Openness can be a powerful tool for building more equitable systems of sharing knowledge. Rebuilding research and scholarship to be open by default presents a unique opportunity to construct a foundation that is fundamentally more equitable. Yet today, structural racism, discrimination, and exclusion are present and persistent in places where openness is a core value. As a global community, it is important to understand that the systems and spaces of the present are often built upon legacies of historic injustice and that addressing these inequities is a necessity.
We need to examine who these spaces and systems are designed for, who is missing, who is excluded by the business models we use, and whose interests are prioritized. As we work together to rebuild these structures, we need to commit to moving from conversations to concrete commitments and to hold one another accountable for making real progress.
Building on our discussions in 2018 (“Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”) and 2019 (“Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”), 2020 marks the third consecutive year the theme for International Open Access Week will focus on the urgent need for action on equity and inclusion, underscoring the urgency of continuing to center this work.
International Open Access Week is a time for the wider community to coordinate in taking action to make openness the default for research and to ensure that equity is at the center of this work. This year's Open Access Week will be held from October 19th through the 25th; however, organizers are encouraged to host discussions and take action around this year’s theme whenever is most suitable during the year and to adapt the theme and activities to their local context. This is especially true for this year with the varying levels of disruption due to COVID-19.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion must be consistently prioritized year-round and integrated into the fabric of the open community, from how our infrastructure is built to how we organize community discussions to the governance structures we use. International Open Access Week is an important opportunity to catalyze new conversations, create connections across and between communities that can facilitate this co-design, and advance progress to build more equitable foundations for opening knowledge—discussions and actions that need to be continued, year in and year out.
This week is a great time to consider a better place for your work than unreliable academic social networks and repositories that have been purchased by publishers. Here is a selected list of new and upcoming disciplinary repositories that might be a great new home for making your work openly available and sharing it with the world.