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Participate in Open Access Day and help celebrate our 5th birthday

We’re pleased to announce the creation of a new blog site to help us promote and organize the first ever Open Access Day which will be held on October 14, 2008. This is the day after our birthday (the fifth publishing anniversary of our first ever journal PLoS Biology is October 13, 2008, a public holiday in the USA).

When we were thinking about ways to celebrate our birthday, we did two things. We talked to some of our fans and asked them what they would like to see us do and we discussed it amongst ourselves.

Our community of supporters very much wanted us to focus on the achievements of the Open Access (OA) movement and find fun, cool and interactive ways to get the broadest possible audience to understand what OA is all about and we agreed with that. The end result of this informal dialogue is the first ever Open Access Day.

This educational and fun series of events, competitions, and give-aways is brought to you by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Students for Free Culture, and the Public Library of Science.

Open Access Day will help to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access, including recent mandates and emerging policies, within the international higher education community and the general public.

The Day will include:

– Two live Webcasts from the Nobelist Sir Richard Roberts and PLoS Computational Biology Editor-In-Chief Dr Philip E Bourne. They will discuss how Open Access impacts research and will answer questions on this topic from participating university campuses.

Voices of Open Access Video Series. Key members of the research community, including a teacher, a librarian, a researcher, a patient advocate, and a funder, will speak on why Open Access matters to them.

Blog competition about why Open Access matters to you, goodie bag and blog publicity to the winner.

Free PLoS branded goodies. Your choice of T-shirt design, 25 to give away and 50 runners up get OA buttons.

Here's what, Peter Jerram, PLoS CEO, said today about the announcement of the Day (you can read more in the full press release). "The momentum behind Open Access to research has been accelerating for some time now, even before the mandates at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Harvard University. Events beyond the US especially underscore the higher education community's commitment to having the access they need. Open Access Day will provide a perfect way for folks to come together, consider and celebrate the ramifications of the global shift that we are experiencing".

To all you fans of PLoS out there – whether you are reading our journals, publishing with us, blogging about us, running libraries that support us, developing our websites and applications, working for us or just like what we stand for generally – please join in by getting behind this day and help us to celebrate being five in style.

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