Behind the Open Access Button is a team of international student volunteers. Get to know them on Team Button Tuesdays! This week meet Chealsye, the Launch Coordinator and Rachael, a Communications Officer.
Chealsye Bowley, Launch Coordinator
Hi, i’m Chealsye! I’m the Launch Coordinator for the Open Access Button, but I first joined the team as a Communications Officer working on social media. My role over the coming months will be to coordinate the launch of Button 2.0. We’re planning a 24 hour, global launch event and I could not be more excited for it. Button 2.0 is going to be great and I really enjoy getting to work on a team with other students so passionate about open access.
I was first introduced to open access during graduate school when I was a Graduate Assistant working with the Scholarly Communication Librarian Micah Vandegrift. During our first meeting he explained the scholarly publishing system to me and I said, “That doesn’t make any sense…” And it still makes little sense, but open access is going to change that. I went to library school with a background in human rights advocacy, and the the principles of open access align very well with the principles of librarianship, so it was a natural fit and I quickly fell in love with working on all things OA-related.
I’m currently doing one year fellowship as the Library Supervisor at the Florida State University Florence Study Center. It is an amazing opportunity to live and work in Italy, but I miss getting to work on scholarly communications and open access. So, in October when I saw the call for team Button volunteers, I was stoked to get back in the OA game. My favorite aspect about the Button is how it enables all users to tell their stories. It individualizes the often invisible problem of paywalls. But also as a big fan of Wikipedia, I’m really excited for the Button’s forthcoming feature that will signal if a Wikipedia source is open access or not.
In the fall I’m headed to London to study the history of science and technology. Ultimately, I hope to work in a science library or museum, but also still have my eye on scholarly communications librarianship. Either way I’m going to be a lifelong OA advocate and tend to bring the topic up to strangers on airplanes or in bars.
Rachael M. Patton, Communications Officer
As the end of my undergrad experience drew near, I grew anxious because I knew I’d lose ‘free’ access to those journals I’d consult for new developments on such subjects as the lichen symbiosis, Whitebark pine decline, ecology, and glorious evolution. In the years I spent in school, I had only just become aware of how primary literature is created and used. Suddenly, I was aware of the much larger issue: no one has free access to these journals. I began researching and paying close attention to science communication, its tiers and degrees of dissemination. My investigation led me to study how scientific endeavor is funded and how competitive it is. What a disservice to the world, to withold valuable data, evidence, and scientific writing behind a paywall! Is science really just a capital business? Is science discriminatory of class? No, science is neither of those things, but “science” is.
I am passionate about scientific literacy. Seeing the word, science, used irresponsibly or incorrectly, in the media, and then being digested, instead of critically analyzed by the lay public motivates my work as I develop my career in science communication. My enthusiasm for Open Access Button comes from my appreciation for effective activism. One look at that fabulous paywall map and I knew that it was going to be worth my time to volunteer. I value integrity in endeavor. Science is a method by which integrity is tested. Each time the Open Access Button is activated, it gathers data. And, if you’re into statistics and experimental design, you are aware of how complicated it is to make sure you get enough data in order to make an accurate statement about something. It is my impression that the Button’s map contributes a tremendously strong case for research publication/economy reform.
I read science, I’m a business owner, I’m part of an ecologically innovative community in Arcata, California, and now I’ve a degree in Botany from Humboldt State University. My interests include biomimicry, philosophy of science, the phenomenon of symbiosis, food culture, education reform, and, science communication. Every year, I enjoy seasonal field work as a botanist. At the moment, I’m preparing to install the last set of survey plots and then survey Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) decline in Crater Lake National Park. I simply cannot help but feel entitled to access published research. My aspirations are pointed toward writing, after all.