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OISE Annual Research Celebration
Each year, OISE holds its Annual Research Celebration in April, in the OISE library. “The purpose of this annual event is to provide faculty, staff, and student researchers with an opportunity to profile their research work. The evening brings together research partners, colleagues, prospective students, and the greater community, along with current faculty, staff, and students” (http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/Research_Expertise/index.html). Each department works hard to gather together faculty output: journal articles, authored books, etc., for display and discussion. The event is always well-attended; people thoroughly enjoy mingling and chatting about their own and their colleagues’ work. For library staff, it is also an excellent liaison opportunity, with so many faculty members to be found in one place. It’s a wonderful chance to talk to them about their research interests and look out for any recent publications that we need to add to our collection.
As a special twist to this year’s event, librarians at OISE were invited by the Research Celebration organizers to present a booth on open access. The University of Toronto Libraries is increasingly engaged in scholarly communication and open access issues. The invitation to have our own booth was a great chance to spread the word about the advantages of open access, as well as have open discussion with faculty and students about any challenges this new method of publication might pose.
Throughout the two-hour event, many faculty members and both prospective and current students stopped by our booth; they were genuinely interested in engaging in an open dialogue about open access. The recent e-thesis requirement was a useful conversational opener for the graduate students, as a number of incoming students were unaware of the requirement. The philosophy behind open access really resonated with both faculty and students. Many had questions related to copyright; the booth was an opportunity to share with faculty and students how they could retain copyright of their own work to ensure that they can deposit to a research repository like T-Space.
We were glad to have some interesting conversations about open access issues and were encouraged when we received an email that same night from a faculty member offering his most recent publications for showcasing in T-Space. We hope that our open access presence will become an annual event within the Research Celebration!