Generation Open: Open Access Week 2014

Open.Michigan welcomes guest blogger Jacob Glenn, a science librarian at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Science Library. Jacob is blogging on behalf of the library’s Open Access Committee, which is responsible for organizing Open Access Week activities here on campus. For more information about the committee and about Open Access Week, please contact the committee’s chair, Jean Song.

International Open Access Week (OA Week, October 20-26) is an opportunity for the academic community to promote broader access to the products of research and scholarship. This year’s theme is Generation Open, highlighting the generation of students, citizen scientists and early-career researchers who have grown up learning and publishing on the open Web. Next week the University of Michigan Library will host a number of events aimed at connecting the academic community with Generation Open.

On Monday the library will host Journal Editors’ Tea, inaugurating a quarterly series of panel discussions devoted to new models of scholarly publishing. Four scholars from a variety of academic disciplines will share their experiences managing successful, sustainable open access journals. In the evening the American Library Association University of Michigan Student Chapter will host Attribution: Why it Matters to You, a conversation about the role of attribution in fostering the creation of Open Access publications and Open Educational Resources.

On Tuesday, join us in Rackham Amphitheater to hear this year’s OA Week keynote speaker, Jack Andraka. Jack is a Maryland high school student and winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Gordon Moore Award and the 2012 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, both for his work on early detection of pancreatic cancer (which he continues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine). Jack has been outspoken in his support of open access to scientific research. He will talk about the information barriers he faced as an independent researcher and the role of Open Access publications in supporting his work. In past talks Jack has argued that by turning knowledge into an artificially scarce commodity, publishers have effectively denied most people the opportunity to innovate. Not only is this a form of discrimination, it is also a huge waste of human potential. “Citizen science” and the open sharing of knowledge are essential if humanity is to meet the challenges we currently face, but that will never happen on a larger scale unless we decide that the artificial restriction of knowledge is a serious problem that needs to be solved.

There are more events sprinkled throughout the week, including a brown bag discussion on Open Access and social justice and the perennially popular Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. For this year’s full calendar of OA Week events, including times, locations, and links to registration, see http://www.lib.umich.edu/events/all/all/34799.

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