This year’s Open Access Week (October 24-30, 2011) is still 7 months away, but that’s sooner than you might think if you take three months of summer into consideration! Now is the time to start planning your event and to get in touch with your library for support. Students have a critical stake in the scholarly publishing system and its future – we have an important role to play in deciding whether its content will be open to all or available only to those who can afford the high cost of many journals. Open Access Week is a great opportunity to demonstrate the growing student momentum for Open Access by holding an event, and every campus counts!
Last year, student governments, student organizations, and individual students hosted Open Access Week events across Canada, the United States, Malta, South Africa, and beyond. Some held panels discussing their experience advocating for a campus open-access policy, others promoted their institutional repository to students and faculty, and many held discussions around authors’ rights and the importance of retaining the legal ability to host your article on your own website or in an open repository. There are a wealth of options to mark Open Access Week; what type of event you hold depends on your campus. The most important thing is just to start the conversation by hosting some kind of event.
Simply promoting awareness on campus will do a ton to carry Open Access forward. Students and faculty are often unaware of the high cost of journals and the opportunities that Open Access presents, because libraries purchase journal subscriptions on their behalf. Hosting an event during Open Access Week is a great way to close this gap and raise the profile of the issue on your campus.
Want a low-overhead event? One easy way to participate in Open Access Week is to host a viewing of our coalition’s official student Open Access Week event, which we will webcast live and archive for those who can't join the live event. We’ll be announcing more details in the coming month here on our blog, but you can plan to let us provide the content and simply host a local discussion afterward. And if you have any thoughts on what you would like to see discussed at our event, ideas for speakers, or suggestions for anything else, leave them in the comment section below!
As you’re thinking about organizing an event, don’t forget to reach out to your campus library. They can be a great resource and will likely have experience with Open Access Week.
So set a date, start thinking about speakers, and take a look at SPARC’s official Open Access Week kick-off planning video. We’re excited to see what kind of events students will organize and look forward to what we hope will be an even bigger, more successful Open Access Week this year.