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Celebrate Open Access Week October 23-29 2017

Scholarly Publishing and Open Access plus a stylized book with the open access symbol

Open Access Week

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organizations across the world. This year’s theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available. “Open in order to…” serves as a prompt to move beyond talking about openness in itself and focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits.Open in order to increase the impact of my scholarship. Open in order to enable more equitable participation in research. Open in order to improve public health. These are just a few examples of how this question can be answered.

The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek. We also invite the community to use the hashtag #OpenInOrderTo to start an online conversation about the benefits of an open system of communicating scholarship.

Established by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week is an opportunity to take action in making openness the default for research—to raise the visibility of scholarship, accelerate research, and turn breakthroughs into better lives. 

Open Access Week events

Join SFU Library during Open Access Week 2017 for a series of events focused on learning more about and celebrating working in the open! 

Tension and Risk in Open Scholarship: A Conversation

We use “open” as though it is free of ideology, ignoring how much “openness,” particularly as it’s used by technologists, is closely intertwined with “meritocracy” — this notion, a false one, that “open” wipes away inequalities, institutions, biases, history, that “open” “levels the playing field.”  -Audrey Waters, From Open to Justice

Spurred by the need to make research and education accessible to all, the open movement has gained ground as the Internet evolved to enable easy sharing of different forms of media and scholarship. Open practices are enabling faculty, staff and students at educational institutions in British Columbia and beyond to reduce barriers to research and education by opening their classrooms, incorporating new resources and perspectives, broadly sharing their data, and contributing to public knowledge. But the adoption of open scholarship cannot be assumed to free of biases and conflicts, and the impacts of open practices can differ depending on the context of those practices. Unaddressed tensions caused by “openness” can lead scholars, students, and community members to feel alienated, exploited, or unheard. Unexamined risks can lead to unintended outcomes for any open endeavours. 

Within these intersections lies an opportunity for open scholarship: to directly examine and acknowledge the tensions and risks inherent in openness, and to thereby create a space in which dialogue is generated and understanding of openness is deepened.  

Please join BCIT, SFU and UBC in celebrating International Open Access Week for a panel that examines the threads running through different tensions in the open movements, including: 

  • Indigenous & Traditional Knowledge: Open scholarship may not be respectful of community authority, ownership, and norms of knowledge sharing.
  • Ethics and Privacy: Open scholarship may complicate the impacts of human participants in research, retrospective digitization, and students’ right to privacy.
  • Student-faculty relationships: Affordability conversations around open educational resources may lead to tensions around faculty motivation to provide the best learning resources. Open pedagogies can create risks for students: are they supported and what rights do they have in terms of their privacy, copyright, and consent?
  • Accessibility and inclusivity: Open practices may lead to digital redlining for individuals and communities and may not be truly accessible for everyone.
  • Instructor-Institution relationships: Open practices may allow the appropriation of instructors’ and adjuncts’ work putting their value at risk.

Featured speakers include:

  • Amanda Coolidge (BCcampus)
  • Sue Doner (Camosun College)
  • David Gaertner (First Nations and Indigenous Studies, UBC)
  • Jessica Gallinger (SFU Library)
  • Christina Illnitichi (AMS, UBC)
  • Lisa Nathan (School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, UBC)

Upcoming Workshops

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Open beyond the academy: building community through open social scholarship

In this panel, Dr. Hannah McGregor and Dr. Raymond Siemens discuss how the Digital Humanities can bring academic and non-academic communities together to be more inclusive, accessible, and accountable.

Podcasting, Public Scholarship, and Accountability
Dr. Hannah McGregor, Assistant Professor in Publishing @ SFU

This talk will discuss Dr. McGregor's work on podcasting as scholarly communication and the models of accountability involved in politicized and public-first scholarly work. It will argue that truly open scholarship is not only open-access but also accountable to the communities about which and to which it speaks.

Preconditions for Worthwhile Open Knowledge and Open Scholarship (Thoughts from the Fledgling Canadian Social Knowledge Institute)

Dr. Raymond Siemens, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, in English and Computer Science, and past Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing (2004-15).

What’s needed to encourage and to build open knowledge and open scholarship to scale in a Humanistic context?  Dr. Siemens' talk will work toward answering this question, in the context of initial activities of the recently-established Canadian Social Knowledge Institute.  Open social scholarship involves creating and disseminating research and research technologies to a broad audience of specialists and active non-specialists in ways that are accessible and significant. As a concept, it has grown from roots in open access and open scholarship movements, the digital humanities’ methodological commons and community of practice, contemporary online practices, and public facing “citizen scholarship” to include i) developing, sharing, and implementing research in ways that consider the needs and interests of both academic specialists and communities beyond academia; ii) providing opportunities to co-create, interact with, and experience openly-available cultural data; iii) exploring, developing, and making public tools and technologies under open licenses to promote wide access, education, use, and repurposing; and iv) enabling productive dialogue between academics and non-academics.

Upcoming Workshops

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Find Data / Share Data

Are you interested in increasing the visibility of your research? This workshop will help you describe your data for long term access and findability.   As a bonus, we'll also show  you how to find data relevant to your research.

Some of the tools we'll be looking at are DataCite, Abacus, ICPSR and Radar.

Upcoming Workshops

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

Summit & Radar Deposit Clinics

Inspired by Open Access Week? Want to share your work or data more openly?

Make an appointment for assistance depositing your work in Summit or your data in Radar. Bring your documents and your questions, and expert librarians will guide you through the process.

Bring your questions about versions and formats, embargo periods, licenses and SFU’s Open Access Policy, as well as the process of uploading your work.

15-minute appointments will be scheduled during the following times:

Burnaby: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Surrey: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Vancouver: Thursday, November 9, 2017, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Further information and registration here. Please register by Friday, November 3 to allow time for scheduling.

Can’t make it? No problem! We are happy to meet with you at your convenience. Please contact for help with Summit, or for help with Radar.

Summit is Simon Fraser University's Open Access Repository containing SFU theses, research reports, journal articles, digital images, book chapters and more. Choose Summit when you want to deposit content that is accessible to everyone and is the end product of your research.

SFU's Research Data Repository Radar houses complete datasets or other research objects created by SFU faculty and graduate students, for preservation, publication, and sharing purposes. Choose Radar when you want to deposit finished research data outputs that are not journal articles, book chapters, research reports, etc. but help inform the publication of these items.


October 23 - 29

Contact for further information

Rebecca Dowson,