Monday, October 23, 2017 News

10th Annual International Open Access Week Shines Spotlight on Increasing the Impact of Research & Scholarship

Open Access

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer, 202-538-1065, [email protected]

Washington, DC (October 23, 2017) – Hundreds of events will take place across the globe to highlight the power of Open Access to increase the impact of scientific and scholarly research during the 10th annual International Open Access Week taking place from October 23-29, 2017.

This year’s theme of “Open in Order to…” is meant to move the discussion beyond talking about openness itself and instead focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits. The theme also recognizes the diverse contexts and communities within which the shift to Open Access is occurring and encourages specific discussion that will be most effective locally.

“Since Open Access Week first began, we’ve made significant progress in building global awareness of the benefits of opening up access to research and scholarship. Around the world, institutions and individuals are increasingly embracing the use of “Open” as an enabling strategy,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, which created Open Access Week and works to broaden support for Open Access to scholarly research. “Whether your mission is to tackle critical problems like climate change or ending poverty or to capitalize on the enormous opportunities that having the world’s knowledge at your fingertips presents, Open Access practices and policies can help you speed up progress towards achieving your goals—and that’s a very powerful, very appealing prospect.”

Open Access—the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need—is transforming the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. Providing Open Access to research has the power to accelerate scientific advancements and spur job growth in a wide range of fields, from healthcare to energy to agriculture.

Begun in 2007 as Open Access Day, the event was originally a partnership between SPARC and students who organized local events on a handful of campuses across the United States. In 2008, it grew into Open Access Week—a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. Today, thousands of individuals, institutions, and organizations across the world celebrate Open Access Week.

Below are just a few examples of how SPARC will be taking action during the week, and a list of community activities and events occurring around the globe can be found here.

  • #MoveFASTR: During Open Access Week, SPARC will launch a campaign to #MoveFASTR, encouraging US-based institutions and community members to reach out to their elected officials and ask that they support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act. FASTR would require that articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research be made freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon.
  • World Bank-SPARC Open Access Week Panel: In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the World Bank’s Open Access policy, SPARC and the World Bank are co-hosting an event to showcase the ways in which open is helping to achieve the Bank’s goal of eliminating extreme poverty. The discussion will feature the CIO of the World Bank and the Principal Librarian of the United Nations. The event will be held Thursday, October 26th, from 2:00-3:30pm EDT and will be live streamed online. More details and a link to the livestream can be found at Media members who would like to attend the event in person should contact Nick Shockey at [email protected].
  • “Open in order to…” Impact Stories: In celebration of the theme of this year’s Open Access Week, SPARC is today launching a microsite with a collection of examples that illustrate the concrete benefits of sharing the results of research—from harnessing the human genome to improving food production to help feed the world. The microsite is online at

For more information, please go to

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries though the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at

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