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VCU Libraries celebrates Open Access Week 2020

October 14, 2020

From Oct. 19 to 23, VCU Libraries celebrates International Open Access Week. This global event, now entering its 10th year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of Open and inspire wider participation to make Open a new norm in scholarship, research and education.

Open is the movement to remove access barriers to educational and research materials. Open resources are freely accessible (meaning they are not behind a paywall), and they may also be shared with open licenses. Open licensing moves away from the standard copyright model of “all rights reserved” to a model of “some rights reserved.” In other words, when creators share their work with an open license, it allows the work to be used more freely by others. The concept of Open can apply to any kind of work: images, video, music, software, journal articles, books, data, textbooks and other educational materials. Learn more about Open Access.

This year’s Open Access Week theme is “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.” VCU Libraries invites all to join in these events in celebration:

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
noon–1:30 p.m.
Join an online screening of "Paywall: The Business of Scholarship," a documentary that focuses on the need for open access to research and questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishing companies. A discussion led by VCU librarians will follow the film starting around 1 p.m. Attendees are welcome to join for the entire event or the screening/discussion only. Sign up to receive the viewing link for this Oct. 21 session.
VCU Open Access Images on the Cabell Screen
All week on the Cabell Screen
This exhibit showcases just a small selection of VCU Libraries’ open access and public domain resources, as well as images from educational resources and works of scholarship created by members of the VCU community. All are freely accessible to those at VCU and around the world. Learn more about the exhibit. Interested in tuning in from off campus? Watch via the Cabell Webcam, which sweeps by the screen once per minute.
Open Education: Student Success and Faculty Autonomy
Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
11 a.m.–noon
This webinar series, hosted by the SCHEV Open Virginia Advisory Committee, provides a space for learning and sharing to spark innovation and expand open education in Virginia. The virtual conversations will consist of short lightning talks, which will allow institutions to share their open education efforts and learn from similar efforts happening around Virginia. Register for this Oct. 23 session.

To learn more about what VCU Libraries and others are doing to celebrate Open Access Week 2020, visit

Open Access Beyond Open Access Week 

Open Access Week is an important opportunity to catalyze new conversations and create connections across and between communities that can co-design more equitable foundations for opening knowledge. But these discussions and actions also need to be continued year-round in the VCU community. Beyond Open Access Week, VCU Libraries supports the publication of scholarship and research findings that are accessible to all through VCU Publishing, the sharing of unique materials from our Special Collections and Archives with the world through our Digital Collections and the creation of customized course content through the Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative

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