Open Access Week

Posted on October 25th, 2021 by

Open Access Week LogoOctober 25-31 is International Open Access Week, a week that promotes open and equitable access to research.

So what is open access?  It’s the “free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research” (SPARC, The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).

And why do we need open access?  SPARC outlines the major issues: “Our current system for communicating research uses a print-based model in the digital age. Even though research is largely produced with public dollars by researchers who share it freely, the results are hidden behind technical, legal, and financial barriers. These artificial barriers are maintained by legacy publishers and restrict access to a small fraction of users, locking out most of the world’s population and preventing the use of new research techniques.”

This year’s Open Access Week theme is It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.  The theme “intentionally aligns with the recently released UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, of which Open Access is a crucial component. Circulated in draft form following discussion by representatives of UNESCO’s 193 member countries, the Recommendation powerfully articulates and centers the importance of equity in pursuing a future for scholarship that is open by default.”

The Gustavus Library promotes open access through several key ways:

During this week – and beyond – please explore open access.  Consider how you can make your own work freely accessible and advocate for information to be openly available.

Looking for more information on Open Access?  Contact a librarian!


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