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Open Access at the Fringe

Last week, members of our Open Access support team visited Edinburgh for the annual Fringe.

Now in its 7th year, the event was the busiest yet with 150 attendees. As ever the programme included lots of audience participation, great food and some singing. (We are of course talking about the Repository Fringe – we just borrow some of the Edinburgh festival spirit!)

Repository Fringe 2013 logo
This year, the focus was on Open Access policies and how the community is reacting. Our keynote from Yvonne Budden, University of Warwick raised the question of whether Open Access is still a revolutionary concept. Do we still need to challenge the norms of scholarly communication - and if so is it researchers or librarians that should be leading the 'revolution'? The consensus seems to be that the power to create change is primarily in the hands of academics, but libraries have a role in finding workable solutions.

While we maintained the ‘unconference’ style of this event with informal discussions and encouragement of novel ideas, many people highlighted practical aspects of achieving an increase in open access. In particular we had presentations from several Jisc OA Good Practice Projects - St Andrews has just begun one of these projects in partnership with University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University. Unsurprisingly given the recent policy announcement from HEFCE, compliance with funder policies will be a major theme.

Live blogs from both days of the event are available from the conference website.

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