Thursday, March 21, 2024 News

Theme for Open Access Week 2024 Continues Call to Put “Community over Commercialization”

Open Access

The theme of International Open Access Week for 2024 will continue with last year’s focus on “Community over Commercialization.” This theme contributed to a growing recognition of the need to prioritize approaches to open scholarship that serve the best interests of the public and the academic community. Taking the unprecedented step to build on this theme for a second year highlights the importance of this conversation and presents the opportunity to turn more of these deliberations into collective action.

The many questions surfaced by the theme last year are even more pressing in 2024 given recent developments, such as the rush to integrate artificial intelligence into commercial academic systems without community consultation. Ongoing critical questions include: What are the consequences when a small number of corporations control knowledge production rather than researchers themselves? What are the hidden costs of business models that entrench extreme levels of profit while exacerbating inequity? When does the opaque collection and use of personal data by commercial platforms begin to undermine academic freedom? When and in what ways can commercialization align with the public interest? What community-governed infrastructures already exist that better serve the interests of the research community and the public (such as preprint servers, repositories, and open publishing platforms)? How can we shift the default toward using these community-minded options?

Communities are encouraged to adapt the theme to their local context and add to it to highlight specific conversations they wish to focus on. Examples might include “Community over Commercialization: What is Community Governance & Why Does it Matter,” “Community over Commercialization: Reclaiming Academic Autonomy,” or “Community over Commercialization: Centering Equity in Knowledge Production.” Customizable graphics templates are available for the community to promote these locally adapted themes.

Open Access Week 2024 will be held from October 21st through the 27th; however, anyone is encouraged to host discussions and take action whenever is most suitable during the year. For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit The official hashtag for the week is #OAWeek.

Translations of this announcement in other languages can be found at Graphics for this year’s Open Access Week theme are available at


SPARC is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design. We believe everyone should be able to access and contribute to the knowledge that shapes our world. International Open Access Week was established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008. Learn more at

About International Open Access Week

Open Access Week is an invaluable chance to connect the global momentum toward the open sharing of knowledge with the advancement of policy changes and the importance of social issues affecting people around the world. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions, and organizations around the world, and its organization is led by a global advisory committee, which selects each year’s theme. The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek.

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