Open Access Week is an annual international celebration to raise awareness of the issue of access to published scholarly research.

Open Access Week 2015
October 19-25

In 2015, Open Access Week at UMN is all about getting the word out on the many, many open access efforts going on all over the University, and from federal research funders!

What is Open Access, anyway?

Open access is access to published scholarly research free of charge to any reader, anywhere in the world! Learn more with our Overview

Did you know?

Previous years

In 2014, the Libraries hosted a round-robin event, bringing together experts in publishing, data management, altmetrics, digital scholarship, open educational resources, and more!

In 2013, speakers were Nicole Allen, OER Program Director at SPARC, and David Wiley, a professor at Brigham Young University who is a pioneer of open education.

In 2012 Libraries staff partnered with volunteers from graduate student government groups (GAPSA and COGS) to go outside the Libraries and publicize open access issues across UMN campuses.

Pics of meetups:
Librarian in bright orange t-shirt approaches student in UMN sweatshirt on teh Washington Ave bridge Librarian in sweater vest with orange tie speaks with student in grey sweatshirt about open access Smiling librarian in bright orange t-shirt distributes candy on Northrop Mall
Five library staff members in orange Open Access t-shirts gather in the lobby of Walter Library before spreading out across Northrop Mall
Click for full-size images. More images in the OAUMN and Walter Library Twitter feeds.

Adapted from "Money" CC BY Andrew Magill

Why is public access to scholarly articles important? *

Moral arguments
  • OA frees authors and readers from needless access barriers.
  • OA returns the control of scholarship to scholars.
  • By increasing the author's impact, it advances the author's purpose in writing journal articles for impact rather than money.
  • OA serves the under-served.
  • For the special subset of publicly-funded research, open access is part of fundamental fairness to taxpayers.
Pragmatic arguments
  • OA reaches a wider audience at lower cost than toll-access forms of distribution.
  • OA makes research literature and data available for crunching by new generations of sophisticated software (indexing, mining, summarizing, translating, linking, recommending, alerting, mash-ups, and other forms of processing).
  • OA widens dialogue, builds community, and supports cooperation.
  • OA accelerates research and increases the productivity of researchers.
  • OA makes research more useful and increases the research funder's return on investment.
* Adapted from Peter Suber's "Open access and the self-correction of knowledge"

Voices of Open Access Video Series

Watch 1-minute videos from...

Barbara Stebbins, Middle School Science Teacher from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Dr. Mark Walport, Wellcome Trust Director from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Sharon Terry, Patient Advocate from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Ida Sim, Physician Scientist from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Diane Graves, Librarian from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

André Brown, Grad Student from Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Piled Higher and Deeper: Nature vs. Science

comics by Jorge Cham, PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. (Used with permission)

preview of panel from a webcomic comparing differences between Nature and Science publishing processes   preview of a webcomic about the scientific publishing process  preview of a webcomic about the scientific publishing process  preview of a webcomic about the scientific publishing process

Questions or comments about open access issues at the University of Minnesota, and in general, can be directed to