Subscribe to our newsletter

Digital Science Webinar: Fostering Open Access – Drivers and Motivations

17th October 2017
 | Katy Alexander

During Open Access Week 2017, tune into our latest thought leadership webinar, “Fostering Open Access – Drivers and Motivations” on Thursday 26 October at 3-4pm BST (10-11am EDT). 

Open Access activities around the world are being pulled in different directions by funder mandates, institutional policies and publisher agreements. These diverse drivers are influencing the development of open access infrastructure and support, and are shaping how research is shared and reused.

Join our expert panel as they explore the global drivers for open access that have impacted their priorities in developing infrastructure and support systems. Learn about their experiences in catalysing open access at their institution.

You will learn about:

  • Drivers influencing open access activities across different institutions and countries.
  • Strategies used at these institutions to engage researchers and manage open access activities.
  • The impact of ‘compliance’ driven approaches such as funder policies on open access activities.
  • The challenges in managing open access activities on a large scale.
  • The opportunities to expand and/or enhance open access activities in the future.


Top thought leaders speaking on the webinar:

Kate Byrne, Symplectic 

As the Repository Platforms Product Manager, Kate leads for open access and repository related product development and community engagement at Symplectic. Kate’s background is in libraries, research information management and open access. She joined the Symplectic team in London in 2016 relocating from Sydney, Australia. Kate is passionate about making research information management easier for all involved.

Kate will be the moderator and facilitate the Q&A session during the webinar.

Gail McMillan, Director of Scholarly Communications, Virginia Tech 

Gail is a professor at Virginia Tech Libraries and director of Scholarly Communication. She joined the VT faculty after completing two masters at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a year as an Archivist at the Smithsonian Institution. Named the Director of the Scholarly Communications Project (SCP) in 1994, she led the development of online services and resources such as electronic course reserves, access to news from television newspapers, and the VT ImageBase. EJournal hosting was the founding Scholarly Communications Project initiative, and continues today with 12 current journals and two dozen archived titles, almost all of which are open access.

Virginia Tech set the national and international standard for electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) and Gail played a significant role in this initiative beginning in 1995. Under her direction, they developed ETD-db, the software that managed all aspects of ETDs from submission and approval to public access. In 2011 Virginia Tech’s digital repository, VTechWorks, was established under Gail’s direction to host and make publicly available the university’s scholarship and research.

The Scholarly Communications Project spawned many new library units including those focused on digital imaging, preservation, and publishing. Today Gail provides guidance on intellectual property issues, oversees the IR, VTechWorks, and manages the VT Open Access Subvention Fund, among other things.

During this webinar Gail will look at Virginia Tech’s approach to OA activities and their steps towards an OA Policy.

Dr. Arthur Smith, Open Access Service Manager, Cambridge UK 

Dr Arthur Smith is the Deputy Head of Scholarly Communication at the University of Cambridge. Originating from Brisbane, Australia, he began his research career studying physical chemistry at the University of Queensland. Now in the UK, he directs and manages the University of Cambridge’s Open Access Service, which strives to make all of Cambridge’s research outputs Open Access.

Arthur will discuss Cambridge’s OA activities including working across different funder policies and the impact of HEFCE and Finch on OA activities.

Sally Rumsey, Head of Scholarly Communications & Data Management, Oxford 

Sally Rumsey (Head of Scholarly Communications & RDM, Bodleian Libraries) is the Libraries’ strategic lead for open access, research data and scholarly communications. She oversees the university’s repository service for research outputs, Oxford University Research Archive (ORA and ORA-Data). Sally is a member of the CASRAI-UK Steering Group, past chair of CASRAI-UK OA Group, and a member of the Jisc Publications Router Community Advisory and Router-Symplectic Elements Interoperability Groups.

Sally will focus on Oxford’s OA Activities, with a particular focus on “Open Access isn’t about Compliance.”

Host: Laura Wheeler, Digital Science

Laura Wheeler is the Head of Digital Communications for Digital Science and will host the webinar.