Erin Johnson bio photo

Erin Johnson

Live and let live.

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Open Access Week is a recognized international event that celebrates and informs communities across the globe about the Open Access (OA) movement. The growth of open content is one of Western Libraries strategic influences in the digital age (WLSP), and the library is actively involved in promoting OA through Scholarship@Western, the promotion of OA journal hosting in our institutional repository, and through annual participation in OA Week events.

The theme this year was “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”. Participation in this event creates important opportunities to catalyze new conversations with our students, faculty, researchers, and teachers while connecting Western Libraries to the global open community.

The Research and Scholarly Communication Team went all out advocating for open access during this year’s Open Access Week!

OA Week Banner Image

We hosted a kickoff reception, complete with cake and the soothing sounds of open music performed by Ethan Lacey. Along with refreshments and musical entertainment, the reception included a data visualization art show and ‘play’ stations where attendees could explore open data and data visualizations.

data visualization

We held a workshop to empower participants to understand and exercise their rights as authors. Attendees were given the opportunity to compare publication agreements, learn about tools and best practices for self-archiving, and explore the connections between retaining author rights and open access.

Workshop Poster

As part of the week’s events, there was also a panel discussion that explored how we can increase equity and inclusiveness within scholarship as research becomes more open. The panel was facilitated by the Associate Chief Librarian of Research and we had a diverse group of speakers.

List of speakers:

  1. Candace Brunette - PhD Candidate in Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies
  2. Nafiz Shuva - PhD Candidate in Library Information Science. Research is focused on digital inclusion and open access in developing countries
  3. Thomas Peace - Assistant Professor in Canadian History and member of the Open Educational Resources Campus Working Group

We wrapped up Open Access Week with a film screening of Paywall: The Business of Scholarship Directed and produced by Jason Schmitt, this documentary focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questioning the rationale behind the 25.2 billion dollars a year that flow into for-profit academic publishers. The film examines the 30-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher, Elsevier, and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google.

Paywall Movie Poster

Read more about why open access is important, how it affects you, and how you can get involved in the open access movement.