In the UK we have been very lucky to have benefitted from considerable investment in open access infrastructure over the last decade or so. This JISC has led the way with this, with a number of high profile projects (including the Repositories Support Project, Welsh Repository Network and ERiS), as well as a not insignificant number of start-up, enhancement and embedding projects at regional and institutional levels.
In addition, practitioners in the UK have been able to call on the UKCoRR network of repository managers for support via the mailing list and members meetings. You will most likely be aware that UKCoRR is unfunded, relying on the time spared by its members to share expertise and to help one another, and piggybacking on existing infrastructure to facilitate this support.
Many of us are aware that we are in a very privileged position in the UK, and that many countries (especially those who would benefit from Open Access the most) do not have the resources to fund work in this area. It is for this reason that UKCoRR has been working with groups in other countries to help set up similar networks - something we have been doing for some time now.
I have been invited by eIFL to give a presentation as part of an online workshop about UKCoRR (how it works, how it was set up and how it has been of benefit in the UK) to delegates from a number of developing and transition countries. By doing so we are hoping to continue to let others outside of the UK know about what we have achieved with UKCoRR – in the hope that similar networks will be founded in other countries. This is just a small part of the external liaison work I am undertaking, but I hope that it will play a small part in helping to sow the seeds of change elsewhere in the world.
It is still early days, but we hope to be able to use available technology (telephone, video-conferencing, webinars etc) to offer more support where we can in the future. Wish me luck and watch this space…