Open Access Week 2023 (October 23-29) is an opportunity to join together, take action, and raise awareness around the importance of community control of knowledge sharing systems. This year’s theme is Community over Commercialization.
This theme encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not.
Chair of our OA Week planning committee, Richard White, has written a guest blog about the 2023 theme: What does the word “community” mean to you in the context of teaching and research?
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The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science highlights the need to prioritize community over commercialization in its calls for the prevention of “inequitable extraction of profit from publicly funded scientific activities” and support for “non-commercial publishing models and collaborative publishing models with no article processing charges.” By focusing on these areas, we can achieve the original vision outlined when open access was first defined: “an old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good.”
When commercial interests are prioritized over those of the communities that research seeks to serve, many concerning issues arise. Open Access Week provides an opportunity for individuals to discuss questions that are most relevant in their local context. These might include:
What is lost when a shrinking number of corporations control knowledge production rather than researchers themselves?
What is the cost of business models that entrench extreme levels of profit?
When does the collection and use of personal data begin to undermine academic freedom?
Can commercialization ever work in support of the public interest?
What options for using community-controlled infrastructure already exist that might better serve the interests of the research community and the public (such as preprint servers, repositories, and open publishing platforms)?
How can we shift the default toward using these community-minded options?
Open Access Australasia OA Week 2023 Committee: Chair, Richard White – Otago University, Ginny Barbour – Open Access Australasia, Lyndall Holstein – Massey University, Garth Smith – Waikato University, Marissa Cassin, Waikato University, Donna Coventry – Auckland University of Technology, Zachary Kendal – University of Melbourne, Janet Catterall – James Cook University, Arthur Smith CAUL, Sandra Fry – Open Access Australasia