With the COVID 19 pandemic continuing to push a global focus on Open Science, this year’s Open Access week was more important for advocacy than ever before. The international theme of building structural equity could not have been more appropriate and was the most common recurring answer to the question of what needs to be considered in order to sustain & fund an open ecosystem for the future.
We were thrilled with the line up of fascinating presentations and thoughtful panel discussions we brought together under the able leadership of La Trobe’s Dr Thomas Shafee who steered our Open Access Week organising group.
Our week got off to a great start with leaders in the research and publishing fields (Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley, NHMRC’s Prue Torrance, The Conversation’s founder Andrew Jaspan and Dr Toby Hudson from the Wikimedia Foundation) discussing the complex way the knowledge ecosystem interacts.
On Tuesday we had a lively panel discussion about shaking up the culture of research assessment, followed by some fact finding fun in a open-source inspired virtual escape room (which of course can be reused).
The middle of the week took a more serious turn with our panelists answering questions about how to address global challenges like climate change and pandemics and how different disciplines can learn from each other across the open research spectrum.
On Thursday we had our most highly subscribed and attended session ever, with our panel discussion Indigenous Voices: Research principles and practice through a First Nations lens. Chaired by Kim Tairi, our panel Maui Hudson, Dr Levon Ellen Blue and Spencer Lilley spoke about their experiences as First Nations researchers and conducting research in Indigenous communities.
And to wrap up our week on Friday we had two insightful sessions on exploring the benefits and barriers to the creation and use of open educational resources coordinated by Dr Kate Davis from CAUL, and a final session on making research truly accessible.
Overall, more than 1700 people registered for the sessions and there were more than 1000 attendees. Engagement on our new website was excellent across the week with 3800 visits from more than 1800 people (1500 who visited us for the first time). The #OAWeek2021 Twitter hashtag was well used and our own Twitter handle had 13.7k profile visits and a whopping 79.5k impressions. Our dedicated OA Week webpage also hosted the details of other OA Week activities being held at universities around Australia & New Zealand and we got to share the message online with downloadable OA week zoom backgrounds.
The recordings of each the panel and discussion sessions are now available to watch and share on our website.
To all of our wonderful session chairs and facilitators; Dr Thomas Shafee, Dr Emma Burrows, Dion Detterer, Dr Ginny Barbour, Kim Tairi, Dr Kate Davis, Sally Murray-Walsh, Katya Henry & Sandra Fry, thank you for your generosity and enthusiasm.
To our amazing panelists and presenters; Dr Cathy Foley, Andrew Jaspan, Prue Torrance, Dr Toby Hudson, Prof. Kimberlee Weatherall, Prof. Robert Mailhammer, Tara McLaren, Dr Jason Chin, Dr Mian-Li Ong, Dr Ann Hardy, Gionni Di Gravio OAM, Dr Nicole Kearney, Dr Blair Trewin, Bill Flynn, Maui Hudson, Dr Levon Ellen Blue, Spencer Lilley, Steven Chang, Tahnee Pearse, Fiona Salisbury, Marion Slawson, Adrian Stagg, Dr Emma Beckett, Dr Drew Berry & Elliott Bledsoe, Dr Tseen Khoo, thank you for your time and expertise.
And lastly, thanks again to our wonderful Open Access Australasia OA Week organising committee: Dr Thomas Shafee (La Trobe), Sam Elkington-Dent (USC), Kate Knox (Otago), Dr Kate Davis (CAUL), Alicia Starr (Avondale), Lucy Walton (WSU), Nicole Faull-Brown (UON), Angela Booth (UON) and, from Open Access Australasia, Sandra Fry, Sally Murray-Walsh and Ginny Barbour.