It’s Open Access Week!

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This week is International Open Access Week, a global, annual event that is now in its eight year. It’s a chance for the higher education community to share knowledge, best practice, concerns and development in open access as well as encourage open access to become an accepted norm of scholarly communication. I can’t really define open access any better than the organisers of Open Access Week, so if you are still in any doubt as to what open access is, this definition sums it perfectly:

“Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.

Open Access (OA) has the potential to maximize research investments, increase the exposure and use of published research, facilitate the ability to conduct research across available literature, and enhance the overall advancement of scholarship. Research funding agencies, academic institutions, researchers and scientists, teachers, students, and members of the general public are supporting a move towards Open Access in increasing numbers every year.

The website for International Open Access Week contains a lot of very interesting information, so take a look and what’s going on.

If you want to follow the debates across the globe, the best way to do this is to follow #openaccessweek on Twitter. Currently being discussed are avoiding pitfalls of open access, how Harvard University wishes to ensure that information about climate change is made open access, the topics being covered in an open access talk given by HEFCE in Washington, special offers from publishers, how technology can help with open access and what libraries are doing to ensure that submissions for REF2020 can be made open access.

So what about open access here at the University of Bolton? We have UBIR, which will be the primary means by which authors can ensure that any research that is be submitted to the REF is made open access. And remember, if you are wanting to submit your research for the REF it has to be made open access. Quite aside from REF preparations, making our research available via an open access platform such as UBIR brings research to a much wider audience, and can only help to develop its impact.

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