Open Access logo

2020 sees the thirteenth year of International Open Access Week. As the name suggests, this is a worldwide event, and is seen as an opportunity to engage with people about open access, and remind people of its benefits. This year’s theme is “Open With Purpose: taking action to build structural equity and inclusion”.

Open Access Week actually began in 2007 as Open Access Day, and was originally a partnership between SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and students in the US who organised local events on a handful of campuses across the country. Since then, International Open Access Week has grown exponentially and is now celebrated at hundreds of events around the world.

But you may well be asking yourself, ‘what is open access’? The most basic description of open access in this context is that it is about making research freely available to anyone with an internet connection. Research should be free to access at the point of use, i.e. people should not have to pay a fee (usually to publishers) in order to access it. This video explains it better:

So, in honour of Open Access Week, we will be posting a few blog posts about open access and how it can benefit you, the university and wider society.

Happy Open Access Week!