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Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice.

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Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice.

2022 sees the fifteenth 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 for climate justice”. 

Image shows photography of city with open access symbol imposed on it and "open for climate justice" in many languages written underneath.

Open Access Week 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. Watch this video to find out more: 

What is open access – YouTube video

Making your research open access has many benefits; to you as a researcher, to the University and to society. For example: 

  • Prompt and widespread dissemination. 
  • Increased citations: research has shown that open access articles are cited more frequently than those that can only be accessed via paywalls. 
  • Efficiency gains in the research process through easy access to previous research. 
  • Enhanced profile through the availability of an individual’s research output in one place. 
  • Increased public understanding and access to research. 
  • Innovation, practice development and economic growth driven by access to the latest research. 
  • Social justice: Making research open access means that anyone with an internet connection can access the research they need free of charge. This can make a big difference to people’s:
    • Employment and educational prospects 
    • Health care
    • Community and social development 

Most research is funded by public money, and therefore it should be publicly available. Yet, most people do not have access to most research. Open access can change this. 

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