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International Open Access Week 2023 – Community over commercialisation

girl with a rucksack on her back with the open access padlock logo behind her

Since 2008, SPARC have provided a theme for the international Open Access Week each year.

This year the theme is community over commercialisation. The desire is to produce a “candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community – and which do not.” The week runs from 23-29 October 2023.

Open access in its most ideal form pushes societal change and removes so-called perverse incentives for publishing research, such as the use of bibliometrics as a proxy for the quality of research that can influence what research is reported publicly.

However, the mechanisms available for publishing open access research do not always meet the aspirations. Often open access is only available if you can afford it, ruling out under-resourced researchers. Some forms of open access publishing can go even further and be simply about profit, such as the predatory publishers who try to exploit authors’ desire to publish open access to make money.

The community that has developed around open access is aware of the inequities in the landscape and is building spaces for publication that maintains scientific rigour while making research available to a wide audience, through diamond open access, and providing guidance, forums and toolkits to help researchers take matters into their own hands.

There will always be a cost involved in running infrastructure for open access publishing, but it doesn’t need to be about enriching shareholders.

Over the next week, we will be running a series of blogposts that will pick up on community initiatives designed to promote community over commercialisation, initiatives to cover open access costs that don’t place the burden on the author, and how to spot a predatory publisher.

We keep a list of support for open access publishing at the University of Wolverhampton, including participation in publisher deals and an open access fund for publishing funded research.

Other organisations around the world are joining in on Open Access Week and we’ve listed some noteworthy activities below, but there are many more events taking place across the globe:

Open and Engaged 2023: Community over Commercialisation

Monday 30 October, in-person and online

In line with this year’s #OAWeek theme: Open and Engaged 2023: Community over Commercialisation will address approaches and practices to open scholarship that prioritise the best interests of the public and the research community. The programme will focus on community-governance, public-private collaborations, and community building aspects of the topic by keeping the public good in the heart of the talks. It will underline different priorities and approaches for Galleries-Libraries-Archives-Museums (GLAMs) and the cultural sector in the context of open access.

More information and booking can be found here:

Promoting Research Integrity: Exploring Open Research as Best Practice

University of Leeds

Monday, October 30, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, online

Open research practices, by promoting transparency, collaboration, and the sharing of research methodologies and data, are inherently linked to research integrity. They enhance accountability, credibility, and the overall ethical conduct of research. Join the University of Leeds for an open lunch webinar to explore these topics with the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO), a registered charity set up to provide independent and expert support on good research practice.

More information and booking:

Open Access Week 2023 - Open Science for Enabling Reproducible, Ethical and Community-driven Research

Wednesday, October 25, 10:00am - 11:00am, online

One of a number of events hosted by The University of Derby and the University of Essex for Open Access Week 2023. This talk by Dr. Malvika Sharan, senior researcher and co-lead of The Turing Way project at The Alan Turing Institute will discuss Open Science. Malvika will introduce The Turing Way - an open source, open collaboration and community-driven guide to reproducible, ethical and inclusive data science and research.

More information and registration:

Open Access Week 2023 - Octopus - Built for Researchers!

Friday, October 27, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, online

A second event hosted by The University of Derby and the University of Essex for Open Access Week 2023. Tim Fellows, Product Manager at Jisc will cover how Octopus aims to sit alongside journals to create a new culture of collaboration and recognition, improve access to research outputs, and provide a new academic incentive structure to reward best practice and recognise specialisation. is a new scientific publishing model, designed to encourage, enable, and reward best practice using 21st century tools. Free to read, free to publish, and entirely open source, this is a new way to register research that is fast, free and fair.

More information and registration:

Community journals for teaching natural sciences 

The first of two talks by University of Leicester Open Journals. Editors will be talking about the opportunities and challenges in running community-led open access journals. This discussion will be led by William Farrell (University of Leicester Open Journals) and Dr Cheryl Hurkett (Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics)

Monday 23 October, 12:30-13:20, online (Teams)

Teams link:

University of Leicester Open Journals: rewards, challenges and future plans in community publishing

A second talk by University of Leicester Open Journals where editors will be talking about the opportunities and challenges in running community-led open access journals. This discussion will be led by William Farrell (University of Leicester Open Journals), Prof. Amy Levin (Museum and Society), Dr Peter Lester (Museum and Society) and Dr Sweta Ladwa (New Directions in the Teaching of Natural Sciences)

Thursday 26 October, 12:30-13:20, online (Teams)

Teams link:


Photo by Daniel Tong, Design by Kim Henze.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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