Get ready for Open Access Week!

The semester has started. Labor Day has passed. And October is right around the corner. Are you ready for Open Access Week 2016?

Open Access Week is a yearly advocacy event near and dear to every Scholarly Communications Librarian’s heart. It is a dedicated, internationally-coordinated time where we can engage with our faculty and students about all things open access. But falling at the end of October, this event can be a challenge. By that time in the semester, our faculty and students are in the full swing of mid-terms, class projects, and research.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you plan a successful Open Access Week at your institution.

Consider the theme

This year the theme for Open Access Week is “Open in Action”. Participants and stakeholders are encouraged to take concrete steps in support of making research more openly available. This could mean hosting a “deposit-a-thon” in your library, asking students and faculty to deposit a pre-print in your institutional repository. It could also mean a series of blog posts interviewing the open access stakeholders at your campus about their experience with open access in action.

Every campus is different and every community engages differently with this topic. Think about what type of events work best at your campus and consider how this year’s theme might fit.

Leverage the International Community

Still lost for ideas? The Open Access Week website is here to help! SPARC has developed the website to provide opportunities for community engagement. On the site, Open Access Week coordinators from around the globe can share their previous successes, challenges, and ideas to help others create effective events.  The site also offers a plethora of resources and media, including photos, videos, and Creative Commons Licensed downloadable media to help you market events on your campus.

Don’t forget about ASERL

Last September, ASERL hosted a great webinar on “Tips & Tricks for Successful Open Access Week Programming”. Presenters from six ASERL member libraries provided insights into what has and has not worked at their respective campuses over the years. As you get ready for this year’s Open Access Week, don’t forget to check out what your ASERL peers recommend — both the good, and the not-so-good!

Share your thoughts with us!

Once you’ve considered what may work at your institution, let us know what you’re thinking!
Or if you’re still testing out ideas, feel free to test them out with us! Email your questions, concerns, or ideas to the Scholarly Communications Interest Group at

ASERL’S New Scholarly Communications Interest Group Blog!

Welcome to the ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group Blog!

Created by the ASERL Scholarly Communications Interest Group (SCIG), this new blog initiative offers ASERL members the opportunity to share exciting ideas and timely information about all things scholarly communication. The blog serves as an information conduit as well as a space for sharing feedback on the outcomes of our respective institutional initiatives. We hope that the blog will serve as a virtual support system for our members, highlighting what does and doesn’t work in a safe and helpful space.

So how does this whole “blog thing” work?

To get the ball rolling and ensure we have a diversity of content, the SCIG Co-chairs–Melanie Kowalski (Emory) and Molly Keener (Wake Forest)–and the ASERL Executive Director, John Burger, have recruited a team of regular contributors from ASERL institutions. Collectively, the team has 30-plus years of expertise in scholarly communications that they are excited to share with their ASERL colleagues. The team will bring you posts about ASERL initiatives, including upcoming webinars and events, as well as other relevant topics, events, and undertakings. You’ll meet the team as they begin blogging, so stayed tuned!

In addition to our wonderful team of contributors, the SCIG Co-Chairs hope to hear from you! We welcome guest contributions from members of the ASERL communities. For more information on getting involved, please email the blogging team at

We need YOU to tell us what you want.

This blog has been created by your colleagues just for you. So tell us what you want to hear! Are there particular topics you’re interested in? Are you considering a new initiative but would like to know what others have tried? Do you have ideas of improvement in the blog that you’d like to share? Send all your great ideas for topics and feedback to

Seeking Schol-Comm co-chair!

HELP WANTED:  ASERL needs a new Schol-Comm co-chair!

ASERL is seeking a new Co-Chair to help lead the Scholarly Communications Interest Group for ASERL, as Robin Sinn’s term will expire on June 30th.  The new Co-Chair will serve a two-year term beginning July 2016.  He/she will work with the ongoing Co-Chair Melanie Kowalski (Emory) and ASERL’s Executive Director (John Burger) to establish priorities for the coming year and review emerging issues/opportunities as they arise.

Desired skills/expertise
*  Currently employed at an ASERL library
* Effective at fostering a sense of community across remote locations
*  Very current on emerging issues impacting Scholarly Communications and Research Libraries
*  Availability to contribute 2 – 3 hours per month to this volunteer activity.
*  Willing to contact people inside/outside ASERL to serve as webinar speakers
*  Familiarity with basic webpage editing tools (WordPress) to help monitor/maintain the ScholComm webpage

NOTE:  We are also planning to host a second Scholarly Communications Unconference (“SCUNC”) meeting next year, so experience with such events would be helpful.

Anyone interested in working with Melanie and me on this initiative are asked to submit their names and brief professional background to John Burger ( by May 31, 2016.  Self-nominations are encouraged. The final selection will be made by the ASERL Board of Directors.