Established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week 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. (SPARC 2017)
Harvard Library is investing in open-access infrastructure and services that support equitable, sustainable models for scholarly communication and open knowledge. This year, the library will hold Open Access Month from October 25 through November 19 to optimize community engagement, encourage taking action to make openness the default for research, and to ensure that equity is at the center of this work. The month will feature a variety of live virtual events, talks, workshops, and asynchronous weekly blog posts on various open access topics and perspectives from members of the open community.
For nearly four centuries, our library’s mission has been to advance the learning, research, and pursuit of truth that are at the heart of Harvard. In years gone by, when collections were purely physical, there was a sense of wrapping our arms around amazing resources that we had amassed for scholars within our gates. Today, we see things a little differently. We’ve opened our arms to engage with researchers around the world, as well as our scholars on campus, as a major node in a global knowledge network. In fact, together with international communities of scholars and expert practitioners, we aim to be global leaders in expanding world knowledge and intellectual exploration. Working collaboratively, with equitable access in mind, is the key to realizing this lofty goal, for "it matters how we open knowledge," to quote the theme of this year's International Open Access Week.
It is less than a quarter of a century since the open access movement began, but its steady progress promises systemic change in our oldest institutions. Here at Harvard Library, we’ve been focused on three areas to support the cultural change required to ensure that research results of all kinds are shared as equitably, as rapidly, and with as few barriers as possible: influencing policy, delivering services, and developing infrastructure.
One of our current key priorities is modernizing our repository infrastructure, as participants in a global repository network that is critical for open scholarship. We are engaged in multiple efforts, both across Harvard and in collaboration with international partners, to connect content in various digital repositories, enhance support for scholarly workflows, and broaden access to scholarship worldwide.
For example, the Harvard Data Commons project is a collaboration between the Harvard Library, Harvard University IT, Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Research Computing, the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, and the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences to better integrate systems that support the lifecycle of research data. This project includes automating the process of archiving data from the Harvard Dataverse in the Library's digital preservation repository (the DRS).
An important component of this work will focus on employing emerging open standards to establish automated and durable links between publications in our open access repository (DASH) and related research data stored in Harvard Dataverse. This work is part of Harvard's contribution to an international collaboration called the Notify Project, led by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, which aims to facilitate links between repository resources and external services such as peer review.
These collaborations reflect Harvard Library’s commitment to partnering with the broader open access community to develop the global, distributed technology infrastructure needed to support more equitable, seamless, and accessible approaches to disseminating scholarship.
We look forward to engaging with you in Open Access Month and beyond!
— Martha Whitehead
Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian
and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Please join us online for Open Access Month at Harvard Library
October 25 – November 19
Register for Open Access Month Events
The text of this post is © 2021 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license