SPARC Announces ‘Generation Open’ As Theme For 2014 International Open Access Week

Press Release | Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition | May 9, 2014

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced that the theme for this year's International Open Access Week is "Generation Open". The theme will highlight the importance of students and early career researchers as advocates for change in the short-term, through institutional and governmental policy, and as the future of the Academy upon whom the ultimate success of the Open Access movement depends. The theme will also explore how changes in scholarly publishing affect scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers.

To be held from October 20 – 26, 2014, International Open Access Week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they've learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

The theme 'Generation Open' will return International Open Access Week to its foundation. Begun in 2007 as the National Day of Action for Open Access, the event was originally a partnership between SPARC and students who organised local events on a handful of campuses across the United States. Since then, both student involvement in Open Access and Open Access Week itself have grown exponentially.

SPARC's student program, The Right to Research Coalition, has grown to more than 75 member student organisations, which collectively represent nearly seven million students in more than 100 countries around the world. The energy, creativity, and passion of the next generation that sparked the National Day of Action for Open Access in 2007 can now be seen in projects like the Open Access Button, a student-developed tool that helps users find freely available copies of pay walled articles.

SPARC encourages advocates around the world to use the week as a catalyst for raising awareness of Open Access and to build a dialogue with the next generation about shaping the system of scholarly communication that they will inherit.

SPARC will host a kickoff webcast on May 19th at 2:30pm EDT (7:30pm BST) to help advocates begin planning Open Access Week events, featuring advice from experts who have organised successful events during previous weeks.