Climate Justice and Open Access: What’s the Connection?

Posted on: October 19, 2022

Tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries. Open access can help facilitate this necessary work!

“Open for Climate Justice” is the theme of this year’s International Open Access Week (October 24-30).

Climate justice acknowledges that the impacts of the climate crisis are not borne “equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” as the United Nations notes.

Open access (OA) refers to information that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Journals, books, databases, and other publications can be made open access. Learn more.

Why is OA important to JMU Libraries? We believe access to open, reliable, peer-reviewed information is an issue of justice (including climate justice!), and we want to be part of an ethical, equitable solution.

Here are five things you can do in honor of OA Week and in support of openness and climate justice:

  1. Participate in OA Week events: We’ve selected several online OA Week events (October 24-28).

  2. Learn more about climate justice by visiting Climate Justice: Toward More Resilient and Inclusive Futures For All, our virtual book display created in April 2022.

  3. Advocate for open access where you can: You can influence your discipline by advocating for open access when possible. For example, ask your scholarly society if there are plans to transition the society’s journals to open or check out these other ways of taking OA action.

  4. Publish your work in open access venues. JMU authors in any discipline can apply for funding to cover OA article processing charges. Some OA fees for JMU authors may already be eliminated or reduced through discounts offered by the Libraries’ memberships, subscriptions, and participation in the VIVA consortium. View our existing publisher agreements.

  5. Adopt an open textbook this spring: Learn how to find high-quality open textbooks that alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and allow you to share and customize materials for your course.

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