Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion

Open Access Week

The International Open Access Week takes place annually and in 2020 it is held on 19th October to 25th October. The theme for this year is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”.

OA History

For decades, many scholars, researchers, funders, students, and others have desired this open outcome. In 2002, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) helped launch a global campaign for all new peer-reviewed literature to be made available OA. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge (“Berlin Declaration”) echoed this mission again in 2003, and various endeavors since then redoubled efforts to achieve these aims. As a result of these and other efforts, today approximately 15% of journal articles are OA at the time they are published.

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do – accelerate research.

Benefits of Open Access

  1. Scientific research shows that publishing in open access, because of the worldwide visibility without barriers, leads to more citations and more impact.
  2. Your publications will be easily searchable on Google, Google Scholar and other search engines.
  3. New ideas can be dispersed more rapidly and widely, which in turn triggers new research studies; it serves as an impetus for knowledge.
  4. The public can access your findings.
  5. Since open access also implies wider reuse, recent knowledge can be put to immediate use in teaching as “open educational resource”.

How is Open Access Different from Traditional Publishing?

Unlike a traditional publisher of academic journals which charges money to read those journal articles, an Open Access academic journal is free to read and access online.

However, those interested in publishing will want to consider a variety of factors before deciding if OA is right for them. For instance, there may be other costs associated with publishing, such as Article Processing Charges — a fee charged to authors to make their work accessible in some Open Access journals. In addition, researchers will want to explore strategies for discerning reliable publishers and considerations for grant funding requirements.

What is Open Education Resources?

1. UNESCO defines OERs as:

“Teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions”.

2. “Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge” – William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

For more information, please refer to Guide to OER.

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