Since I promised to write an entry or two for the RepoFringe blog I thought I’d best get on with it. For those of you who don’t know me the short form is I’m a doctoral student based at Nottingham Trent working in the area of culture and open access, about which you can read more on my own blog. Those of you who do know me, will be aware I also used to be a repository manager and for a brief time head cheese of UKCoRR, though that’s a year behind me now. I thought I’d briefly layout some of my expectations of what I hope to get out of attending the Fringe.
(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear
Last time I came to the Fringe a few years ago, I was practicing repository manager looking for ways to work harder/smarter/faster (or at least that was the conception I used to persuade my managers to fund my attendance). This time as a self-funded attendee and would-be academic, I’ve got a much more open agenda. I know there will be a fair amount of content that probably won’t be of immediate practical efficacy to me, and that’s just fine. Just hearing about the developments and experiences of others is going to be intrinsically a fascinating way to expand my own background knowledge in some perhaps hitherto unexpected areas.
Hanging on the Telephone
A large chunk of my research involves talking to people in academic settings up and down the country. I’m just concluding one phase of this work, which means I expect I’ll have the chance to meet in person (and thank) many of the dozens of voices I’ve spoken to in recent months. Some of whom I knew, some I didn’t before we spoke – and it’ll be very interesting to put some faces to names. As the next phases of research also involves a lot of interviewing, I’m know I want to develop some of these contacts into broader professional relationships. Thus I might be on a mild charm offensive throughout…
Heart of Glass
One of the difficulties of being a PhD student (especially in your first year) is getting a crystal clear view of the weft and flow of practical activities in your field of study can be a challenge. Compared to what it was like when I was working with a repository and academics everyday I feel more than a little out of step with the current practitioner related discourse around repositories, open access and the like. Thus the chance to hear (and overhear) the topics that are being discussed in and around the sessions are a crucial attractor for me in attending. I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ll be as, if not more so, interested in any points of disagreement or contention than points of concordance.
One Way or Another
Aside from this blog I’ve managed to get myself volunteered to co-chair a session on open access in academia, a topic naturally close to my heart [1.30-3pm, Thursday 1st., room 3]. I’m hoping that between the three of us we can spark a real discussion on issues of commonality and disparity around the humble research academic their open access reactions. Given OA in the UK high media profile right now, I suspect this could be the opportunity for a stimulating and hopefully frank exchange of experiences. Or at least I hope it will be!
Fade Away (And Radiate)
So there it is in a nutshell – I’m coming to learn, to meet people and expand my perceptions. I’ll doubtless be tweeting thoughts throughout the event (via the #tag or follow me directly @llordllama) so if you can’t be there, don’t forget to say “Hi”.