Open Access Week

October 25 -31, 2021 | Everywhere

Opening Knowledge and Building Structural Equity: This Week & Beyond

This year’s International Open Access Week theme “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity” highlights the individual and collective action required in our approach, decisions, actions, and investments in knowledge sharing to ensure that equity is foundational. Pursuing structural equity requires global conversations and collaboration to understand the different needs that different communities have in knowledge sharing systems and design for these important differences. 

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science embodies this pursuit of structural equity in both its text and in the process that led to its creation. As the Recommendation moves toward formal adoption in the coming months, it serves as a touchstone for conversations this week and beyond.

This 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, with both discussions and actions that are on-going. To get a sense of how different communities are catalyzing these discussions, you can find a selection below from the many events that are being hosted around the world, including some by Open Access Week Advisory Committee members. With many happening virtually with open registration, there are many options for participation, even if there is not a local event near you.

  • Online Lightning Talks with Charite Medical Library - Spanning the entire week, the Charite Medical Library will host a variety of 30-minute discussions on topics ranging from OA repositories and engaging with preprints, to OA in global health research. Check out the event website for more details. Events hosted in both English and German.
  • Open Science is the New Normal (webinar) - As part of this year’s Open Access Week, several Norwegian academic libraries, together with RDA (Research Data Alliance) Norway, present a number of events with topics related to open publishing, open science and data sharing. All events are digital, and are open to anyone interested.
  • Growing the Value of Research by Nurturing the Open Knowledge Ecosystem (organized by Thomas Shafee, OA Week Advisory Committee Member) - This panel will discuss the complex ways that different parts of the knowledge ecosystem interact, drawing on their expertise ranging from advising Australia’s Prime Minister, to founding open access news services, to keeping Wikipedia’s medical information accurate, to guiding nationwide research funding. A part of Open Access Australasia’s week-long series of events.
  • University of Zurich Lunch Time Talks - A variety of sessions developed by the Main Library of the University of Zurich and the Central Library of Zurich. Topics include OA and Open Science for early career researchers, implementation of OA at the University of Zurich, and an interactive game about traditional vs. open science.
  • North-West University Open Access Week Colloquium - North-West University Library will be hosting a panel discussion to celebrate Open Access Week. Topics include how universities can open up access through open educational resources, open science policies and mandates, as well as a Q&A session on open research practices. Registration is free
  • COAR Asia OA Meeting 2021: Innovation, Growth and Sustainability of Open Scholarship in Asia - All are welcome to join the virtual 6th meeting of COAR Asia OA which will be held 25-27 October 2021. The meeting will discuss the latest trends in open access and open scholarship, with community updates from Asia. Topics include open access infrastructure, open educational resources, open peer review, research data repositories, and tools built on open data. Free registration.
  • Open 101 Workshop - Join Open UBC at this introductory workshop for those new to open education and open educational resources.
  • The Open Research Prize - A celebration of open research at the University of Sheffield with the winners of the Library’s inaugural prize.
  • OA Week at Kennesaw State University - KSU Libraries will host a variety of events to promote the benefits of Open Access research to help our university advance the Open Access movement.
  • LIBSENSE Open Access Week Panel (organized by Iryna Kuchma and Lena Nyahodza, OA Week Advisory Committee Members) - Join LIBSENSE’s Open Science Policy and Leadership Working Group for a 90-minute panel discussion on OA-focused national open science roadmaps from various African countries. The panel will also discuss the successful implementation of institutional OA policies. Registration is open to all.

As we head into the coming days filled with exciting events and discussions, it’s critical to remember that structural equity should be a foundational priority—not just this week, but year-round. We have to work to  integrate it into the fabric of all our efforts around knowledge sharing, from how our infrastructure is built to how we organize community discussions to the governance structures we use. Our actions as individuals, as organizations,  and as a global community make a difference.  It really does matter how we open knowledge. 

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