Open Access Exchange also Works Digitally - Follow-Up Report on the Virtual Open Access Staff Week

As part of the open-access.network project, a digital Staff Week on Open Access took place in March 2021

[Translate to English:] Open Access Barcamp März 2021

From 16 to 18 March 2021, the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) provided an insight into its Open Access activities. The Online Staff Week was organised by the SUB Göttingen and the Communication, Information and Media Centre (KIM) of the University of Konstanz as part of the open-access.network project. This gave 13 staff members from other libraries the opportunity to learn about best practices in the implementation of Open Access. The event format thus provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience and aimed to strengthen cooperation among the institutions.

Insights into Daily Open Access Work

The content of the event was contributed by the SUB Göttingen as the host institution. Preferred topics were requested in the application for the event, which were then taken into account during the programme planning process. There was a broad presentation of various services and organisational facilities of the SUB, such as the University Press, the repositories and subject departments as well as subject information services (Fachinformationsdienste FID). Participants also had the opportunity to present and discuss the Open Access activities of their institution with posters that had been prepared in advance. In addition, the workflows for handling publication costs were discussed in detail. There was a lively exchange about everyday challenges. For example, the participants discussed which tools can be used to manage the publication fund (e.g. Excel or Access database).

Time for Personal Encounters and Meetings

A central challenge was to enable personal encounters and meetings that are very important, in addition to the professional input, for the "Staff Week" format in the digital setting. Therefore, the event was organised on the gather.town platform, which allows for swapping discussion partners. On the platform, which at first glance looks like a computer game, all participants can walk through the room as small figures and, when they encounter other people, their video and audio transmission is displayed. An online whiteboard from MIRO was used as an additional collaboration tool, which everyone had access to during the three days. In addition, a "speed dating" event took place in the afternoon of the first day. This gave participants the opportunity to talk to one person for five minutes at a time before the conversation partners were changed in turn so that they could have a one-on-one conversation with several people. In addition, warm-up games took place at the beginning of each day, which helped to lighten up the online format (Brinken 2021). The "buzzword bingo", which had been distributed in advance, was also popular. The programme was actively accompanied by a social media team, which provided up-to-date reports on what was happening during the event on Twitter, thus giving live insights into the Open Access Staff Week to the public.

"The event showed how urgently we need exchange and how much we can learn from each other" was the feedback from the participants. We are happy to take positive feedback like this, as well as suggestions for improvement, into the planning of our next virtual Staff Week, which is scheduled to take place during the coming summer semester. Within the framework of the open-access.network project, a total of four more Open Access Staff Weeks will take place at different institutions. If you have any questions about this format, please send an email to open-access.network(at)uni-konstanz.de.