Last week we told you about some fun events the Library is hosting for Open Access Week 2010. You can visit their list of planned events here (or you can read our blog post Open Access Week at U-M) but we wanted to let you know about other national, international and regional activities that celebrate Open Access Week. We hope these will increase your knowledge of just what Open Access Week is all about.
Why Open Access Week is important
As a world renowned research university, the University of Michigan participates in many academic and scientific efforts that can have tremendous impact on our health and well-being. From researching how students get their homework done to promoting healthy organ transplants, we are leaders in finding solutions to problems.
Open Access Week strives to increase awareness of how knowledge produced in academic and research settings can have an even larger impact if it is shared openly and can be used and distributed openly. It also provides opportunities for practitioners and proponents to come together to discuss these opportunities and share information with each other. This is one of the reasons why Open Access Week is conducted across the world in local settings (in places as close as Minnesota and as far away as Nairobi).
OA and OER
While there are similarities between how Open Access (OA) and Open Educational Resources (OER) operate, there are some important differences between the two terms and the way the two movements interact with each other. While OA means you get unrestricted access to materials you’re interested in, these materials are not always openly licensed so that you can use or re-use the materials for your own education or to educate others. You don’t always have as much decision-making privilege with the information and knowledge produced under OA terms. At Open.Michigan, we believe this privilege is a very important one. It determines how others can build new forms of knowledge and encourages participatory learning. OA opens doors to access and OER opens doors to use. Ultimately those working in the OA world and those working in the OER world strive to provide concrete opportunities for scholars and students alike to contribute to this growth of the knowledge commons and this is why we think Open Access Week is so important.
If you can’t jet across the country (or the world) to attend these events, you can still learn about the importance of open access by checking out these organizations and activities:
- Watch videos about Open Access Week
- Check out Open Book Publishers.
- Read up on PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access journal for scientific and medical research.
- Read FOIA Friday to learn about local requests for information and how this access can improve our local lives.
- Participate in Forum discussions about Open Access Week and OA in general.
- Connect with other members of the Open Access Week movement.
- Check out what other organizations like EOS are doing to promote open scholarly access.
- Browse the OA Directory.