Rochester's libraries are recognizing this year's global event that aims to take action and build structural equity and inclusion
Open Access Week 2020 poster in blue for October 19-25th event

Open access (OA) is the free, immediate, worldwide access to research publications and other outputs, and the right to share and re-use these outputs. And today marks the beginning of a weeklong OA celebration: International Open Access Week. (If you need a refresher on OA you find it on our Open Scholarship page or by watching this quick video, “What is Open Access?”)

Today, racism, discrimination, and exclusion are present and persistent even in academic research. When we approach it with intentionality, Open Access offers an excellent opportunity for building more equitable systems of knowledge sharing.

Open Access Week 2020, October 19 through October 25, is a global event whose theme addresses the issue head-on with its theme “Open with Purpose.” As leaders in the global research community, the University of Rochester acknowledges that many scholarly communication systems of today are built upon legacies of historic injustice and that we must address these inequities. We intend to use OA and, more broadly, open scholarship to proactively and immediately address longstanding knowledge inequities. Finding answers to the aforementioned problems requires that we ask important questions:

  • Who are current scholarly dissemination systems designed for?
  • Who is excluded by the business models we use?
  • Whose interests are prioritized in publishing?

As we work together to make access the norm in scholarship and research, we must commit to building equitable and inclusive support structures. The University Libraries are committed to ensuring open practice advances equity by removing barriers to knowledge. (Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.)

From now until October 25, we’ll be taking time to remind the University community of the benefits of OA and, hopefully, inspire individual to take steps toward making it the norm in scholarship and research.


This year’s activities

This year, the University Libraries team is sharing our work and expertise during OA Week:

  1. Join us for the daily “Free Your Paper Office Hour,” where we can help you make a publication retroactively OA, at no cost!
  2. Book a session with your subject librarian to learn more about what OA options are available in your discipline
  3. Sign-up to participate in an Open Exchange session to learn more about topics in scholarly communication and research
  4. Mark your calendar for upcoming workshops and discussions on Open Educational Resources and Open Pedagogy.
  5. Interact with us on open research topics via social media, via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Open access resources

Since we can’t provide in-person information or have face-to-face discussions like we normally would at this time, here are some core resources related to this topic:

As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a question or feedback, or would like an expert on any of these topics to visit your group.