Implementing and strengthening Open Access in one’s own discipline – challenges and opportunities

Second workshop on the priority theme “Open Access and Specialist Information Services – Multipliers for Open Science”

The project invited representatives of specialist information services to a one-day train-the-trainer workshop in an online format on 14 January 2021. The workshop series focuses not only on the acquisition of didactic knowledge but also on networking with each other and on community building. Short rounds of discussions on individual open-access-related topics enabled a joint exchange of experiences that offers an opportunity for possible collaboration between the participants in the future.

Twenty representatives of the fields of regional studies, law, social sciences, economics, the humanities, and cultural sciences jointly shaped the one-day event. A keynote speech on the subject of “Books and Book Disciplines in Open Access” by Dorothee Graf got the discussion off to a start. The speaker from the University of Duisburg-Essen presented the results of OGeSoMO (Promotion of Open Access Publications in the Humanities and Social Sciences With a Focus on Monographs), a project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), which she managed between 2018 and 2020. Afterwards, the audience identified common and discipline-specific challenges in implementing open access. The prominent position of book publications in individual disciplines, and the existence of heterogeneous levels of knowledge of the topic of open access were mentioned.

Interactive group work, the possibility for exchanges in plenary, and individual activation with the help of various tools encouraged intensive collaboration. The organiser, Linda Martin, a member of the project and an employee of Bielefeld University Library, noted that the high motivation of the participants and their expertise in various areas had given the workshop a pleasant and productive atmosphere. She went on to say that by being given the possibility to directly apply various didactic methods, the representatives of the specialist information services had obtained ideas for the design of their own training formats. When developing a “mini training” afterwards, the participants very successfully applied the knowledge they had acquired at the workshop. The small groups planned fictional events, selecting an open access training focus they had chosen themselves. When doing so, they tailored the training process and the choice of methods to target groups and group sizes chosen randomly beforehand.

The materials on the second train-the-trainer workshop can be found under this link:

The next event in this series will take place on 25 February 2021. It is addressed in particular to universities with a small proportion of open access. The target group of the one-day online event are open access officers as well as professionals who interact directly with the scholars and scientists and the users, or who support the scholarly publication process. The focus will be on imparting training methods and didactic knowledge to deliver information on open access in a target-group-appropriate way. The implicit aim is to raise the participants’ awareness of open access.

If you have any questions or requests regarding the train-the-trainer workshops, please send an email to info(at)