An introduction to Open Access Week 2018 from Constantia Constantinou, H. Carton Rogers III Vice Provost and Director of Libraries.

Open Access is no longer a concept.

Open Access is a movement, propelled by the issues of social inequality that guide the ways in which we provide access to information and research.  

Opening up science, humanities, arts, and the research and data that drive them is about maintaining an open society and, ultimately, it is about democracy and democratizing access to knowledge. 

Scholars share their ideas in an open dialogue while sharing open data and open texts that provide new answers to global challenges. The open publishing revolution that is taking place at our academic institutions is transforming our societies through the creation of new and more accessible ways of sharing and using knowledge from around the world. 

Through our support for initiatives that advance open access to scholarly materials, our universities and libraries are acting as agents of change for social equality and inclusion by becoming information providers for all. As we celebrate Open Access week, we welcome you to the journey of openness.  

Find out more about what the Penn Libraries is doing to support open access initiatives

About Open Access Week 2018

The theme for the 2018 International Open Access Week is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.” About the theme:

This year’s theme reflects a scholarly system in transition…as open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community…

How do we ensure sustainability models used for open access are not exclusionary? What are inequities that open systems can recreate or reinforce? Whose voices are prioritized? Who is excluded? How does what counts as scholarship perpetuate bias? What are areas where openness might not be appropriate?…Consider these questions as prompts for ongoing conversations that can help ensure that the foundation for a more equitable system of open research and scholarship is created thoughtfully and collaboratively. (International Open Access Week 2018

Open Access Week at the Penn Libraries 

The Penn Libraries is hosting two Open Access Week events . 
  • “Publishing and Scholarly Practice at Penn: Key Takeaways from the Penn Libraries’ Scholarly Communications and Research Infrastructure Project (SCRIP),” October 23 from 1:00-2:00 p.m., a panel presentation to look at Penn Libraries’ project to rethink its Institutional Repository, ScholarlyCommons, and its publishing related services. Register here
  • “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship,” October 25, 3:30-5:00 p.m., a screening of a new film that examines the state of academic publishing and its not-for-profit and for-profit worlds. Register here

Plus a series of five daily blog posts: 

  • October 23: “The Anatomy of Creative Commons Open Access Licensing,” by Rebecca Stuhr, Director, Liaison Services.
  • October 24: “Why pay for what's free? Finding open access and public domain articles,” by John Mark Ockerbloom. Ockerbloom, Digital Library Strategist & Metadata Architect, is also the curator of the Online Books Page, which links to more than 2,000,000 openly accessible texts. 
  • October 25: Carolina Schultz and Wanyue Yang, Penn Libraries interns, examine student views on the cost barriers to purchasing textbooks. 
  • October 26: “Current Open Access Collections Initiatives at the Penn Libraries,” by Nick Okrent, Coordinator and Librarian for Humanities Collections.


Recent National and International OA Initiatives 

Supporting OA Collections in the Open (Association of Research Libraries): An IMLS-supported project that will convene a series of national forums during which community members will contribute their thoughts on the needs, values, and priorities associated with Open Access collection development.
cOAlition S: On September 4, 2018, eleven national European research-funding organizations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council, announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to bring to fruition full and immediate (without embargo), open access to research publications. The goal is for scientific publications, funded through public grants from national and European research councils, to be published in compliant open access journals or on compliant open access platforms by January 1, 2020. Please visit the website to read the ten principles for Plan S. 
Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication (University of California): The eighteen principles that make up this system-wide declaration arise out of the UC system’s long commitment to making the research generated by its faculty open to the world. Find out more about the University of California’s System-wide open access policies.
Fair Open Access Alliance: This is an overarching organization aimed at coordinating efforts toward sustainable open access scholarly publishing, following the principles of Fair Open Access. Members include Open Library of the Humanities, which provides a platform for twenty-three “gold” open access journals
Center for Open Science and the Open Science Framework: The not for profit Center for Open Science promotes and supports “an open exchange of ideas” to accelerate scientific progress to solve the pressing problems facing our world. Its Open Science Framework provides an openly accessible structure for scholarly collaboration.  
SCOSS: The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services formed in late 2017 in order to support the foundational infrastructure of Open Science. As part of this goal, SCOSS is working to ensure that major open access platforms such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and SHERPA/RoMEO, both instrumental in the sharing of research, will have the funding to continue to innovate and evolve into the future. The Penn Libraries is a contributing partner in this initiative. 

Data, Textbooks, and Lab Notebooks

Multiple related movements support open and equitable accessibility to resources that will support innovation, education, economic, social, and scientific development. These movements surround data, lab notebooks, and textbooks. Read about open data and open educational resources at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). Visit the Open Lab Notebooks site to find out more about sharing your laboratory notebooks within an open online community.

Learn More

This is just a brief introduction to the individuals and organizations seeking to create an equitable environment for the creation, review, publication, and dissemination of research.
To learn more, please visit one or more of the following sites. Each one will provide you with a particular perspective on open access: 
The Budapest Open Access Initiative at 15: the original BOAI was written and distributed in 2002. 
Open Access by Peter Suber. Suber is a prominent figure in the open access movement and Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. MIT Press published it in 2012 and made it available as an openly accessible book through the Internet Archive. 
Open Access and the Humanities by Martin Eve. Eve is the founder of the Open Library of the Humanities. Cambridge University Press published his book in 2014 and made it available as an openly accessible book through their CORE platform.