Statement from Martha Whitehead Celebrating Open Access Week 2022

Harvard Library is proud to celebrate International Open Access Week. Established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week is an opportunity for academic and research communities around the globe to "inspire wider participation in helping to make open access the new norm in scholarship and research."

Our collective commitment to open is central to Harvard Library’s mission to advance the learning, research, and pursuit of the truth that are at the heart of Harvard, and our aspiration to be global leaders in expanding world knowledge and intellectual exploration. This commitment is embedded in our values as we endeavor to lead with curiosity, seek collaboration, embrace diverse perspectives, champion access, and aim for the extraordinary. We do not pursue open as an end in itself—open is only the beginning.

As we come together to celebrate this week, I am reflecting on the varieties of open we create, support, and maintain at Harvard Library. We create and invest in collections, content, and resources that carry open licenses, not only to provide unfettered access to these rich and illuminating materials, but to inspire new and transformative uses among those who seek and discover them. We support our communities of researchers as they leverage open-access policies and data management plans to share their scholarship as openly as possible, as a public good. We support our scholars, too, as they launch their own open-access journals, working together as partners who share a vision for knowledge equity.

Critically, we maintain these services, collections, and infrastructure as a collaborative, global endeavor.  We envision a robust network of open repositories that enables the sharing of research outputs by communities around the world. Indeed, our public commitment to open aligns with recent national initiatives to disseminate federally funded research outputs and data through open repositories so that all may benefit from free and immediate access to breakthroughs in science, technology, medicine, and more. 

Harvard Library has strengthened this commitment to open through key priorities to support equitable, sustainable models for open knowledge on a foundation of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism. We continue to modernize our repository infrastructure, for example, with the Harvard Data Commons project, a nascent effort with many partners at Harvard to automate the flow of data across systems to better enable researchers to open the full spectrum of their outputs regardless of format, discipline, or research method. A key element of this collaboration enhances connectivity between DASH, Harvard Dataverse, and the Library’s digital preservation repository (DRS). It is also contributing to the international COAR Notify Initiative, which aims to develop and accelerate community adoption of a standard, interoperable, and decentralized approach to linking research outputs hosted in the distributed network of repositories with external services such as overlay journals and open peer review services.

Join me this week in celebrating open at Harvard. Attend workshops and events across our community. Read interviews and Library blog posts about how our colleagues work each day to share Harvard's knowledge with the world. Explore all that open has to offer this and every week at Harvard.