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SFU Celebrates Open Access Week 2022

Published by Alison Moore

This blog post was written by Samantha Snodgrass, SFU Library co-op student.

Open Access is a model of research sharing that aspires to free availability of scholarly research. Supporting open scholarship is a core value of the SFU Library, and Open Access is a step towards making the academic world more accessible and open. SFU Library is proud to have emphasized this value by celebrating International Open Access Week 2022.

Open Access Week, founded in 2008 by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), is intended to provide members of the academic research community with a chance to learn about Open Access and its potential impact. This year’s theme was “Open For Climate Justice” - advocating for the use of open scholarship to share knowledge and collaborate to address the climate crisis. This theme also aligns with the library’s strategic priorities for 2022-2024 – as we focus on how our work in the library can be sustainable, and consider what the climate impact of our work may be.

SFU celebrated with workshops, a new Climate Justice collection in Summit, a table in Bennett Library, and posters in the Bennett Library Research Commons.


Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative

The first workshop of the week on October 26th was an introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative, or TEI – an XML encoding format that allows for the description and analysis of many kinds of objects, including poems, posters, tombstones, audio recordings, and more.

Participants gathered to learn the basics of TEI and how it could be useful to their own research. Together we investigated why TEI is so widely used amongst digital humanities projects and how it could be adapted for use to meet participants’ own goals and needs.

Grad Conversations: Open Access

On October 27th, SFU Library also held a hybrid conversation to discuss open access and ways that the library can support researchers in making their work open access, such as through our institutional repository Summit, and the Central Open Access Fund. This is part of an ongoing series in Research Commons called “Grad Conversations,” which gather graduate students and invited guests to have a dialogue about issues relating to graduate student work and research. Students were joined at this conversation by Ioana Liuta, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Research Commons.

Unlock the potential of Volunteered Geographic Information: Exploring and downloading OpenStreetMap data

Participants joined us virtually on October 28th to learn about OpenStreetMap – a Volunteered Geographic Information system with free-to-download data that allows for community-based tagging of locations. It hasn’t yet been used extensively in academia, so we were excited to spread the word of this resource!

Together we learned how OSM manages data through its community tagging system, how to navigate the data OSM collects, and how to download and search OSM data using QGIS.

Displays during Open Access Week

Table at Bennett Library in Burnaby

The Research Commons team also put together an information table next to the circulation desk at Bennett Library (complete with Open Access Week pins and buttons!). The table offered passersby a chance to quickly learn a bit about Open Access, why it’s important, and how it can be relevant to them and their work.

OA week table
OA week table display

Posters in the Bennett Library Research Commons

Posters were displayed in the Bennett Library Research Commons to give visitors a more in-depth opportunity to explore aspects of Open Access at their own pace. Did you know that for a mid-sized university, a journal subscription can cost as much as a car?


posters in research commons

Ways you can still engage

Climate Justice collection in Summit

As part of International Open Access Week 2022, SFU also launched a collection of climate justice-related materials in Summit, SFU’s institutional repository for original faculty, student, and staff research. The collection includes items like the podcast episode “Decolonizing Climate Justice — with Khelsilem,” from Below the Radar (produced by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement) as part of their Climate Justice & Inequality series, and “Fuel and faith: A spiritual geography of fossil fuels in Western Canada” - a thesis by Darren Fleet investigating how energy is understood and described through the lens of faith in relation to fossil fuels.

If you have research work that relates to the climate crisis, you are invited and encouraged to submit that work for inclusion in this collection.

Read, watch, and listen

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