A user research tool which helps gather insights about existing practices of accessing scholarly texts.
Opening access to Open Access is one of the objectives of the research done at the Hybrid Publishing Lab. With the Confession Booth, we examine the blurring boundaries of legality of scholarly communication and new forms of sharing knowledge as a symptom of today‘s broken academic publishing system. The research inquires into how these practices – within legality – could be reframed, nurtured, or perpetuated in order to create a possible future for scholarly communication beyond the paywalls.
The confession booth, as a setting to submit confidential information, is transformed into a tool of inquiry. The users are invited to anonymously confess to a virtual representative of the research group about their usage of existing digital tools that can facilitate alternative access to scholarly texts and to reflect upon it. The Confession Booth App running on the integrated Android tablet uses a Text-to-Speech function to enable a confidential conversation with the user and records the user’s responses.