Students for Open Access in Poland - success stories, lessons learnt from an EIFL-funded OA advocacy project

This case study contains key achievements, strategies, tactics and tools, success stories and lessons learnt from an EIFL-funded open access advocacy project in Poland

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Case Study
Katarzyna Rybicka
October 2014

In 2013 EIFL provided financial support to projects that implemented national and institutional open access (OA) advocacy campaigns to reach out to research communities and OA publishing initiatives.

Through small grants and support from their own institutions, the projects engaged in a wide variety of campaigns and activities, including holding workshops, creating websites, building institutional OA repositories, creating e-learning courses, and implementing OA publishing platforms.

The case studies resulting from the projects reveal impressive first-time achievements and will help increase the availability of research literature in developing and transition countries.

Learn more about the key achievements for this student OA campaign in Poland below. You can access the full case study (strategies, tactics and tools, success stories and lessons learnt) by clicking on the download button.


The project aimed to raise awareness of OA among students in Poland and launch an advocacy website. It was the first OA project targeting students in Poland.

The project was implemented by Centrum Cyfrowe, Fundacja Projekt: Polska in partnership with the following organizations: The Citizens of ScienceUniversity of Warsaw Library andPolish Culture Institute at Warsaw University.

Media partners included Tytul Ujednolicony and ( Students organizations included: Opener InitiativeStudent Scientific Group of Intellectual Property at the University of Warsaw, ( Libertas et Lex Scientific Group and Scientific Group of Library Science Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun.


  • The project consisted of a series of workshops and a promotional campaign focused on the student community – representatives of students councils, journalists from student media, student organizations working in the field of law and young researchers (PhD candidates).
  • Developed promotional materials on OA targeting students.
  • Launched an OA advocacy website.


June 2013 - March 2014.


  • OA advocacy website was launched: In collaboration with leading Polish OA advocates a website Free the Science ( was launched, which is a knowledge base on OA for students, librarians, researchers, and publishers. With the students' support a toolkit about the basics of OA in Polish has been created. It is a collection of materials which includes the following: a presentation on the most important issues of OA, a short animation movie, a brochure, posters, bookmarks and social media posters. All the materials are available under Creative Commons Attribution license, so that everyone can share and remix them to explain why OA is so essential for everyone.
  • Built a community of the most active students who drive the bottom-up decision-making processes at their universities. Over 50 graduate and undergraduate students – representatives of student leadership organizations and scientific groups – from universities all over the country took part in series of workshops. As a result, institutional OA advocacy groups have been established, e.g. Opener Initiative at Warsaw University - a scientific group promoting OA among students and researchers at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at Warsaw University. The project has successfully engaged undergraduate students and young researchers to collaborate with other students and academic librarians. The voice of students became more visible in the debate on scientific communication in Poland.
  • Launched a platform for OA monographs: To celebrate OA Week 2013, the OA monographs platform Open Science Library (Biblioteka Otwartej Nauki) was launched, which provides tools and a platform for publishing OA monographs. The platform currently has over 400 OA scholarly monographs and has been co-funded by the National Audiovisual Institute and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
  • International recognition: The project was short-listed to the final rounds of World Summit Youth Award and European Youth Award – an annual competitions for outstanding digital and social innovating solutions.
  • Read the case study containing key achievements, strategies, tactics and tools from this EIFL-funded project here.
  • Watch the animation developed during the project  ‘Open Access. Why Open Science?’ in English and in Polish.