Banner image representing Open Access Week 2013 (

October 21-27, 2013 is International Open Access Week, a global collection of events dedicated to  furthering Open Access (OA) to research and scholarly data. Open Access Week was created by SPARC©, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, which promotes open publishing and digital access to scholarly articles, open availability of data (or Open Data),  as well as the creation of  Open Educational Resources (OER). Open Access Week is in its 6th year and this year’s theme is “Redefining Impact” with local OA groups hosting live events and streaming events from around the world.  You can sign up to access the live streaming events or add your event to the OAW calendar.  Open Access has a toolkit to help you get started.

What is the Open Access Movement?

1. Open Access is the “free, immediate availability of research articles”.  Anyone who has had the misfortune of seeing the “perfect” article for their paper locked away in a paid database will give three cheers (I’ll give six!).

2. Open Data  is a movement to encourage research data, particularly government research paid for by taxpayers, to be openly and freely available.  The release of data will support other scholars and researchers, allowing best practices to be shared quickly.

3. Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital materials available to remix, revise, and reuse; these materials are either in the public domain or are under copyright but openly licensed, usually via a Creative Commons license.  OER are, of course, near and dear to our hearts (check out our media library for proof).

Image Courtesy of