Great Craic in the Highlands

While I love going to conferences, I must admit, there is something particularly energising about OER conferences. The sense of togetherness and shared values and commitment to Open Practices is palpable and invigorating. On a personal note, it was wonderful to meet so many people that I’ve hitherto only known online, along with meeting so many existing friends, but haven’t seen for a few years because of you know what.

Presenting the workshop with Eamon Costello based on our work (along with Tony Murphy of Dublin Business School) about how we are interested in mapping the gap between institutional rhetoric about openness and institutional reality was really useful, allowing us to gain valuable insight from the participants. I contend that while institutions can have all the generic mission and value statements that they like, the characteristics and attributes required of the people they wish to hire are a useful barometer of what the institutions really value. One of the biggest aspects of the website search was our review of academic job adverts over a five-week period from late December 22 – late Jan 23 across 36 UK & Irish universities. Of the 660 job adverts we searched, we found that only 9 had even a tangential reference to a demonstration of a history or commitment to open practices as a requirement or even a desireable attribute. Hence, the title of the presentation/workshop Do as I say, not as I do: An examination of the value placed by higher education on OA Publishing.

Gasta Badges designed by Bryan Mathers


I am acutely aware of what I am about to say, BUT, in my humble opinion the Gasta session that we had at OER23 was the most frenetic, enjoyable Gasta I have ever had the privilege of being involved in. The crowd came along wanting to get involved and by GOSH they did, creating a wonderful atmosphere that was incredibly energising and supportive. The four Gastateers – Eamon Costello, Mags Amond, Lou Mycroft and Jim Groom were superb and made the role of Gasta Master very easy; creating a session that many people have subsequently said they will be  delighted to be able to say – I was part of GastaOER23.


A huge ‘Glé mhath air a dhéanamh’ (Very Well Done) to the ALT team on site Maren Deepwell (You will be missed!) & Kerry Pinny; the UHI team and UHI Inverness with Keith Smyth doing a great job representing the University.


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