seats at once….A trickle of delegates started to arrive just as I was finishing so *I vanished* again….
Upon my return, I could see hundreds of delegates reading/looking at what had *appeared* whilst they were away….
Since the entrance area to both suites was quiet – I set up an “Open Access” stall on the most prominently placed empty (nice fluke) table. One of the most eye catching *goodies* I had was the blue/silver PLoS goblet which I proudly placed at the centre of *my stall* which contained a broad selection of what I had left. I also left a couple of our glossy “CJD Alliance” ring-bound *brochures* on display so that passers by got the connection to what I was doing. It was cool to sit at *my stall* with the ever so fitting “I’m Open” message across my chest.  I then *vanished* again….
My final activity was to clear my stall and then stick up a final “Open Access” poster on the back of the prominently placed entry sign to the main auditorium. This meant that when all left it that day, they had their final reminder….
Of those that I was able to discuss OA/IR’s with, almost all of the feedback was positive in nature. I was easily able to respond to any less positive feedback….

PMR: I’m guessing that this was a meeting with a fairly traditional organisation and agenda so that OA was low on the profile of many delegates. These people do not hang out in revolutionary corners of Second Life such as the Blue Obelisk and are probably not impacted by OA  on a frequent basis.
Like most chemists, of whom many (possibly even most from our SPECTRa survey) have not heard of OA.
So we have to get the idea more prominent. I’m thinking about something like a set of flyers or posters which could be put in a departmental coffee room.  (Of course none of us have time for coffee any now). Although I am sympathetic to OA publishers it would come better from something like SPARC or ARL. And perhaps to pick up from Graham’s ideas – what is the best real-life advocacy that is seen as responsible?

This entry was posted in open issues. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Guerilla OA activity

  1. Graham Steel says:

    Absolutely PMR. Ultimately, the departmental coffee room was indeed what I had in mind and the hope all along was for some of these posters/flyers to eventually reach coffee rooms.
    With regards to SPARC/ARL,tomorrow,I will be be participating in another teleconf. with them so I’ll certainly raise your suggestion with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *