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!