International Open Access Week 2022

What is open access week?

International open access week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of open access, and to help inspire wider participation in the open access movement. The aim is to make open access a new norm in scholarship and research.

What is open access?

Open access refers to free and unrestricted access to literature. In other words, making your research available open access means your research is available online with no cost to the reader, and is free of most licencing restrictions.

Open access is part of the open research movement. Open research, or ‘open science’ as it is also known, includes openness throughout the research cycle. To learn more about the open research movement, head to our open research guide. Open access is arguably the most well-known strand of open research. This is partly due to many reasearch funders requiring research outputs to be made available for free to maximise the benefits of the research. Open access is also a requirement for submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Jisc 2019 

Open for climate justice

“Open for climate justice” is this year’s theme for International Open Access Week, with their website stating:

“This year’s focus on Climate Justice seeks to encourage connection and collaboration among the climate movement and the international open community. Sharing knowledge is a human right, and tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.”

Climate justice is something of great importance at Essex, and in December 2020 the University declared a climate and ecological emergency. We therefore see supporting the crucial work of this year’s Open Access Week as one of the key reasons open access continues to become ever more important. Read more about this year’s theme on the International Open Access Week website.

Where can I learn more about open access?

We’ve created a range of resources that you can use to learn more about open access.

  • Open Research guide
    Head to our website and take a look at our open research guide. This guide includes pages on the open research movement, open access specifically, guidance on publishing open access with no additional costs, and links to some great open access resources.
  • Open access publishing page
    This webpage explains different ways in which you can publish your work open access, whether that be via the repository, in an open access journal, or a hybrid journal. It also contains up to date information about our read and publish agreements, and explains the steps you need to follow if your research funder requires open access publication.
  • The open access jargon buster – explained
    The open access jargon buster is a great resource created by Sarah Humphreys at the Bodleian Social Sciences library. Using this model, we have created a short video that explains the ins and outs of the open access publishing process, and helps to shed a light on some of the terminology used throughout.
  • The puzzling hunt for open access
    If you are new to open access, or if you’d like a fun refresher, a great place to start is our Puzzling Hunt for Open Access, created by Hannah Crago. In this puzzle-based online tutorial, based on the Open Access Escape Room created by Katrine Sundsbo, the villain has locked down all research at Essex! Through solving a range of puzzles, it’s your job to unlock all research again. Think you have what it takes?! Have a go now, and compare your score to your friends’ and colleagues’!
  • Finding open access content for your reading lists
    If you are a lecturer, adding open access resources to your reading lists is a great way to ensure your students have access to all of the resources they need. Take a look at our website to find out more!

How can students get involved with open access?

If you’re a student, you can also publish your work open access. The Essex Student Journal is a diamond open access journal, meaning it’s free to publish in the journal, and all content is also free to read.

The Essex Student Journal is a multi-disciplinary journal that publishes essays, research papers, and case studies primarily written by undergraduate students at the University of Essex. These papers are then peer reviewed by PGR students at Essex. The Editor of the Essex Student Journal is also a current PGR student. In being run by students, for students, the Essex Student Journal gives students at Essex an insight into the world of scholarly publishing, providing invaluable experience early in their academic careers. In addition, as all published works are given DOIs, being published in the Essex Student Journal is a great addition to students’ CVs. More information about submission and how to become a peer reviewer can be found on our website, and you can also follow us on Twitter.

Where can I find More information?

If you have any questions about open access specifically, open research more generally, or anything else related to this post please do get in touch via


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