It’s Open Access Week, 2017 (October 23-29)!

Open Access week is an annual, global event, conceptualised by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, (SPARC) and aimed at endorsing and popularising open access, particularly among the research and scholarly community. Open access refers to the practice of making scholarly and research work publicly available to anyone who wants access to it. Copyright law and its reform play an essential role in supporting open access and its goals of universal knowledge-sharing. We at SpicyIP enthusiastically endorse Open Access and you can read more about our posts on Open Access here. We also published (and regularly update) a list of open access course book on Intellectual Property, which you can check out here!

Now entering its 10th year, Open Access Week is a fantastic opportunity to bring together open-access enthusiasts, explore new ways of contributing to open access and contributing more to the conversation about access to knowledge. Hundreds of events are being organised16x24_OAWeekPoster_2017 around the world, with several of them being listed on the Open Access Week website. The events include Wikipedia edit-a-thons, conferences and lectures on open access and committing libraries and publications to open access, as Cambridge University recently did with its decision to include Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking PhD thesis on the ‘properties of expanding universes’ in its open access repository.

The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is ‘Open in Order to…’, as a reflection upon the different goals greater openness can help achieve. From the SPARC statement on Open Data Week 2017 –

“This year’s theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available. “Open in order to…” serves as a prompt to move beyond talking about openness in itself and focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits.”

One year from the groundbreaking DU Photocopy judgement by the Delhi High Court, which expansively read the right to access knowledge for educational purposes under Indian copyright law, this Open Access Week should also be a time for us to reflect upon how academic and scholarly publishing should be structured in India, and how a culture of open access and openness should be nurtured and promoted.

You can read more about Open Access Week 2017 at its official website, here.




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