Promoting open access (OA) scientific publication practices to health sciences librarians, researchers and practitioners

The Network of Collaboration Between Europe & Latin American-Caribbean (NECOBELAC)  countries  is a project that aims to promote open access publishing in Europe and Latin America. The project is sponsored by six institutions; Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Italy, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Spain, University of Nottingham in the UK, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (bvs) in Brasil, Universidad Nacional De Colombia  in Colombia, and Universidade do Minho in Portugal. In the past, these partners have developed a collaboration scheme and spurred enthusiasm and interest about the open access publishing options in the scientific community of both continents.

Due to the variety of the scientific writing practices in Europe and Latin America, the NECOBELAC project works in the two geographical areas and spreads the word about the publishing options enabled by the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to open access. The project has established two different types of training activities; the first (T1) is a training course where the participants are expected to become trainers in their affiliated institutions and educate others on the available open access publication practices. The second (T2) includes workshops or meetings that aim to replicate activities and develop wide open access advocacy strategies. The success of the NECOBELAC project stems from the interrelation of the activities that take place in the two continents, and the bidirectional approach that is followed to spread best practices and strategies both in relation to the teaching styles and the implementation of advocacy plans for open access.

This past Wednesday (May 9th) the T1 NECOBELAC course took place in Dublin, in the Pearse Street Library. The programme included a wide variety of topics ranging from scientific writing to open access publication models. All the presentations are available here. After the lunch break four brief presentations on local perspectives followed, from Patricia Clarke (Senior Policy Analyst, Health Research Board), Niamh Brennan (Programme Manager, Research Information Systems & Services Ussher Library, Trinity College), Aoife Lawton (LENUS, Health Service Executive) and Joanne Callinan (Librarian at the Milford Care Centre). These real-life examples showcased not only the creativeness and hard work of the repositories staff and librarians, but also the importance of the open access publishing.

The event closed with a discussion between the participants who drafted future strategies for their open access advocacy activities and brainstormed on prospective advocacy events to raise awareness within their institutions. Based on the conclusions, the future trainers plan to:

  • Create a strong community and support each other with the open access advocacy issues
  • Identify the stakeholders who should try to affect in their institutions
  • Talk to their colleagues about open access and the knowledge they gained from the course
  • Create an activity related to open access and scientific publishing in their institutions in the future
  • Present to the authors some statistical information related to the open access publications hosted in their institutional repositories
  • Find and present to their colleagues positive quotes related to the advantages and successes of open access publishing

The face-to-face T1 course will be followed by three webinars, which will be co-sponsored by NECOBELAC and the Repositories Support Project (RSP). The first webinar is scheduled for May 18th and access is limited only to the participants who attended the T1 course in Dublin. In this webinar the participants will engage in an extensive discussion on the topics presented in the course in Dublin and establish future plans for successful replication activities and open access advocacy strategies. The other two webinars are free and open to anyone interested into open access and the scientific publishing in health sciences, as the focus will be on good practices concerning the management, policies and advocacy of open access publications and repositories. More information about the content of the webinars and the registration process will be posted on the RSP events website and the RSP Twitter page.

One Response to Promoting open access (OA) scientific publication practices to health sciences librarians, researchers and practitioners

  1. The Institute of Public Health in Ireland, along with the Milford Care Centre, were delighted to host this event on Dublin. There was huge enthusiasm amongst participants who valued greatly the training they received and the wonderful resources the NECOBELAC Project has developed to support local OA activity. We are looking forward to collaborating with NEOBELAC and our Irish colleagues in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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