Open Access Week
Organizers get ready to speak to students and researchers at Open Access Week in Estonia Photo credit: Henri Kirs/Tartu Ülikool

Every year, libraries around the world advocate for change by taking part in International Open Access (OA) Week, a global event established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, which is an opportunity to take action in making openness the default for research — to raise the visibility of scholarship, accelerate research, and turn breakthroughs into better lives.  

Universities, colleges, research institutes, funding agencies, libraries, and think tanks have all used OA Week as a platform to host faculty votes on campus OA policies, to present on the social and economic benefits of OA, to commit new funds in support of OA publication, and more.

The theme for this year’s 10th International Open Access Week, to be held October 23-29, will be “Open in order to…”.

This year’s theme is an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available. “Open in order to…” serves as a prompt to move beyond talking about openness in itself and focus on what openness enables—in an individual discipline, at a particular institution, or in a specific context; then to take action to realize these benefits.

Open in order to increase the impact of my scholarship. Open in order to enable more equitable participation in research. Open in order to improve public health. These are just a few examples of how this question can be answered.

This year’s Open Access Week will be held from October 23rd through the 29th; however, those celebrating the week are encouraged to schedule local events whenever is most suitable during the year and to utilize themes that are most effective locally.

This year’s theme of “Open in order to…” also recognizes the diverse contexts and communities within which the shift to Open Access is occurring and encourages specific discussion that will be most effective locally. We invite the community to help us translate this prompt into new languages at

Last year’s “Open in action” theme encouraged all stakeholders to take concrete steps to make their own work more openly available and encourage others to do the same — from posting pre-prints in a repository to pledging to educate colleagues about Open Access. The 2017 theme will help build on that emphasis on action by identifying the end goals Open Access can enable and encouraging individuals and institutions to take steps to achieve those goals.

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organizations across the world. The official hashtag of Open Access Week is #OAweek. We also invite the community to use the hashtag #OpenInOrderTo to start an online conversation about the benefits of an open system of communicating scholarship.

For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit

The EIFL Open Access programme encourages libraries across the EIFL network to take part in OA Week, and helps them prepare for this exciting global event.

For me, open access means providing an enabling environment for research to take place anywhere in the world without any barriers to scholarly information.

- Gloria Kadyamatimba, University Librarian at Chinhoyi University of Technology and EIFL-OA country coordinator in Zimbabwe



All EIFL partner countries host advocacy and awareness-raising workshops during Open Access Week.


Open Access Week is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) with advice from programme advisors. Open Access Programme Manager Iryna Kuchma is a member of the OA Week programme committee.