Guest blog by Professor Ginny Barbour, Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) & Professor in the Division of Research and Innovation, QUT
As we head towards the end of October – we again turn our focus to a week dedicated to open access (OA). Now in its 11th year, International Open Access Week, 21-27 October, is a global, community-driven week of action aimed at opening up access to research. It has grown into a truly national and global celebration.
This year’s theme is “Open for whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.” As open access becomes increasingly the norm, the 2019 Open Access Week Advisory Committee poses the question, “Whose interests are being prioritized in the actions we take and in the platforms that we support? Whose voices are excluded? Are underrepresented groups included as full partners from the beginning? Are we supporting not only open access but also equitable participation in research communication?” Building upon last year’s theme, “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge,” these questions will help us determine how emerging open systems for research will address inequities in the current system and ensure that we don’t unintentionally replicate and reinforce them.
There has been much discussion over the past year of open access news from Europe and elsewhere, and especially of Plan S. Open Access Week is a time to remind ourselves, however, that open access is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end – that of an equitable, efficient, and FAIR means of sharing scholarly information. For academics who publish openly the benefits are concrete. A better readership for open articles is not surprising, but the benefit of increased academic usage are also becoming clearer through more citations. Other benefits are of increased citations associated with posting of preprints and of data sharing. Critically, depositing in an OA repository such as QUT’s ePrints, is demonstrated to be the best way to boost citations. Furthermore, open articles are better connected into global systems for sharing information, which means that ultimately they can have wider societal impact. Depositing records and full text is the most important way that QUT researchers can comply with QUT’s open access policy and that of the two big Australian funders, ARC and NHMRC — all for free. But more than that, QUT’s repository allows anyone anywhere to access its research outputs.
QUT Library and others will be celebrating Open Access Week with a number of events. Once again we will bringing our popular Open Access Bike Tour to Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 October. There will be OA giveaways, lucky dips, badges and more. Watch this short video of last year’s bike tour, and see below to find out when the Open Access Bike will be coming to a campus near you.
All are welcome to attend a webinar with an international focus on Monday 21 October, entitled Advancing Science in Indonesia: Current Global Research Practices. In addition to myself, the webinar features Professor Brian Nosek, the Executive Director of the Center for Open Science, Professor Simine Vazire from University of California, Davis and focuses on improving research practices in science.
On Wednesday 23 October we will be launching Hacky Hour at QUT: Skills for Open Research. Come along to The Pantry at 2:00pm and chat with an expert about skills for open research. Follow us on Twitter @GPHackyHour for details.
Join QUT IP & Innovation Research on Thursday 24 October for a thought-provoking symposium on Open Innovation. This free event, featuring speakers from a range of disciplines, will examine Open Education, Law, Culture, Open Cities, Additive Manufacturing, Agriculture, Robotics and more. Register here.
If you will be attending eResearch Australasia, be sure to come along to our session on Doing open access advocacy by stealth. Stephanie Bradbury, Manager Research Support Team, QUT Library, and I will be running this interactive workshop on Thursday 24 October from 11:40am-12:40pm.
Come along and get involved. For more details, follow @QUTLibrary on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.