working in the open

In September this year I will begin a PhD in the politics of open access at Birkbeck, University of London with Martin Eve as my supervisor. Over the next three years I aim to blog in detail about the actual content of the research but first I’d like to talk briefly about the open research process.

As someone from a library background who is working on issues around open access, it’s always been a source of frustration for me when the benefits of openness are championed by people who don’t use open practices themselves. This is why I started the LIS open access declaration and have been working on releasing open scholarly communications data. So while my research is going to critique the concept of openness and explore its relationship with neoliberalism, I aim to be as open as I can throughout the research process. This means using open source software where possible, openly releasing any data that is gathered, and publishing work in progress.

The first step is to openly release my accepted proposal which is now available on figshare: The work will evolve over time (my thoughts on the direction that the research will go have already progressed in the six months since this was written) so it doesn’t represent an exact blueprint of what I think will be achieved but it does lay out the general area under investigation.

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