Open Access Week at Grand Valley State University

Opening Education: Open Access Week at GVSU

Grand Valley State University Student Senate and University Libraries are celebrating International Open Access Week, October 25 - 31, focusing on the theme of Opening Education: Open Access Week at GVSU. 

Lakers - Share Your Story!

Student Senate is gathering information on Lakers' experiences with traditional, commercially published textbooks and other course materials -- and we need your help!

Share your experiences in this brief online survey.

Events Around Campus

Barriers to Accessing Knowledge:
A Roundtable Discussion on Open Educational Resources
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
MPR Room 030 Mary Idema Pew Library
INT 100 and 201 Approved

Frustrated with textbook prices? Tired of hitting paywalls when looking for a journal article? Join the conversation with students, faculty, and staff at Barriers to Accessing Knowledge: A Roundtable Discussion on Open Educational Resources. Discuss barriers to scholarly information at GVSU with students, faculty, and staff, and brainstorm ways to advocate and promote increased use of affordable and open educational resources.


Open Educational Resources 101
Thursday, October 28, 2021
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center

Do you want to make textbooks cheaper? Join GVSU OER advocates and Student Senate to discover opportunities for student-driven change on campus. 

2021 Open Access Week Poster

“I am excited to explore OER resources in order to remove financial barriers for Grand Valley students.”

Bobbie Biby - Economics Department

Discover OER

We can identify Open Educational Resources that could replace your current textbook, be supplemental materials appropriate for your class, or combined into a new OER tailored to your course. Fill out our OER Curation Request form to start the process for OER curation and learn more about The Accelerating OER Initiative

How does it work? Tell us about your course and teaching needs The Curator will search OER directories for relevant materials You'll receive a list of potential OER to consider for your course.

New Funding for OER Projects

We’re excited to announce four new funding opportunities for faculty working with Open Educational Resources, as part of the Accelerating OER Initiative:

  • OER Review Awards – review an OER and share your review in the Open Textbook Library to receive a $200 honorarium
  • OER Development Minigrant – receive up to $500 to cover costs related to developing your own OER.
  • Remix/Revise Stipend –  receive a $1000 salary supplement to develop OER by combining or adapting existing materials.
  • Open Textbook Authoring Program – join a year-long cohort program beginning Winter 2022 to develop open textbooks from scratch.

Learn more and apply on the Accelerating OER Initiative webpage.

What is Open Access Week?

International Open Access Week 2021October 25 - 31, 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.

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

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

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. 

In the 2018-2019 academic year, a Student Senate and University Academic Senate task force investigated opportunities to increase the use of Open and affordable course materials in GVSU courses. You can read the task force's recommendations as well as an environmental scan of Open/Affordable initiatives at other universities in ScholarWorks@GVSU.

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 With Purpose graphic is adapted from, designed by SPARC, and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

The text on this page was produced by the Grand Valley State University Libraries and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) license. Please reuse and share!