October 23, 2014

10 ways to celebrate Open Access week


Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

This week is the eighth annual Open Access Week, and that means confetti! No, actually, it means something much better than that: a week of discussions about the great and vital movement to make scholarship freely available online, so that it can be used by researchers and students and interested persons to advance knowledge.

Open Access Week started out in 2007 as a humble Open Access Day, with events organized by students and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) on campuses across the US. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now fully international — on the Open Access Week website, there are events listed in London, Kiev, Milan, Singapore, Cape Town, Valencia, Tunis, Belgrade, Poznan, and Aberystwyth, Wales.

Here’s a list of a few other ways to get involved this week, if you’re not in Aberystwyth:

  1. Read David Dobb‘s fantastic Wired article on biologist Jonathan Evans‘ crusade to publish his father’s research, which is also a good primer on how OA journals like PLoS One work
  2. Study the timeline of Open Access 
  3. Ask questions about the future at the OA Reddit AMA
  4. Look at an alarming graph about the largest scholarly publishers’ profits (they’re bigger than Google‘s)
  5. Memorize Peter Suber‘s six myths about Open Access and recite them during lulls at cocktail parties
  6. Make a waffle rabbit meme more or less about OA
  7. Wear a real button, or use a digital one to get access to paywalled articles and contribute to a project that’s recording all the times researchers are blocked by paywalls
  8. Get mad (ok, mad/scared) about the many, many articles on Ebola that are still not available to the public, and the recent attempts by scholarly publishers to use token releases for good pr
  9. See an Open Access book in the wild
  10. Tweet your support at #openaccessweek or#oaweek2014


Sal Robinson is an editor at Melville House. She's also the co-founder of the Bridge Series, a reading series focused on translation.