Open in order to… challenge inequality

The theme of International Open Access Week 2017 is “Open in order to…”

My response is open in order to challenge inequality, as many barriers exist to equitable participation in learning and research.

Some actions such as positive discrimination can increase diversity, but do little to address structural inequality.  Unless these approaches then transform systems from the inside, they can be little more than box-ticking quota exercises.

Examining the roots of inequality (a radical approach) allows barriers to be identified and tackled.  Such a strategy creates a more inclusive environment, and diversity increases as a result.

Removing paywalls from publicly-funded research ouputs is a good way to address systematic exclusion from access to research on the basis of ability to pay (often linked with operating within a higher education institution).

This Open Access Week, how can you contribute?

Read, think, learn


Make Wikipedia easier to verify, and more Open Access.  Take a closed/toll-access reference and add an open version to it.

  1. Go to and log in (create a free account if you don’t already have a Wikipedia account)Log in to
  2. You will be presented with a single citation and a single suggested open citation to add to the Wikipedia entry. Review citation and click Add link, or Skip
  3. Review the citation, and click Add link if the citation is a match (same document and legitimate source). If it’s not a match or you’re not sure, click Skip.

A quick, simple, and fun way to improve Wikipedia and access to OA research. Learn more at Celebrate Open Access Week by adding open citations to Wikipedia.

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