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This observation was written by Caroline Winter, with thanks to Virginia Barbour for her feedback and contributions

At a glance:

Title International Open Access Week 2022
Creator SPARC and the Open Access Week Advisory Committee
Publication Date October 24–30, 2022
Keywords open access, scholarly communication, international policy

The 15th annual International Open Access Week ran from October 24–30. This year’s theme was “Open for Climate Justice,” acknowledging that the widespread effects of climate change are experienced differently by different groups of people. One of the ways this injustice manifests is through inequitable levels of access to knowledge and information about climate change, so open access (OA) “can create pathways to more equitable knowledge sharing and serve as a means to address the inequities that shape the impacts of climate change and our response to them” (“Theme” 2022).

International Open Access Week is an initiative of SPARC and the Open Access Week Advisory Committee. It is an opportunity for researchers and communities across the world to organize events under a shared banner and raise awareness of OA. This year featured in person, virtual, and hybrid events, ranging from workshops and public talks to film screenings and training courses.

International Open Access Week in the Press

International Open Access Week was not covered widely in the press. However, the technology website HPCwire highlighted the events hosted by CERN’s Scientific Information Service, which included an online talk series that was recorded and is available to view online. Research Information also published an interview with Oxford University Press’s publishing director, Rhodri Jackson, which focused on the publisher’s Open Access Week events and OA initiatives. In addition, Asia Pacific Report covered a media panel on climate injustice that was part of Open Access Australasia’s OA Week program.

International Open Access Week and the INKE Partnership

Several INKE Partnership members hosted celebrations. Simon Fraser University Library hosted a workshop series, poster and table displays, and a Climate Justice collection in its institutional repository.

The Public Knowledge Project celebrated with a climate-related research collection, featuring OA journals and articles published with its Open Journal Systems software.

Open Access Australasia, an INKE partner through the Canadian–Australian Partnership for Open Scholarship (CAPOS), hosted a program of events including panel discussions, a collaborative “hackathon” to develop an open educational resource (OER) guide to climate justice resources for teachers. Recordings for all of the webinars are available to view.

According to Virginia Barbour, Director of Open Access Australasia, a key focus of the week across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for the organization’s events was the inclusion of researchers, journalists, and climate activists from the Pacific region, where of course the effects of climate change are being felt most acutely. Pacific researchers highlighted inequity on all sides as it relates to research: not just lack of access to reading research but also barriers to publish research because of cost and, finally, failures in consulting with and sharing research with affected communities. Pacific journalists raised the risks of a lack of a diversity in journalism, especially in local languages.

International Open Access Week and the Broader Academic Community

The following is a snapshot of events in Canada and around the world. A more comprehensive list is available through the International Open Access Week Events page.

Numerous Canadian universities hosted events to mark the week. Concordia University Library held a trans-discipline fair, featuring talks, workshops, and interactive digital displays. McGill University Library also hosted workshops, as well as a screening of the film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (see “The Film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship). The University of Waterloo featured a series of articles in its Daily Bulletin related to climate justice. The University of Toronto Scarborough held an OA quiz on Twitter and encouraged its research community to deposit their work in the institutional repository in honour of Open Access Week. Similarly, the University of Winnipeg shared a portal to open climate change research hosted in its institutional repository.

In Africa, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) marked the week by highlighting its Open Access Programme, which advocates for OA and open scholarship nationally and internationally and builds capacity for OA journal publishing and OA repositories, among other activities.

Open Access Week was widely celebrated in Europe. Science Europe highlighted its recently published direction paper Open Science as Part of a Well-Functioning Research System, pointing as well to its efforts to advance diamond open access (see “An Action Plan for Advancing Diamond Open Access”). The European open scholarship infrastructure organization OpenAIRE hosted two webinar series, with two sessions focused on policymaking: Research Communities & Climate Action and Being Open to Drive Change and Open Data in the Forefront: Driving Policy Decisions for Climate Justice. The Danish Network for Open Access hosted a series of webinars, and many other European research organizations also celebrated with events during the week.

In the US, the American Library Association’s Association of College and Research Libraries celebrated by highlighting its open access books, journals, and newsletters as well as some of its open workshops, podcasts, and webinars. Many university libraries also held events to mark the week, collected in a list by the Association of Research Libraries.

Several publishers also marked International Open Access Week. Cambridge University Press celebrated by spotlighting some of its OA initiatives, such as its Research4Life program for institutions in low- and middle-income countries and its Flip it Open program, through which monographs are flipped to open once they meet a certain sales threshold (see “Open Access Monographs Update”). MIT Press highlighted some of its OA journal articles and books related to climate justice and its OA publishing initiatives, including its Direct to Open publishing model for monographs and edited collections (see “Open Access Monographs”). PLOS’s Early Career Researchers Community Blog featured a post about Open Access Week, noting that emerging scholars play an important role in advancing OA.

International Open Access Week and Open Scholarship

Open access is an important component of open scholarship, and by raising awareness and building community around OA, International Open Access Week helps to advance open scholarship more broadly.

Work Cited

 “Theme for Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice.” 2022. International Open Access Week. 2022.