Open in order to...

Published on November 06, 2017

Open Access is a system of electronic publishing and unrestricted access to scholarly information freely available on the internet. Western Libraries champions open access and the transformation of scholarly communication by collecting open access materials and by maintaining Western's institutional repository, Scholarship@Western. We recently celebrated our involvement during Open Access Week, held annually in October.

At its core, open access centres on two fundamental principles:

  • Unrestricted access simply means that finding, retrieving and reading material is not constrained by commercial printing processes nor encumbered by required subscription fees or paywalls, as historically has been the case with scholarly publishing. Rather, access is freely and openly available to all.
  • Unrestricted use allows investigators to build on established findings in their research to advance knowledge, without concern for copyright infringement or payment of publisher royalties or clearance fees.

"Open Access enables accelerated discovery and a heightened profile for campus researchers, and gives global exposure to the important work happening at Western," explains Tom Adam, Copyright Librarian and Administrator of Scholarship@Western. "It enriches the public good by making data and research output freely and widely available to the public that funded it, and it improves education by removing barriers to the vital materials necessary to advance learning and discovery."

To mark international Open Access Week Western Libraries responded to this year's theme: "Open in order to" ...enhance the use, application and impact of Western's leading-edge discoveries and vanguard research initiatives.