Universities united by open access

Subject:  Multidisciplinary

To coincide with Open Access Week, the UOC is pioneering the first Twitter-based MOOC on open access.

International Open Access Week, running from 23-29 October, is an annual event for learning about and sharing the advantages of publishing works with free, unrestricted and direct access.

Faithful to its commitment to the open access movement, the UOC is chipping in with an open Twitter-based course, for which it received support from librarians at other universities. Rosa Padrós – who is in joint charge of the O2, the UOC's institutional repository, and is a UOC librarian specializing in open access – was responsible for coordinating the courses contents. She explained that putting together a training course made entirely of tweets was quite a challenge, "it required a lot of effort in terms of synthesis and conceptualization". Padrós added that the end result was only possible thanks to the teamwork of the different experts, universities and UOC departments involved in the design and preparation of the course.

What is a MOOC?

For some time now, platforms such as edX have been offering online courses on a wide range of subjects, from the keys to storytelling to Java programming. What's special about them? They are all massive online open courses – MOOCs.

Why micro?

Because this is an online course given entirely on Twitter, via the account @moocmicro.

What's this micro-MOOC about?

The aim is to share the basic ideas and concepts relating to open access, explaining things in easy-to-understand language. It provides an overview of good practices, initiatives and standards, and the tools used for publishing, disseminating and archiving the data and publications generated in research work.

When is it happening?

From 23 to 27 October, with the contents published in about 20 tweets each day starting at 12 noon. Each day the focus will be on a different topic, with articles, images and videos shared. Once the course is over, the tweets will be available on Storify, with a link to this compilation shared via the same Twitter account.

Who is it for?

The course is open to anyone with a Twitter account following the #OAMOOC hashtag. Its contents should be particularly useful for researchers and for students doing doctoral and master's degrees.

Universities tweeting together on open access

This course was coordinated by the UOC, and contents were developed with support from the University of Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Pompeu Fabra University, University of Girona, University of Lleida, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia, and Universitat Jaume I. Other collaborators included the Catalan University Service Consortium (CSUC), the European University Association (EUA), the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and SPARC Europe.