We celebrated Open Access this week since we had Cameron Neylon (PLoS) on campus for a few days as part of our Distinguished Innovator in Residence program. I’ll have more to share about that later, but today I wanted to highlight an interesting component of our OA program: The Knowledge Drive.
Rebecca Miller developed the concept so I’ll let her tell the story:
Late last spring, I watched people line up to give blood at a Virginia Blood Services drive on campus. I thought about what made it to successful; VBS had advertised the need for blood, so there was awareness on campus. The drive was also convenient, since VBS took the blood drive to where potential donors were, rather than waiting for donors to come to them. Donors were also receiving items like T-shirts, flip flops, or stickers that let others know that they were contributing to a greater good.
I realized that this was a model that we could use for increasing awareness of and soliciting contributions for our institutional repository, VTechWorks. Like a blood bank, the repository relies on a steady stream of contributions from scholars and researchers that will ultimately nourish and strengthen a particular body of knowledge. I hope it ultimately creates a better understanding of the role that an institutional repository can play in the life of a researcher, and how significant each individual’s donations might be.
Librarians and staff hosted the drive for two hours each day at three locations around campus: the Library, the Graduate Life Center, and the Fralin Life Science Institute. They gave away buttons and snacks—and with laptops in hand — they helped interested scholars register for repository accounts. I’m not sure what the total numbers are but I do know that on day one we had 10 – 12 people sign up at both the graduate center and the research institute.
It’s an interesting concept and one that I hope we continue to host each semester.
We were inspired by Char Booth’s bold button– and great blog post.