Washington, DC – August 28, 2008 – SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), and Students for FreeCulture have jointly announced the first international Open Access Day. Building on the worldwide momentum toward Open Access to publicly funded research, Open Access Day will create a key opportunity for the higher education community and the general public to understand more clearly the opportunities of wider access and use of content.
Open Access Day will invite researchers, educators, librarians, students, and the public to participate in live, worldwide broadcasts of events. In North America, events will be held at 7:00 PM (Eastern) and 7:00 PM (Pacific) and feature appearances from:
Sir Richard Roberts, Ph.D., F.R.S. Joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993 for discovering split genes and RNA splicing, one of 26 Nobel Prize-winners to sign the Open Letter to U.S. Congress in support of taxpayer access to publicly funded research, and currently at New England Biolabs, USA. [7PM Eastern]
Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D., is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Computational Biology and the author of the popular PLoS Computational Biology Ten Simple Rules Series. He is Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California San Diego, Associate Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, Senior Advisor to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, an Adjunct Professor at the Burnham Institute, and Co-Founder of SciVee. [7PM Pacific]
Librarians and student organizers are invited to host meetings around the broadcast. To see a list of participating campuses and to sign up, visit the Open Access Day Web site. Additional international events will be announced shortly.
The event will also mark the launch of the new “Voices of Open Access Video Series.” Key members of the research community, including a teacher, librarian, researcher, student, patient advocate, and a funder, will speak on why they are committed to Open Access.
“The momentum behind Open Access to research has been accelerating for some time now, even before the mandates at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Harvard University,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC. “Events beyond the U.S. especially underscore the higher education community’s commitment to having the access they need. Open Access Day will provide a perfect way for folks to come together, consider, and celebrate the ramifications of the global shift we’re experiencing.”
“Open Access Day is a great opportunity to inform everyone on campus about the nature and importance of Open Access,” added Nelson Pavlosky, Co-Founder of Students for FreeCulture. “It’s really an issue that impacts everyone in the university, whether they are professors who
publish, students who research, or librarians who purchase journal subscriptions. Students for FreeCulture looks forward to working with SPARC and PLoS to inform our peers, as well as faculty, staff and administration, about how Open Access can help bring publishing into the
21st Century.”
“Making full use of the Internet to share and reuse content without restriction is pushing scientific communication into the future,” said Peter Jerram, CEO of PLoS. “Open Access Day acknowledges the enormous progress that’s been made towards comprehensive access to research. We are pleased to be partnering with the community on this special day. We
would ask our supporters to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the commencement of our publishing activities in October by participating.”
Open Access Day was inspired by the National Day of Action on February 15, 2007, led by Students for FreeCulture with support from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. This year, the same partners have joined forces with PLoS, the Open Access scientific and medical Web publisher. Open Access-supporting organizations are also invited to take part. For details, contact the organizers.
For details and to participate, visit