The theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (20th–26th Oct 2014) will be “Generation Open” with a focus on students and ‘early career’ researchers.

Off the top of my head, a few ideas for student activities:

* Bring together a small team to produce a one-off WordPress-based “overlay journal” or ebook. This would aim to elegantly showcase selected fulltext items in your university repository. Also scan just one old public-domain scholarly article that has never been seen online before, and add it to the mix. The issue/book might be themed around research on the history and natural history of your region or city — likely to spark local media coverage and thus to raise awareness among local independent/retired scholars. Once complete, invite local writers and artists to post responses to the chosen articles. Promote the completed issue/book as a resource for teaching of advanced comprehension and writing: have selected lecturers give student assignments to ‘translate’ the articles into 250-word ‘plain English’ summaries for general readers.

* Reach out to any Library / Librarianship related student groups on Facebook etc. Make sure you’re not pushing against an unlocked door, or duplicating work that’s already being done.

* Foreground and promote Open Access in a wider and rather cooler context than the introductory lecture on first-year study skills. (You know the one: 150 first-year students perspiring in a stuffy lecture hall in late summer, in front of which a librarian with an over-stuffed Powerpoint is trying to rectify six years of bad habits in 60 minutes). For instance, instead try adding OA to local events on the practicalities of Creative Commons and the remix culture, co-organised with your local creative industries network.

* Reach out to university alumni, via writing an article in the alumni magazine or mailing. Stress the abrupt loss of access to research, on finishing a course. If the editors seem enthusiastic, suggest they carry a regular feature to signpost the best of “what’s new in the repository this quarter”.

* Write an article for your university’s local businesses / local partners engagement newsletter. If these publications carry funding news then they can be surprisingly closely scrutinised by key local players.

* Offer to spend a day “dust busting” the library website, via a full link-check / update / OA expansion of all their subject guides and open access pages.

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