This is a personal blog which is completely unrelated to any of the writers’ formal activities with any of the organisations that
they are associated with.
Here is a report in relation to my attendance of a recent Conference.
Personal mission INCLUDING raising awareness about Open Access/archiving to the delegates present.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Before reading, please note:-
1) I was formally in attendance at this event and the organizing committee waived registration costs for all family members attending such as myself. I also was lucky to have had the cost waived for the Gala Dinner
Having never seen a *poster session* before, I thought this might be a good opportunity. Of the ~ 150 posters, hardly any of the researchers involved were standing next to them as I would have thought
would have been the case during poster sessions. You live – you learn.
I had to return home with my packs of OA promotional material completely intact.
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. Gut reaction in most situations is always useful but not 100% specifically correct.
Initial seeds planted.
To a smaller extent, a few seeds were dropped up to level 3 where the main auditorium is situated. Whilst not a watch wearer, I had around 40 minutes left before the empty auditorium (other than one lone delegate) was filled again. I still had ~ 800 leaflet/poster/postcard & misc. items left. Within 20 minutes, I managed to place *something* on ~ 800 seats/armrests. Armrests are great since they cover two seats at once. I left out most end of row seats in case such items simply got bumped to the floor.
A trickle of delegates started to arrive just as I was finishing so *I vanished* again.
Delegates were arriving in droves now. Time to nip outside for a quick cigarette (filthy habit).
Open Access Stall
Similar pcture of the material on display that day
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* briefly 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 *activities* calmed down during afternoon tea/coffee break. 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.
All took the evening off to attend the Gala Dinner/Ceilidh at the rather grand venue.
Despite my *unconventional methodologies*, I achieved much more than I set out to do. At a rough guestimate, I would say that > 60 % of
the delegates fall into the age-bracket that are much more likely to
seriously consider choosing an OA Journal/Publisher as matters stand.
We now know that this was the largest ever conference in this particular field with ~ 950 delegates present.
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.
A large proportion of these delegates are involved in STM research generally so any knock-on effect applies across the board.
Gate of entry to Conference = £350
Gate of entry to Conference Gala Dinner = £50
Reasonably priced located Hotel accommodation = £120 @ night x 3 = £360
Transportation costs = £35
TOTAL = £795
Actual cost for me to participate in this instance = ~ £35
I would like to equally thank DOAJ, Biomed Central and PLoS for kindly supplying me with all of the OA promotional material. I
also wish to thank a number of contacts from the OA Movement, friends
and colleagues for their full support and excellent advice ahead of the