FORCE2018 has ended
FORCE2018 at McGill University on October 11-12, 2018 – with pre-conference workshops on Oct 10 hosted at Concordia University
avatar for Carly Robinson

Carly Robinson

U.S. Dept. of Energy/Office of Scientific and Technical Information
AAAS Fellow
Germantown, Maryland
I first learned about the Open movement when I attended the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students Legislative Action Days 3 years ago, when I was a graduate student at the University of Colorado (CU). During the workshop, the Right to Research Coalition taught the attendees about the importance of open access, how we can get involved, and about the bipartisan legislation already introduced in both the House and Senate (FRPAA). The next day, I had the opportunity to meet with the majority of the Colorado congressional delegation to discuss FRPAA. During those visits, we (myself and another CU student) were able to convince Representatives Polis and Gardner to cosponsor the House bill.

I went back to campus and decided I needed to push for more open access at my university. At this time I was the overall Student Body Vice-President for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as my department representative to the graduate student government. I used these roles to rally support for open access by having CU join the Right to Research Coalition and by introducing resolutions to support open access in the overall and graduate student governments. Both bodies passed my proposed resolutions.

University libraries are key to promoting open access at most universities, so I became an ex-officio member of our faculty assembly’s library committee. I came armed with the student government resolutions and asked if they would consider supporting an open access policy for CU. Luckily, this is something the committee had already been discussing. Due to university politics, we decided a resolution supporting open access would be a good way to start the movement within the faculty assembly. Because of the vast student support, the faculty assembly easily passed the resolution. I have since graduated, but other graduate students and the library staff are working to passing an open access policy (requiring open access) through the faculty assembly.

I also hosted the first ever University of Colorado Open Access Week while in 2012 with the graduate student government and library staff. We held events including a viewing party of the Open Access Week Kick-Off Event, a graduate student coffee hour with an open access information booth, and hosted an open access panel discussion for students to learn more about open access and the movement at CU. The following year, the graduate student government and university libraries continued the tradition by again hosting events for the 2013 Open Access Week.

Following graduation, I was an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow in Senator Mark Udall’s office. In this role, I tracked open access legislation and spoke with many hill staffers about its need and importance. I also had the opportunity to give a workshop at the National Association of Graduate and Professionals Students Spring 2014 Legislative Action Days about how to effectively advocate for Open Access and lobby Congress to support FASTR.