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Open Access: An Introduction: Open Access Week

This guide explains the concept and importance of Open Access, and offers advice on how to get involved.

What is Open Access Week?

International Open Access Week logo.

International Open Access Week is a global event held to celebrate and promote the benefits of Open Access. It helps to raise awareness of what Open Access means, why it is important and how to engage with it. The first Open Access Week (originally just "Open Access Day") was held in 2007 in the USA and organised by SPARC. Since then, it has grown to be an entire week that is celebrated across the world. More information about the history and mission of Open Access Week is available from the SPARC and Open Access Week websites.

The next Open Access Week is due to happen during the week of Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th October 2018. The official theme of this year's event is "Designing equitable foundations for open knowledge", which aims to address barriers to engagement in Open Access, potential inequalities that might be made worse in an entirely "open" environment, and various communities and individuals that may be adversely impacted by a drive towards Open Access without due consideration of their needs.

What's happening at RGU?

RGU library staff are planning a variety of things to help promote Open Access Week 2018. The final details will be made available here when they are known:

Pop-Up Stand

  • We will host a pop-up stand during lunchtime each day, at various places across campus. As well as providing an opportunity for staff and students to learn more about Open Access, there will also be free food available - because making things freely available is what Open Access is all about! Each session will be from 11:45 to 13:15 and exact locations are listed below:
    • Monday 22nd October = Sir Ian Wood Building, in the reception area
    • Tuesday 23rd October = Ishbel Gordon Building, in the reception area
    • Wednesday 24th October = Aberdeen Business School, in the main atrium
    • Thursday 25th October = Garthdee House Annex, in the reception area
    • Friday 26th October = Gray's School of Art, near the supplies shop


  • We will host a series of workshops to explore different aspects of research - like Open Access, copyright, research data and impact - through a mixture of games and discussion. The workshops are intended for researchers and research students, and invites for these workshops will be sent out by e-mail. If you would like to attend a session and are worried that you haven't received an invite, let us know directly at
Day Time Event Location
Monday 22nd October 10:00-11:00 Research Support Staff - The Impact Game N243
14:00-16:00 PhD Students - The Publishing Trap (#1) N346
Tuesday 23rd October 09:30-11:30 PhD Students - The Publishing Trap (#2) H303
14:00-16:00 Researchers - The Publishing Trap N336
Wednesday 24th October - [No sessions] -
Thursday 25th October 09:30-11:30 Researchers - The Impact Game (#1 and #2) H303
Friday 26th October 10:00-11:00 Researchers - The Impact Game (#3) N336
14:00-16:00 PhD Students - The Publishing Trap (#3) H303


Social Media

  • We are intending to produce a series of posts on the Library Matters blog to discuss some of the issues raised by this year's Open Access Week theme. Links to these blog posts will be provided below when they are published.
  • The official hashtag for Open Access Week is #OAweek. We encourage people to get involved in discussions with that hashtag and share their thoughts on how we can ensure that an "open" future is also an equitable one.

Public Libraries

  • Promotional bookmarks are available in many of Aberdeen's public libraries, which aim to raise awareness among the local community of the open access research available from OpenAIR, RGU's institutional repository.