My institution organises roughly between 70-80 conferences per year. They range from small to large. What is noticeable is the cottage industry in organising the conference processes and web marketing. It all follows traditionally established human and financial patterns.
Usually paid out of departmental funds, someone is hired to create a web presence with conference information. Accordingly, there is wide variety in looks and feel as well as in the quality of information presented. Open conference systems, such as the one by the University of British Columbia, Canada may ease this burden, when provided as a central support service. This solution I am trying to explore with management and academic departments.
At the moment my institution is contemplating establishing an OAR (Open Access Repository) for our publications. The case made by the university library of Konstanz gave me valuable insight. Mandatory submissions have long been brought forward by proponents like Stevan Harnad – and they seem to work.
Very enlightening and positively encouraging I found the risk analysis report by Arthur Sale. A great toolkit before talking to Senior Managers. The obvious risk is an empty OAR. Equally unsuccessful would be an unsupported one, as academics don’t have the know-how of how to ingest publications. This cries out for library support.
The benefits are clear, the risks are clear – where’s the budget?