VCU Libraries celebrates Open Access Week 2021 Oct. 24-29

October 15, 2021

October 24-29 VCU Libraries is observing Open Access Week. This global event is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of Open, coordinate in taking action to make openness the default for research and education, and ensure that equity is at the center of this work.

This year’s Open Access Week theme is “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.” The theme intentionally aligns with the recently released UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, which powerfully articulates and centers the importance of equity in pursuing a future for scholarship that is open by default. This draft recommendation was created following discussion by representatives of UNESCO’s 193 member countries and will be put forward for adoption by UNESCO’s General Conference in November 2021.

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.

Open Access Week is an opportunity to catalyze new conversations and create connections across and between communities that can help build 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 Digital Collections, and the creation of customized course content through the Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative

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To learn more about what VCU Libraries and others are doing to celebrate Open Access Week 2021, visit 

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