“Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”: Open Access Week 2019

Re-post from Nick Shockey (SPARC) on behalf of the 2019 Open Access Week Advisory Committee

As the transition to a system for sharing knowledge that is open by default accelerates, the question “open for whom?” is essential—both to consider and to act upon. Whose interests are being prioritized in the actions we take and in the platforms that we support? Whose voices are excluded? Are underrepresented groups included as full partners from the beginning? Are we supporting not only open access but also equitable participation in research communication? These questions will determine the extent to which emerging open systems for research will address inequities in the current system or replicate and reinforce them.

This year’s theme will build on the groundwork laid last year when discussions focused on “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.” The 2018 theme highlighted the importance of making a central commitment to equity as we transition toward new systems for sharing knowledge, and the past twelve months have only seen the pace of that transition increase. Because of this, the Open Access Week Advisory Committee decided it was important to focus on equity again in 2019—to deepen our conversations about being inclusive by design and to turn those conversations into action.

We find ourselves at a critical moment. The decisions we make now—individually and collectively—will fundamentally shape the future for many years to come. 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. Asking ourselves and our partners “open for whom?” will help ensure that considerations of equity become and remain central in this period of transition.

Established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week is an opportunity to take action in making openness the default for research—to raise the visibility of scholarship, accelerate research, and turn breakthroughs into better lives. This year’s Open Access Week will be held from October 21st through the 27th; however, those celebrating the week are encouraged to schedule local events whenever is most suitable during the year and to utilize themes that are most effective locally.

The global, distributed nature of Open Access Week will again play a particularly important role in this year’s theme. Strategies and structures for opening knowledge must be co-designed in and with the communities they serve—especially those that are often marginalized or excluded from these discussions altogether.

International Open Access Week is an important opportunity to catalyze new conversations, create connections across and between communities that can facilitate this co-design, and advance progress to build more equitable foundations for opening knowledge—discussion and action that must continue throughout the year, year in and year out. Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be prioritized year-round and integrated into the fabric of the open community, from how our infrastructure is built to how we organize community events.

For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit www.openaccessweek.org. The official twitter hashtag for the week is #OAWeek, and we encourage those having discussions around this year’s theme in the lead up to the week to use the hashtag #OpenForWhom.

Graphics for this year’s Open Access Week theme are available at http://www.openaccessweek.org/page/graphics

About SPARC
SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at sparcopen.org.

About International Open Access Week
International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organizations across the world, and its organization is led by a global advisory committee. The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek.

OA week 2018 – Designing for Equity

 

Today marks the kickoff of OA week, Now in its 10th year, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness, celebrate and reflect on everything that’s going on in OA.

OA Week poster 8_5x11_2ndoriginal

Since OA week started the OA landscape has got much more complex. Now there are a range of models of OA for research articles: green (repository-based); gold (journal-based); bronze (which is not really OA at all but just free to read); hybrid OA (supposed to be transitional but as the most expensive way to fund OA is  consuming the biggest proportion of  article processing charges (APCs) paid by some funders); and even illegal, black OA. Universities support OA through their OA presses and journal publishing. There are new OA models for monographs  and books and increasingly the expectation of more open data. Layered on top of this are other changes to publishing with more open expectations for peer review in some fields and emerging new models such as preprints.

What underpins all of this is the need to build a robust, well supported infrastructure that encompasses a variety of models in order to ensure that not only can everyone benefit from OA, but that everyone can participate more equitably in  contributing to knowledge, a theme summed up in this delightful gif from Mark Hooper.

Mark-Hooper-OA18.gif

 

Key elements of infrastructure

FAIR genericHence the theme of this years OA week is so timely. “Designing the Equitable Foundations of Open Knowledge” explicitly recognises that there is no one model of open scholarship that will work for all. In order to have a truly equitable system, the foundations have to be purposefully designed. There is a role for serendipity and evolution but assuming all that we need will just arise ad hoc risks leaving out key parts of the system. One part of the infrastructure are the elements that identify and link people and research outputs and we have highlighted the need for these and other key items – such as Creative Commons licenses – in this OA week bookmark which you are welcome to share under a CC-BY license.

Welcoming new AOASG members

OA week is always a week of new announcements on OA and we will be featuring many of these throughout the week. As a first one, we are especially delighted to welcome three new members to the AOASG this week – University of the Sunshine Coast, Flinders University and The University of Notre Dame. We very much look forward to working with them alongside our current members: Charles Sturt, Curtin, Griffith, Macquarie, Melbourne, Newcastle, QUT, UNSW, UWA, Victoria, and the CONZUL group of university libraries in New Zealand. Widening our group’s membership gives us the opportunity to represent and support a wider part of the sector.

On our 2018 OA week page we have  gathered together in one place many diverse activities this week across Australia and New Zealand. Keep in touch to let us know how your OA  activities go this week and if you’d like to find out more about membership of AOASG  or our many activities, let us know.