To build interest and entice people to attend an upcoming OA Day on the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee campus, the staff of the UWM Libraries created a fun and compelling slideshow that compared subscription prices to the cost of various luxury items—for instance, the UW American Chemical Society bundle to the price of ten brand new Corvettes. Reactions from faculty typically indicated shock, or occasionally, “Oh, I’d rather have the Corvettes!” Faculty are often not aware of the cost of these subscriptions nor of how that might affect the dissemination of their research if libraries can no longer afford them. The slideshow opened up numerous opportunities for the library to discuss open access as well as the new services they’d be offering through their repository, UWM Digital Commons, to help faculty and students make their work OA.
The slideshow and resulting conversations also encouraged faculty and others to attend the OA Day event, where the university hosted a faculty panel on Open Access. According to Tim Gritten, Assistant Director of Libraries, User and Research Services, “The faculty panel was especially notable, as they succinctly shared their experiences with open access, including the enticements, the barriers, and the need for further campus conversation.” Drawn from different disciplines across campus, the panel members willingly shared both their enthusiasm and their concerns, lending more legitimacy to the conversation.
These creative and engaging approaches to the issue have gotten the open access conversation off to a good start on the UWM campus, and the library will be stepping in with UWM Digital Commons and a host of other services as more researchers seek to participate.