Open Access Week at Grand Valley State University

Open GVSU Symposium

Join the Grand Valley State University Libraries to celebrate International Open Access Week 2019, October 21-27, at the Open GVSU Symposium.

Date: Thursday, October 24 
Time: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. / Remarks at 2:45 p.m.
Location: LIB 030, Allendale Campus
Please register in Sprout to attend

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to:  

  • Explore how Open Knowledge intersects with issues like sustainability, equity, and public health.
  • Learn about Grand Valley initiatives focused on openly-licensed textbooks, paywall-free academic publishing, and greater sharing of research data.
  • Share experiences encountering paywalls in research, exploring Open Access publishing, using Open Educational Resources in a class, or dealing with expensive commercial textbooks.
  • Connect with Grand Valley's Open champions, advocates, and supporters.
  • Discover ideas for using Open Access information and Open Educational Resources to enrich learning, work, communities, and the world

Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge. International Open Access Week, October 21-27, 2019. OpenGVSU Symposium, Mary Idema Pew Library - LIB 030, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., October 24, 2019.

Program Details

Round Table Discussions 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. and 2:10 - 2:40 p.m.

Table Topic

Discussion Presenters


Publishing for Whom? Open Access and New Scholarly Journals

Rob Rozema - English Department

Matthew Reidsma - University Libraries 

Open access can empower scholarly publications to reach expanded audiences and experiment with novel workflows. Join two journal-founding faculty for a conversation about pushing the boundaries of traditional journals for more equitable, innovative, and impactful scholarly publishing. 

Paying for Publishing: Intersections of Open Access and Sustainability

Demario Johnson & Haley Schaner - Office of Sustainability Practices

Cara Cadena - University Libraries

For GVSU and many other institutions, scholarly journal subscription prices are increasingly unsustainable. Does Open Access offer a solution to rising costs or simply a different sustainability challenge? Join us for a discussion about sustainability in libraries, universities, and academic publishing.

Privacy, Ethics and Open Knowledge

Sarah King - Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies

Annie Benefiel - University Libraries

Open Access scholarship raises new issues around privacy protection, and management of risk and harm in research and information sources involving people. Our conversations will explore the principles and strategies involved in minimizing harm in an open access world. 

Open for Health: Open Access and Healthcare Professionals

Sandra Spoelstra - Kirkhof College of Nursing

Barbara Harvey University Libraries

Roundtable will answer these three questions:
Why publish in Open Access? What is different about Open Access? How will Open Access benefit my scholarship?

Open for the Public: Access to Scholarly & Government Information

Star Swift - Seidman College of Business

Ashley Rosener - University Libraries

Join us for a discussion on examples and strategies on how to work with students to share information freely online as a public service.

Remarks 2:45 p.m.

Remarks will feature perspectives from Provost Maria Cimitile, Bopaiah Biddanda of Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, Eric-John Szczepaniak & Autumn Mueller of Student Senate, and Sarah Beaubien & Jeffrey Daniels of the University Libraries.

As part of the Open Access Week events, University Libraries conducted a short poll asking students about the cost of textbooks for the Fall 2019 semester.
A total for 412 students responded and a snapshot of their responses are below.

$330 is the average cost GVSU students spent on textbooks for the Fall 2019 semester 

78% of GVSU students said they skipped buying or renting a textbook due to high costs

95% of GVSU students who skipped buying a textbook were concerned about their grades in the course

56% of GVSU students would buy groceries or healthier food if they didn't have to spend money on textbooks

What is Open Access Week?

International Open Access Week 2019October 21 - 27, is a global event promoting access to knowledge, highlighting Open activities, and promoting actions that will help make more scholarly and educational materials freely available to teachers, learners, researchers, and the public.

To learn more visit the International Open Access Week website.

Open Access Explained

Open Access refers to:

  • scholarly work - articles, books, research data, multimedia, etc.
  • which is freely available online
  • which often has few or no restrictions on reuse

By removing financial and legal barriers, Open Access enables teachers, scholars, and learners to find academic information and to use that information to make new discoveries, create new works, and advance human knowledge.

The concepts of Open Educational Resources, Open Data, Open Source Software, and Open Research Practices share this core idea that Open means "free to use + permission to modify, share, or reuse," and allows more people to benefit from more information than ever before.

Open Access Explained! is a great overview of open access:  what it is, why it matters, and how it works.

Open in Action at GVSU


ScholarWorks@GVSU is an Open Access repository containing scholarly and creative works from the GVSU community. ScholarWorks provides a platform for departments to showcase exceptional student work, for faculty to share papers, research data, or other scholarly work, and for GVSU scholars to publish Open Access journals and textbooks. 

ScholarWorks content reaches readers all over the world. The items in ScholarWorks have been downloaded millions of times since 2008.

In this video, GVSU Faculty explain why they engage in Open practices.

Open Access Publishing

OA Publishing Grants

The Libraries' Open Access Publishing Support Fund helps GVSU faculty make their work Open Access, by covering the publication fees charged by some journals. 

In 2016, this fund enabled publication of 18 articles by 19 authors.  

A list of funded articles can be found in ScholarWorks, and more information on the fund is available on the Libraries' website.

Journal Publishing

Through ScholarWorks, the Libraries publish a dozen active journals managed and edited by GVSU faculty.  Our peer-reviewed faculty journals include:

The Grand Valley Journal of History is a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal, produced by students in the History Department.

Support for Open Educational Resources

A brand-new task force established by Student Senate and the University Academic Senate is investigating strategies to increase the use of Open and affordable course materials in GVSU courses.  Stay tuned in Fall 2018 for surveys on student and faculty textbook perspectives, and for the task force's report in late Winter 2019.

The OER Initiative is a cross-University collaboration which brings together services and resources to support faculty exploring, adopting, or creating OER.  Together, the University Libraries, Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence, Information Technology, and the Laker Store offer workshops and training sessions, consultations, grant funding, and other resources - like the Libraries' OER Guide, which is a great starting place for finding high-quality Open textbooks and course materials.

The Libraries publish a growing collection of faculty-created OER in ScholarWorks@GVSU, including Teaching Tools for instructors and Open Textbooks on topics in Mathematics, English, Writing, Engineering, Ecology, and Anthropology.  Other GVSU OER include the Mathematics Department's YouTube channel (nearly 2 million views from all over the world) and a business arbitration website and app with case studies and educational information.  

Go Open Michigan

GVSU is a proud supporter of #GoOpen Michigan, a statewide initiative to promote the use of OER in K-12 education.

Explore #GoOpen Michigan's growing collection of OER, curated by Michigan educators and aligned to Michigan curriculum standards, at

Take Action

Interested in learning more about Open Access?  Inspired to take action to help open up access to research and scholarly information, in your own work, your discipline, or across academia and society?    Here are some great places to get started:

  • Have a conversation with your department's liaison librarian about open access publishing and open educational resources in your discipline, or ask how you can retain your rights as an academic author when you publish research.  
  • Read the Very Brief Introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber, or his more detailed Overview.
  • Visit the SPARC website for detailed information about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, from one of the Open movement's leading organizations.
  • Explore  stories of impact shared by people who have benefited from scholarship found in Harvard's Open Access repository.
  • Explore the Open Textbook Library and OER Commons to find openly-licensed learning materials.
  • If you are a student, check out the Right to Research Coalition, which advocates for access to research for all students.
  • If you are a researcher, explore the question Why Open Research?.
  • Install the Open Access Button browser extension to encourage scholars to share open versions of their work whenever you run into a paywall. 
  • Visit the Open Access Week Action Portal for specific commitments you can make to support Open Access.

The Open for Whom? graphic is adapted from, designed by SPARC, and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.