Open Access in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies

In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched IU Bloomington’s research and scholarship, in this blog post we cover a number of resources available to scholars and academic departments interested in exploring Open Access in Asian Studies. 

We also recognize the additional burden placed on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community at this time because of the rise in xenophobic bias and violence during the coronavirus pandemic. We stand with the AAPI community in condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. The Asian Culture Center at IU Bloomington provides a list of resources to fight racism in Covid-19 times. Additional avenues to educate ourselves and take action can also be found in this list of resources created by the Flexport Heritage of Asians/Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Employee Resource Group.

Open Access in Asian Studies

While we have been using the term ‘Open Access’ as if it were a singular, consistent concept,  we acknowledge that open access resources and practices are not uniform across all academic disciplines. Generally, however, making a scholarly work open access means making that work freely available on the internet subject to such rights to reuse the work as determined by the author, usually making it subject to as few copyright restrictions as possible by way of a Creative Commons open license. Open Access is a model of scholarly publishing meant to remove restrictive paywalls, increase the impact and reach of scholarly works, and make works available to institutions and people who can’t pay the high subscription costs of traditional publishers. 

IU Press and IU Libraries

IU Press, the official academic publisher of Indiana University, publishes books and academic journals with a focus on humanities disciplines. Open Indiana: Asian Studies, a subcollection of 22 open access books relevant to East Asian studies, is available through IU Press. Through the Open Book Program, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities Open Book Program, IU Press was able to establish Open Indiana, a collection of over 160 open access titles, including the Open Indiana: Asian Studies subcollection. The current NEH Open Book Program deadline is July 15, 2021. 

Indiana University also participates in Towards an Open Monograph Ecosystem or TOME, a multi-association initiative designed to help create a more sustainable model of open monograph publishing. You can find more information on how to get your work funded and published through TOME at Indiana University.

The IUScholarWorks – East Asian Languages and Cultures Collection is another resource for researchers. Managed by the IU Libraries Scholarly Communications Department, IUScholarWorks provides a platform to host open access scholarships. The Department’s website Open Scholarship at IU provides services, tools, and explanations of practices in open scholarship.

LibGuides are content management systems used by libraries to organize and present course and research resources. Indiana University Libraries provide various LibGuides in East Asian Studies, Tibetan Studies, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies to serve the needs of students and researchers.

University of Michigan Press – OA Publishing in Asian Studies

On February 26, 2021, the University of Michigan Press hosted a virtual event on Open Access Publishing in Asian Studies, highlighting the Michigan Asian Studies Open Access Books Collection. During the virtual event researchers shared various open access resources in Asian Studies:

Miscellaneous Resources

Making it Count”: The Case for Digital Scholarship in Asian Studies is a blog post by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The post details ways in which Asian Studies departments can respond to the changes brought forth by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic through the strategic use of digital mediums and digital scholarship.

The Geiss-Hsu Foundation is a not-for-profit that sponsors research about the Ming Dynasty. They invite researchers to submit proposals for new or already published books. Successful proposals can receive funding to help make their published book open access.

The University of Michigan MBA/MA in Asian Studies: Retrospection and Reflections by Linda Lim is an oral history text discussing the history of the university’s dual MBA/MA in Asian Studies Program.

Studying the creation, exchange and use of pottery, Mahan and Baekje: The Complex Origins of Korean Kingdoms by Rory Walsh, uses ceramics to examine the political economies of Mahan and the Baekje Kingdom in Korea during 3rd to 5th century BC. 

As a companion to their eponymous joint virtual event, the Asian American Feminist Collective and Black Women Radicals provide a “Sisters and Siblings in the Struggle: COVID-19 + Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities” reading list which includes some open access sources. Among these are- 

ScholarLed and Lever Press are two useful options for publishing books open access. ScholarLed is a collective of ‘scholar-led’ open-access publishers that aim to create small-scale collaborative processes for academic publishing. Lever Press accepts proposals for works and series of works relevant to the publisher’s themes and interests. Lever Press also prides itself on being a ‘Platinum OA’ publisher, where the cost of publishing is not borne by the scholar, but rather by the institutions that sponsor Lever Press.    

The Directory of Open Access Journals is an independent online database containing over 15,000 reputable open access journals. While the directory isn’t exhaustive, it is a great resource for finding relevant and credible scholarly journals in Asian Studies. An equivalent directory is the Directory of Open Access Books, a database containing over 40,000 peer-reviewed open access Books. 


In conclusion, there are numerous resources available for Asian and Asian Diaspora scholars looking to make their work open access. Indiana University provides services and resources through IU Press and the library system, meanwhile outside organizations such as foundations, open-access publishers, and external institutions have options for funding, publishing services, departmental guidelines, and more.

Together, we are all a part of a developing ecosystem assisting researchers through the publishing process. Through open access methods and resources, we can help make research in Asian studies more accessible to a larger audience.

The Scholarly Communication Department Welcomes New Graduate Student

We are happy to welcome our newest graduate student, MarQuis Bullock. MarQuis is a new master’s student in the Information and Library Science Program (ILS) in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. 

He is currently working on an open access Black Wealth Toolkit which is jointly led by the Neal Marshal Black Culture Center Library and the Scholarly Communication Department in the Herman B Wells Library at Indiana University Libraries. The Toolkit will explore the historical factors that have contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States of America.

MarQuis is pursuing a Master’s in Library Science with specialization in archives and records management. He spent seven years working in Interpretation with the National Park Service where he researched and developed public programming spanning the subjects of school desegregation in the South, enslavement in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. We look forward to working with MarQuis and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes during his time at IU! 

Navigating Course Material Services at IU Libraries

In response to the ongoing global public health crisis, universities across the country are embracing remote learning models that utilize digital resources. With most instruction occurring virtually, IU students need easily accessible and affordable digital course materials now more than ever. If you are experiencing challenges obtaining course materials, the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department provides resources to help instructors in all disciplines find and evaluate digital course materials. 

Student reading a book in the library
Image courtesy of Indiana University.

In a recent video, our graduate assistant Matt Vaughn outlines the options and services that instructors have for selecting course materials. These include:

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital course materials that you can legally customize to fit your needs. Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their courses and used freely. The library can assist you with finding, evaluating, and creating these freely available materials. To learn more about OER options, explore this resource guide or contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare.

Temporarily Available Academic Resources – In addition to traditional open educational resources, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free during the ongoing pandemic. Discover these ever-changing materials here.

Analyzing Resources for Fair Use 

Another option to consider, especially if you normally use a physical book in your course or your students frequently utilize course reserves in person, is fair use. Fair use is a legal doctrine that permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. 

Fair use is important if you are considering scanning large portions of a book or journal for your students to access in Canvas. Generally, we recommend that you link to electronic book chapters, but you can upload PDFs of journal articles after you have downloaded them from a library database. IU has resources to help instructors analyze their intended use of copyrighted materials and to make informed decisions about use. For more information, explore this resource guide or contact Naz Pantaloni, Copyright Program Librarian.

Scanning Print Materials

After confirming that copyrighted materials may be used via fair use analysis, the Document Delivery Service unit can help you create digital scans of print materials for Canvas use via the Request Article Delivery program. You can use this service by accessing your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) account and completing the request form.

Finding and Acquiring Library Databases and eBooks

Lastly, IU Libraries may be able to obtain new materials to support your courses. Instructors can request that the Libraries purchase an eBook, a journal subscription, or access to an electronic resource via the Request A Purchase Form. It is important to note that you will need to send students to the eBook publisher’s platform to read these books, and publishers sometimes impose limits on printing and the number of simultaneous users. 

A number of library databases also include media particularly relevant to classroom use. Kanopy, for example, provides access to a wide range of films and documentaries. It can be helpful to discuss eBook and database options with your subject librarian in order to ensure long-term access for your students. 

For more information about these digital resources, visit the IU Libraries services page, contact your subject librarian, or reach out to the Scholarly Communication Department at iusw@indiana.edu.

Course Material Transformation Fellowships Awarded

The Scholarly Communication Department is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the 2021 Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program. The IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries launched the Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program in Fall 2020 for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course material, with generous support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council.

Chosen from a competitive list of applicants, our Fellows comprise 13 faculty members and one graduate student who are dedicated to creating and cultivating an environment that allows students to have access to quality course materials without the burden of cost. Many of the fellowships will increase access to educational materials for underrepresented populations. The instructors come from Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and teach courses ranging across the disciplines. In addition to learning methods for improving access to educational resources, Fellows will learn about available platforms such as Pressbooks, and new approaches such as Open Pedagogy in the classroom. They will be implementing the new materials in their courses during the 2021-2022 academic year. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials. 

Please join us in welcoming our Fellows. Their comments below provide a glimpse of their excitement about this new opportunity.

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship would yield a higher-quality OER text for my course and students, and provide me with a tremendous opportunity for continued learning and support.”- Miranda Rodak, Department of English, IU Bloomington

I would like to make [materials] interactive to ensure students are reading and getting immediate feedback on their understanding.” – Kim Donahue, Kelley School of Business, IUPUI

Creating a collection of no-cost materials specifically for IUB multilingual students means that I would be able to customize the content using existing Open Educational Resources.” – Megan Hansen Connolly, Second Language Studies, IU Bloomington

I am excited about this program because of the opportunity to work with experts and others in diverse fields.” – Kathy Berlin, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

The transformation of the course curriculum to better meet the learning objectives in the field and align with the General Education community contributions is my priority under my capacity of instructor and expert in the Culture and Health domain. The current Fellowship program offers a valuable opportunity to improve the learning experience in the field.” – Valia Kalaitzi, Department of Global Health, IUPUI

I want to ensure students are able to access and utilize course materials easily. Due to the course having a large quantity of students each semester, if the course materials were available completely online many students would be able to save money on course materials.” – Amy Powell and Julia Sanders,  ePortfolio, IUPUI

By using a multitude of resources, I can provide students with the most up-to-date, broad base of knowledge required to enhance the lives of people with disability across society.  I am excited to learn more about all the resources available to me to make this transition, especially the OER and ways to create my own, diverse set of instructor-created materials to support student learning.” – Heaven Hollender, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

My vision is to create cohesive course materials that align with the story I want to tell with each unit. I would like this to be through lecture videos (some redone to be in the form of whiteboard animations), supplemented with open-source text chapters when appropriate,  or source animations or simulations that are already available.” – Sapna Mehta, Department of Biology, IU Bloomington

“It is paramount that we give [students] a thorough background for the content that we are teaching.  We teach them professional communication and procedures while simultaneously teaching them the requisite medical terminology to get started.”Todd Peabody, School of Optometry, IU Bloomington

I would like to move a multitude of resources such as assessment materials into one resource that students have the ability to apply the content more easily.” – Roxie Barnes, School of Nursing, IU Bloomington

Every semester I have a handful of students who struggle to buy the book, for whom I usually put copies of the book on reserve at Wells. During the COVID pandemic, with library reserves shut down, this situation has become untenable… I have been looking for the time and intellectual space to identify and develop all-digital materials, and this fellowship would provide it.” – Kathryn Graber, Department of Anthropology, IU Bloomington

I appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues about OER materials.” – Shana Stump, Department of Political Science, IUPUI

I’m interested in finding free materials to serve as a reference in the classroom for students.”Rick Hullinger, Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, IU Bloomington

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program aims to:

  • Lower the cost of college for students in order to contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course material solutions available and aggregate material instructor support across campus into one space

Even outside of the Fellowship Program, our Department provides support to faculty members who wish to introduce open educational resources and open pedagogy to the classroom. Consult our OER Libguide or contact us for more information.

Temporary Free Access to Academic Resources during COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free. IU Libraries have created a guide that aggregates academic resources that have been made freely available temporarily during the pandemic. This guide is intended to assist librarians, faculty, and researchers in finding resources to support teaching, learning, and discovery as classes have moved online for the foreseeable future.

The guide includes links to a number of community-built lists that are tracking free access to vendor resources. The International Coalition of Library Consortia, for instance, has created a list of information service providers who are offering expanded content access due to COVID-19. These lists cover a variety of free resources including textbook and monograph offerings, music, electronic resources, online learning services and platforms, as well as analytics platforms.

In addition, many publishers are providing temporary access to eBooks, scholarly journals, videos, and other media. Project Muse, for instance, is offering open access eBooks and journals from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies. In an effort to support educators, the Association for Science Education has made its 2019 and 2020 journal content temporarily open access. Netflix has also made a selection of their documentary features available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube Channel. The IU resources guide provides links and descriptions for all of these resources.

Multiple publishers have made research specifically related to COVID-19 freely available. SAGE publishing, for instance, is providing researchers with access to all of their COVID-19 related content. For additional open access research specific to COVID-19, see the COVID-19 Research page in this guide.  Please note that a few of the research resources listed there are pre-print servers. That content is not vetted research as it has not been peer-reviewed.

The guide also includes a list of resources that are always open access. The benefit of these resources is that they are not only free to use, they can be openly used, edited, stored, and distributed. Additionally, many of these resources can be downloaded then accessed offline by students, even long after the end of a course. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), for instance, organizes a wide range of cultural heritage resources that are free and immediately available in digital format. 

Finally, the Internet Archive is another extensive resource currently available. It holds millions of books, videos, audio files, and archived web pages on a wide range of topics.

Please note that access to many these resources is temporary, and a resource may be withdrawn without notice by the vendor. This guide will continue to be updated as we discover additional resources.

Museum Anthropology Review: A New Era & A New Double Issue

The Scholarly Communication Department is pleased to announce a new double issue of Museum Anthropology Review (MAR) published for the first time by Indiana University Press.  MAR is an open access, research and professional practice journal promoting international and interdisciplinary communication within the fields of museum anthropology, museum-based folklore studies, and material culture studies. 

MAR homepage logo

The opening editorial details MAR’s office transition from the newly incorporated Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (IUMAA, previously Mathers Museum of World Cultures) to IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.  There, it will be a part of the Material Culture and Heritage Studies Laboratory.  These editorial and publication transitions present exciting opportunities for the journal, including a new professional design, assured continuity, and the ability to recruit editors worldwide.  The editorial also reminds readers that MAR is actively seeking submissions for future volumes, with an emphasis on project reports and full articles. Information on preparing submissions is available on the MAR website.

In The Greater Cleveland Ethnographic Museum: The Life and Afterlife of a Public Folklore Organization, Timothy Lloyd describes the unique history and preserved archives of an organization that has been gone for almost 40 years, the Greater Cleveland Ethnographic Museum (GCEM).  The museum was brought about by the recognized importance of documenting the cultural heritage of Cleveland’s numerous nationality communities as well as local and national funding.  During its five-year existence, the museum was able to develop several documentary projects describing the immigrant experience as well as traditional music and dance.  Crucially, GCEM was able to foster a relationship early on with the Western Reserve Historical Society, a local, larger cultural institution that maintains the majority of GCEM’s documentary and administrative data today, though the museum closed in 1981.  Lloyd extends a healthy reminder that “Waiting until the eleventh hour to plan and act for sustainability, though it certainly is a standard strategy, is most often not enough” (p. 16).

Jessica Evans Jain documents her fieldwork with market henna artists across North India in her monograph-length study Mehandi in the Marketplace: Tradition, Training, and Innovation in the Henna Artistry of Contemporary Jaipur, India.  Though the application of henna has long been a culturally significant tradition for women in this region, the convenience of henna stands in marketplaces is a relatively new phenomenon.

Two male artists apply henna to a young girl in a marketplace.

Jain completes in-depth interviews with these stand workers, experiences their perspective first-hand during her apprenticeships, and analyzes their work through the lens of Albert Lord’s theory of spontaneous creation.  While the market artists often downplay their work or do not consider themselves to be artists, the author couldn’t help but notice the creativity and innovation involved as she became more familiar with the henna application process.  Though this henna application has innovated in recent years,  it is still an important cultural act and promotes a happier and more positive atmosphere in North Indian communities.

In Repair Work Ethnographies: Revisiting Breakdown, Relocating Materiality (Strebel, Bovet, and Sormani, eds), Kristin Otto reviews the book by the same title, edited by Ignaz Strebel, Alain Bovet and Philippe Sormani.  The book centralizes studies of repair as an important link between people, things, and their environment through discussing its place in conversations about networks, assemblages, and politics.  Otto regards the work relevant and applicable to a large number of fields including scholars of science and technology studies, anthropology, material culture studies, and sociology.  

In 2008, the Museum Anthropology Review became the first faculty-generated, open-access electronic journal to be supported by IU Libraries.  With MAR as part of a pilot test, the Scholarly Communication Department has since been able to offer a journal publishing platform for IU affiliates as a part of IUScholarWorks services.  The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to to continue with MAR in its expanded partnership with IU Press.  

For more information on open access journals or another IUScholarWorks service please visit the website or contact us at IUSW@indiana.edu

Applications for Course Material Fellows Accepted until December 1

According to the most recent survey data from the College Board, the average full-time, on-campus undergraduate student at a four-year school is estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 academic year. To address the rising cost of textbooks for IU students, IUPUI and IUB Libraries have created a Course Material Fellowship Program with support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC). The program helps to address the issue of rising textbook costs for students at IUPUI, IUB, and IUPUC, in part by educating instructors about the benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are learning materials (tutorials, syllabi, worksheets, interactive experiences, lesson plans, and blogs) shared under an intellectual property license that enables others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. In addition to OER, fellows will have the option of creating/ editing  Pressbooks with their own material and/ or using library eBooks and databases. The Program recognizes that a mix of these solutions is often required in order to move to zero cost course materials. 

One of the goals of the program is to centralize support for instructors working with the variety of affordable course material solutions available. In addition to librarians specializing in an instructor’s content area and OER, fellows will have access to experts from the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) and the UITS Digital Education Programs and Initiatives Team. 

The Fellowship Program is a result of years of work building awareness about course material affordability solutions, including a symposium to discuss the issue in 2018, CITL and library partnerships to raise awareness about OER within STEM, University Information Technology Services (UITS) providing access to the Pressbooks platform to easily organize and publish books, and, most recently, the IU system joining the Open Education Network.  

Instructors at IUB, IUPUI, and IUPUC can learn  more about eligibility, application details, and expectations of the Program by visiting the Course Material Fellowship Program website. Applicants are required to fill out a short qualtrics survey with details about their course on the Fellowship Program website in order to be considered. Applicants must be an instructor of record at IUB, IUPUI, or IUPUC.  

Selection will be based on a variety of factors such as potential student savings, enrollment rate, interest in the Fellowship Program and its benefits, and sustainability of resources. The Fellowship Program seeks a diverse group of applicants who have a passion for making educational resources more accessible. 

Please e-mail Sarah Hare (scrissin@iu.edu) with questions. 

IUSW Chalk Talks Explain Information Creation in Academia

IUScholarWorks houses course materials for numerous lectures and seminars across campus. While this content is typically created for a specific class discussion, many of these materials are continually applicable to students outside of the course they were originally created for. One collection of course materials that is particularly useful for research and information literacy instruction in all disciplines is the EDUC-L700 Course Materials collection. This collection consists of seven chalk talks related to information creation in academia, designed by Dr. Beth Samuelson and librarians Julie Marie Frye and Sarah Hare. The conversations highlighted in these videos relate directly to the work we do in the Scholarly Communication Department and provide a great introduction to the development of open access initiatives in higher education. Specifically, the fifth, sixth, and seventh chalk talks investigate the role of journals in academia and how the journal publishing environment has impacted information access over time. 

Video 5 Journals in Higher Education discusses the history of journal publishing and how higher education’s reliance on high-impact journal publishing has affected the evolution of this ecosystem. High-impact journals play a crucial role in faculty and institutional evaluation. An academic’s reputation and case for tenure improves when they publish in a top tier journal. Their university also benefits through improved institutional rankings, which leads to a stronger reputation and higher enrollments. Unfortunately, some publishers have now exploited this need in higher education.

Video 6 Inequities in the Ecosystem explains that while publishers enhance journal articles through editing, typesetting, and indexing and warrant compensation for this work, they have built a business model on scholarly works that have been submitted, reviewed, and edited at no cost to them. They have been able to then sell these works back to institutions for extremely high prices through library subscriptions. Moreover, they often restrict how authors can use their work, usually through publishing agreement terms and paywalls. This expensive content is only accessible by select institutions, creating disparities in information access even  in higher education. Additionally, this content is often impossible to obtain by community members not associated with an institution due to its price. This has created a space in which information inequity and privilege exist. 

Video 7 Transforming the Information Ecosystem highlights how, in the past two decades, institutions have reconstructed this narrative and used their power to promote inclusive access to information. Many government officials, administrators, faculty, librarians, and students are now working together to create models and incentives that both transform scholarly publishing and change the disparity dynamic to create a more equitable information ecosystem. Specifically, many institutions are embracing open scholarship practices to challenge this information inequity. At IU, we have implemented numerous open access policies and initiatives to create barrier-free information access, including:

Most recently, IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries, with support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), have created a Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course materials. In addition to getting involved with any number of IU’s open access initiatives, faculty are encouraged to publish their works open access, use OA publications in their courses, and empower students to use open access materials in their assignments and research. Each of these actions will shift the unbalanced journal publishing environment mentioned in Video 5 and combat the inequalities in information access discussed in Video 6. You can find these chalk talks, along with others in the collection in IUScholarWorks. For more information about the open scholarship services available to IU affiliates, visit our website or contact us at IUSW@indiana.edu

Welcome Alexus Hunt, Project Coordinator of IU’s Course Material Transformation Fellowship

We’re excited to announce that Alexus Hunt has joined the Scholarly Communication Department as the Project Coordinator for our new Course Material Transformation Fellowship. Alexus is a first-year graduate student studying Library Science and African American and African Diaspora Studies. Alexus graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) last May, where she studied English and Africana Studies. Her research interests are black feminism and politics. Her goals are to become an Africana Studies Professor and special collections librarian for black literature. Alexus is originally from McCordsville, Indiana, and her hobbies include dancing, reading, hiking, and knitting.

As Project Coordinator, Alexus will play an integral role in implementing the new Fellowship Program. She will be responsible for promoting the Program, communicating with fellows and scheduling professional development opportunities, and assessing the overall impact of the Program on the IUB and IUPUI campuses. 

Welcome, Alexus!

Open Access Week 2020

The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion”. This marks the third year where the open access community has been asked to consider equity as a central theme of scholarly research and publications. 

This year’s theme aims to encourage more actionable items from participants, despite the upheaval many academic libraries are currently facing. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused significant disruption in our daily lives and work, it has also given us a chance to examine our existing structures and workflows more critically before moving forward. Beyond examining, we now have a chance to update and upgrade our information structures to include diversity and inclusion at all levels.

In response to some of the events of this year, the Scholarly Communication team has worked to embed this year’s theme into our practice and content. IU Libraries crafted a LibGuide for Temporary Free Access to Academic Resources during COVID-19, as well as resources that are always open access. In response to the protests across the country against police brutality that occurred this summer, one of our department’s graduate students, Margaret McLaughlin, also compiled a Black Lives Matter Resources List, which includes both open access content and works available through IU Libraries.

For anyone looking to expand their knowledge of open access and learn more about trends and new ideas related to OA, check out our compiled Open Access Week Reading List. This list includes two articles written by members of our team: “A Qualitative Study on the Digital Preservation of OER” by Sarah Hare, which details why and how libraries should assist in the long-term preservation of open educational resources, and “COVID-19 Demonstrates the Value of Open Access: What Happens Next?” by Willa Tavernier, which discusses the potential future for the open access movement and ways in which this pandemic may have disrupted the monopoly of large commercial publishers. Other articles address the current effectiveness of APC funds, the infrastructure of open science, and the unfortunate trend for more quality news outlets and scientific papers to be locked behind paywalls compared to free, but often false, information. All of these works themselves are available open access!

Finally, we also have Open Access Week Zoom backgrounds designed by our incredible graduate student, Alexis Murrell. Feel free to use any and all of them to celebrate this week and beyond!