“From blog posts to podcasts and panel discussions, people around the world were inspired during International Open Access Week 2021 to reflect on efforts to build structural equity into the knowledge production process. There were notable announcements and reports released that signal a deepening commitment to open and understanding of the need for practices to be designed with diverse community voices….
The International Science Council (ISC) voted to endorse eight fundamental principles for efficient and effective scientific publishing systems with focus on equity, inclusion, transparency, and reuse of research. The principles include universal open access to the record of science and its preservation for future generations, better exploitation of the tools of the digital revolution, reform of peer review systems, and accountability of publishing systems to the scientific community and its institutions. The endorsement indicates growing support from the international disciplinary unions and associations, national academies and regional scientific bodies that make up the ISC’s membership.
The European Federation of Academics of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) released a Statement on Equity in Open Access that addresses how APC-based open access publishing actually contributes to establishing inequitable structures within academic research. The authors suggest alternative models and emphasize the need for resources and infrastructure to provide a global solution to open access across all disciplines. In its release, the federation cites this year’s theme of OA Week and UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
SPARC’s own Heather Joseph and Nick Shockey contributed to a report released by the United Nations on the need to apply open practices to address environmental threats. “Open Science for Climate Action,” takes lessons from transparent communication of science during the COVID-19 pandemic and underscores the value of better communication of science to accelerate solutions.
The University of Cape Town revised its Open Access Policy adding an explicit commitment to social justice, diamond OA and library publishing.
Harvard University expanded its recognition of OA Week to establish OA Month from Oct. 25 through November 19. The campus will offer live and virtual events that encourage community engagement with an emphasis on equity at the foundation of its work.
In an effort to build systemic equity and include traditionally marginalized voices, the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) reached out for feedback on its new Open & Equitable Model Funding Program. In its OA Week Reflection & Call for Participation, ORFG invited people to fill out an open and public survey about the intersection of open and equity to inform its work moving forward. (The survey remains open for those who wish to participate.)
In related news, PREreview announced it will partner with ORFG and Health Research Alliance (HRA) to develop Open Grant Reviewers, a mentoring and training program for early career grant reviewers founded on principles of equity, openness, and social justice. For more, see Beyond manuscript peer review. …”