We asked students: What does Open Knowledge mean to you?

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

At Simon Fraser University we are committed to sharing the products of our research with the broadest possible audience through Open Scholarship. 

In 2018, SFU Library collaborated with the Graduate Student Society to present the GSS Open Access Award to 27 graduate students who published their research in fully open access journals. Read the 2018 GSS Open Access Award announcement for the complete list of Open Access Award recipients by department.

We asked the award recipients to share their thoughts on what open knowledge means to them. Many thanks to the featured students for their insights!

Alex Kitson, PhD student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology says:

"To me, open access means sharing my work with everyone. It means being inclusive of those who cannot afford subscriptions or do not have university access. Greater access can often lead to greater impact, and I want my research to be impactful and meaningful."

Dov Schafer, PhD student in the Faculty of Education says:

"Scholarship should aim to enrich the lives of those who create it, and those who encounter it. By sharing our work openly, we create a culture that is more inclusive and collaborative."

Jolie Gareis, PhD student in the Department of Geography says:

"Open knowledge means that the results of my research will have a greater impact, and that the research in general will be more transparent and accessible to the public, policy-makers, and other scholars."

Kathy Chan tells us "What does open knowledge mean to you?"

Kathy Chan, Graduate student in the Master of Public Health program says: 

"I believe sharing knowledge in equitable ways is crucial for improving health on a population level. I truly believe that communities are better together and advancements are more meaningful and powerful if they are achieved collectively. If improvements in health are to be made, knowledge has to be mutually understood, shared and discussed."

“Open knowledge can empower everyone, enabling people to work together to address challenges and understand the world.”

Pete Poovanna, PhD graduate of Mechatronic Systems Engineering says:

“Open knowledge can empower everyone, enabling people to work together to address challenges and understand the world.”

Cecilia Sierra-Heredia, Graduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences says:

"Open knowledge means increased access to scientific projects that are relevant and necessary to answer current issues in our globalized society. It means a commitment, at every level of the organization, to ensure that the products from its research are shared in the best possible ways to reach as many members of the public and the scientific community as possible."

Aaron Dhanda

Aaron Dhanda, PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences says:

"Open Knowledge allows readily available access to literature to researchers and the public alike, regardless of institutional rank and financial ability. I strongly believe that preventing paywall discrimination will facilitate an even higher quality of research output and understanding. I feel that for future discoveries to have the greatest impact towards humanity's goal of better understanding, we must have access to all knowledge, and this can only be accomplished through Open Access."

Kate Hosford, Graduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences says:

"Open knowledge is content that is freely and easily accessible to everyone. This could include published papers but also data. I think Open Knowledge is important to ensure findings are accessible to practitioners, helping research translate into practice, and also to allow research to progress and build on previous findings. In addition, open data helps ensure the transparency and reproducibility of findings."

Hear more from open access advocates at SFU as they tell us "Open in order to...
Want to take action? Learn about ways to make your work open access!