Open Access week – Introducing “The Publishing Trap”

As part of Open Access week here at Kent we were delighted to see the launch of an exciting new board game called The Publishing Trap! The Publishing Trap is a board game from the UK Copyright Literacy team that allows participants to explore the impact of scholarly communications choices and discuss the role of open access in research by following the lives of four researchers from doctoral research to their academic legacies.


This game was created by Chris Morrison and Jane Secker – read our interview with them here.


We enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and play the game with a range of people who were interested in the game including:

  • Senior academics/researchers
  • Recent PhD graduates
  • Research administration staff
  • Library support staff
  • A contact in publishing (it was interesting to see how ‘the other side’ viewed the game).

The game is suitable for all researchers but is of particular use to early career academics so it was great to get a range of people involved.


So, what did staff that played the game think?:

Christine: Throughout the week I learned a lot about Open Access and there was a lot of discussion generated from playing the game. It was interesting to see the range of knowledge that different people had around scholarship and copyright.

Sue: The outcome of the various decisions you make throughout the game was particularly fascinating. The game involves wildcards, and the collection of knowledge, impact and money tokens. The accumulation of these tokens help determine your success at the end of the game. I think the “The Publishing Trap” will prove to be a really useful resources for researchers, academics and research support staff.

We don’t want to give the game away any more than that! If you’d like to find out more about the history of the game or request a session please take a look/contact the creators via The Publishing Trap website.

Note: This post was contributed to by Christine Buckley, Suzanne Duffy and Helen Cooper – thank you to you all! We intend to add perspectives from researchers next week.