[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Open Access Week begins

For immediate release
October 19, 2009

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 631-8854
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

First international awareness week for free, immediate, online 
to scholarly research draws widespread global participation

WASHINGTON, DC - Today marks the beginning of the first-ever 
international awareness week for Open Access to research, October 
19 - 23, 2009. Hundreds of leading academic and research sites in 
over 30 countries will mark the week in unique ways, and express 
their support for the advancement of knowledge through free, 
immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research.

Open Access Week is designed to help raise awareness of the 
potential benefits of Open Access to research and to celebrate 
milestones in making Open Access a norm in the conduct of science 
and scholarship. Momentum for the incorporation of openness into 
the fabric of science and scholarship has been steadily growing, 
as evidenced by the growing number of policies from public and 
private research funders (including the U.S. National Institutes 
of Health, the world?s largest biomedical research funder) and 
research producers on college and university campuses  (including 
Harvard University, MIT, University College London, the 
University of Kansas, and the University of Liege).

The momentum is also evident as research institutions, advocacy 
organizations, and others around the world will participate in 
the week and demonstrate the wide relevance of Open Access across 
disciplines and across constituencies. Activities include:

--October 20 - The founder of the Worldwide Web, Tim Berners Lee, 
will receive an honorary doctorate from VU University Amsterdam. 
Dutch institutions will host special lectures, discussions, and 
symposia to inform researchers, teachers, and students about the 
advantages of Open Access and about how they can benefit and 
contribute. The higher education sector hopes that by providing 
examples and practical help, it can inspire present and future 
researchers to take advantage of the Web?s power to communicate 
science and scholarship. 

--October 22 - The National Center for Atmospheric Research 
(NCAR) will host an in-depth discussion on the potential impact 
of Open Access on research, featuring George Strawn, Chief 
Information Officer of the National Science Foundation. NCAR 
researchers shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President 
Al Gore, which was awarded for the work of the U.N. 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This weekend, 
NCAR announced it has adopted an Open Access policy that requires 
all peer-reviewed research published by its scientists and staff 
in scientific journals be made publicly available online through 
its institutional repository. The policy supports broader access 
to the cutting-edge research conducted at NCAR, covering climate, 
weather, air quality, and other areas vital to society and the 

--The Committee on Economic Development, which is dedicated to 
policy research on major economic and social issues and 
represents senior corporate executives and university leaders, 
will soon release a new report entitled, ?Harnessing openness to 
improve research, teaching and learning in higher education.? The 
report analyzes how the institutions and processes of higher 
education can benefit from the application of greater openness 
through digital technologies.  In conjunction with Open Access 
Week, CED is pleased to make a pre-publication draft available to 
the SPARC community.  Formal announcement and publication of this 
report should take place later this month. 

--October 19 - One of the first open-access journals, which was 
launched in 2004 and quickly rose to become one the top-ranked 
journals in medicine -- PLoS Medicine -- will celebrate its fifth 

--Also this weekend, the University of Salford in the UK 
announced the world?s 100th open-access mandate, indicating plans 
to implement a mandatory policy for all research active staff to 
deposit research information into its digital repository. 

--Sixty institutions in Germany will participate in Open Access 
Week activities, in conjunction with the Alliance of National 
Science Organisations. Johannes Fournier of the German Research 
Foundation (DFG) formulated the goal of Open Access week, saying, 
"The individual institutions at local level are the best places 
to stimulate a discussion about Open Access. In this way, 
scientists and scholars can be addressed directly in their 
research environment." 

--October 19 - McGill University in Quebec will host a free 
screening of the National Film Board of Canada's "RiP: Remix," a 
video exploration of creative reuse of materials with Web 
activist Brett Gaylor and musician Greg Gillis. The film has been 
an Official Selection at six international film festivals as well 
as the closing film at Docs Barcelona and named among Canada?s 
top 20 at the Victoria film festival. 

--In Japan, there will be a week of events and activities 
highlighting the power of Open Access to advance, coordinated 
through a comprehensive Japanese-language Web resource at 
http://www.openaccessweek.jp/ .

--October 19 - An Open Access Week event at the European 
Institute for Marine Sciences in Brest, France will offer the 
next generation of earth scientists practical advice on what Open 
Access can do to boost their early careers. The event is endorsed 
by the EUR-OCEANS Consortium. 

--The Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole Oceanographic 
Institute continues to make Open Access a priority, using Open 
Access Week as an occasion to highlight its programs to support 
author rights retention and digital repository. 

For more information on these events, or to find activities in 
your region, visit 

'We are impressed and thrilled by the level of participation in 
Open Access Week 2009,' said Jennifer McLennan, Communications 
Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic 
Resources Coalition). 'The commitment to opening access to 
research results, which we?re seeing grow on a global scale, is a 
sure sign that we?re not far away from bringing the full power of 
the Web to bear on advancing research, discovery, and 

'We'd like to express our deep thanks,' McLennan added, 'to 
everyone making this week possible, including our fellow 
organizers, partners, and event coordinators everywhere.' SPARC 
has issued a video letter and welcome to Open Access Week 2009, 
online at http://www.vimeo.com/7048906.

Open Access Week is organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing 
and Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science, 
Students for Free Culture, eIFL, OASIS, Open Access Directory, 
JISC, and SURF. Promotional partners include SPARC Europe, SPARC 
Japan, Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden), Open Access 
Scholarly Publishers Association (UK), SciELO-FAPESP-BIREME 
(Brazil), The Open Society Institute (New York & Budapest), SURF 
(The Netherlands), Open-access.net (Germany), The Public 
Knowledge Project (Canada), My Open Archive (Japan), DuraSpace 
(US), IssueLabs (US). For more information, visit 


SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), 
with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance 
of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to 
create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC's 
advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs 
encourage expanded dissemination of research. Membership in SPARC 
is open to academic and research libraries of all sizes, which 
share interest in advancing scholarship through broadening access 
to research. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc.

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications
October 19 - 23