It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Open Access Week 2021

Open Access Week 2021 banner image







What is Open Access Week?

Open Access Week 2021 is from October 25th-31st. This annual international event is a week of advocacy and discussion focused on making research and scholarly productivity available to everyone without access barriers. Each year the week has a theme, and 2021’s theme is: It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity. The University Library invites the PSU community into conversation with each other and with the Library on the issues raised and addressed by open access and building structural equity in this work. Please read on to learn about some of the Library’s open access initiatives.

PSU’s Open Access Publication Policy

Portland State University is committed to providing the greatest possible reach and impact of the research produced by its faculty, staff, and students. The university recognizes the value of and supports university authors retaining the rights to their intellectual property, while encouraging them to make their works freely and widely available. The Open Access Publication Policy is intended to make scholarly articles, published in journals and conference proceedings, available to a wider public. 

To submit scholarly articles subject to Portland State University’s Open Access Policy to PDXScholar, visit the online Article Submission Form. If you have any questions about the form or about PDXScholar, please send an email to

Read more about the Policy details in Frequently Asked Questions

Publish with PSU Library

Our open access publishing program supports open, sustainable, and responsible models of scholarly communication and helps to create a more equitable and robust scholarly communications ecosystem.

Browse our list of open journals

Propose a new open journal title

Featured Open Access Publications

Not just during Open Access Week, but every day throughout the year, we strive to build structural equity because open knowledge matters!

Open Access Week is a time to celebrate the free exchange of ideas. We are excited to highlight outstanding PSU-produced work and showcase our digital collections that are available to researchers worldwide. We hope to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, facilitate the co-creation of original research, and support societal transformation.  

PDXScholar includes 30,000 PSU-produced articles, presentations, and other works. 

Communications in Information Literacy 

Launched in 2007, the Communications in Information Literacy (CIL) is an independently published, peer-reviewed, open access journal. It is open access in the purest sense (i.e., no Article Processing Charges). CIL publishes research, theory, and practice in the area of information literacy in higher education. Since 2017, when the Library started hosting the journal, CIL has had over 65,000 downloads.

Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)

The Library partnered with TREC in 2016 to preserve and distribute all of their Research Reports, Project Briefs, Friday Seminar Series presentations, and Webinar Series presentations into PDXScholar. The collection spans a wide range of topics including tools to assist low-income households, racial bias in driver yielding behavior at crosswalks, transportation behavior, effects of light-rail transit, improving walkability, enhancing bicycle safety, and bridge earthquake vulnerabilities.

In 2018, the collection was expanded to include datasets that support final research projects.

Racial and Gender Equity Collection

Now over one million downloads, the Racial and Gender Equity collection highlights issues of racial justice and gender equity and is designed to support people and organizations to interrupt institutionalized racism and sexism, helping to develop knowledge and skills to deepen diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Climate Justice Collection

With the goal of helping researchers find solutions to complex climate change problems and recognizing social justice and climate change are intertwined, this collection supports climate advocacy.

Coronavirus Disease Research – COVID-19

This collection showcases journal articles, preprints, and other publications and presentations about COVID-19. 

Guidebook Outlines Library Support for Open Access 

Librarians Karen Bjork and Jill Emery recently authored the Portland State University Library Open Access Guidebook. The guidebook provides you with information regarding open access scholarship and publishing opportunities facilitated by the University Library. Topics include

  • the University’s Open Access Publication Policy;
  • open access journal publishing opportunities, including those negotiated by the Library;
  • open access book publishing opportunities;
  • support for Article Processing Charges. 

Please refer to the Open Access Guidebook to learn more.

Declaration of Research Assessment

The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) challenges the status quo of evaluating quality and impact of scholarship. DORA was developed in 2012 by researchers and scientists involved with the American Society for Cell Biology at their Annual Meeting, and has since become a worldwide initiative to promote best practices in the ways outputs of research are evaluated. 

DORA’s intent is to move beyond research evaluation methods which are based on metrics and ideology steeped in historic inequalities. The primary themes are

  • eliminating the use of journal-based metrics in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
  • assessing research on its own merits, not where it is published; 
  • and capitalizing on the opportunities provided by online publication, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact.

To date, over 20,260 individuals and institutions in 148 countries have endorsed this call for change. We encourage faculty, graduate students, researchers, and scientists at Portland State University to become familiar with DORA. Critically reviewing the ways we evaluate research and scholarship at Portland State University will help us be more equitable and inclusive in our scholarly evaluation and dissemination practices.

Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations

The open access resource, Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations is a second in a series of antiracism toolkits provided by the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) and Toolkits for Equity in Scholarly Publishing project volunteers. 

The Toolkit helps organizations recognize inherent workplace racism and inequities, and provides a framework to address them. Using the toolkit allows organizations to better understand how institutional racism develops and is maintained. It also offers guidance for organizations to better support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff by modeling antiracist leadership, building structure around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) work, and creating policies and procedures that address inequities, disparities, and racist systems. 

Because the toolkit is licensed with a Creative Commons license, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, any department or school or individual at Portland State could customize this work to fit the University’s current climate and environment.

Growing ORCIDs at Portland State

What is an ORCID iD?

ORCID stands for “Open Researcher and Contributor ID,” and the “ORCID iD” is a service provided by the ORCID organization which provides a unique, persistent identifier free of charge to researchers. This identifier creates a quick link to your scholarship. For example, here is the ORCID record for Portland State faculty member Jill Emery, linked to her ORCID iD:

What are the benefits of having an ORCID iD? 

Have a common name? Or maybe you’ve changed your name or published under variations of your name? An ORCID iD disambiguates you from others, and makes it easy to identify your scholarship. Having an ORCID iD will significantly help other researchers and institutions identify you and your research. 

Having an ORCID means that this Emily Ford’s scholarship doesn’t get confused with this Emily Ford’s scholarship. 

Your publications and grants can connect to your ORCID record via the iD, making it a central location for your scholarly contributions. For example, if you have an eRACommons or login, you can connect it to your ORCID record. Once you’ve registered publications and grants are automatically added to your profile, making it easy to keep an up to date record. You can also manually add and edit entries. 

Many funding agencies require that PIs have ORCIDs already, and that is becoming more and more standard. Increasingly publishers like SpringerNature, PLOS, and the Royal Society of Chemistry are also requiring authors to have ORCID iD

Why does Portland State want more PSU authors to have ORCIDs? 

More ORCID iDs means more visibility not only for you, but for the scholarship of all of us here at Portland State. Using an ORCID iD helps reduce errors across campus in various reporting systems and increases the ability for cross system interoperability—this means that ORCID iDs help your department, the Library, and RGS track and manage the University’s scholarly outputs. 

Get your ORCID iD

Register for an iD, and start building your ORCID record! An easy way to promote your ORCID iD is to add it to your email signature.