Open for Climate Justice

This year’s theme for Open Access Week is “Open for Climate Justice.” Yale Climate Connections assigns three key factors to climate justice:

  1. Climate justice begins with recognizing key groups are differently affected by climate change. While climate change is happening to everyone on the planet, some communities are more impacted than others. In addition, those most impacted by climate change generally have a small carbon output, specifically children and people in developing countries. 
  2. Climate impacts can exacerbate inequitable social conditions. More people are becoming “climate refugees,” including the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe of Louisiana who were forced to leave their home on Isles de Jean Charles due to rising sea levels and people who have left their homes in California and other Western states due to the increasing number of forest fires. Uprooting your life is an expensive and stressful situation that few people willingly undertake, but with additional factors like natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, many people do not have a choice. Climate refugees have to find new housing, jobs, and support structures. They may have difficulty selling their flood-prone homes or may rely on buyout programs that only pay a fraction of what the owners need to find a new home. For those who are able to stay in their climate change impacted homes, they may no longer have access to the stores, people, and resources that left with the climate refugees, or have to pay higher insurance premiums.
  3. Momentum is building for climate justice solutions. People of all walks of life are banding together to fight climate change. From climate pledges made by countries to grassroot groups and protests, people are highlighting the need for everyone to get involved to curb the effects of climate change. 

So what does Open Access have to do with climate justice? Everything. Everyone is impacted by climate change, so everyone should be able to freely access and contribute to the best scientific research. Iowa Research Online has gathered a collection of theses, articles, books, conference proceedings, and more that focus on climate change. You can find that collection here. Through reading, sharing, and discussing issues, we can make navigate climate change together.

Finding Open Access Materials

There are many reasons you may want to find Open Access materials – easy collaboration and access, you just like the spirit of Open Access publishing, or more. Here are a few ways you can find what you’re looking for: 

When searching InfoHawk+ you can filter results specifically for Open Access materials (a lot of library catalogs have this feature!).

You may also find Open Access materials scattered throughout your results, marked with the orange Open Access symbol

Check out the Engineering Library Division of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Open Textbooks for Engineering. These resources are broken down by discipline. The Directory of Open Access Journals can also be a helpful resource to find accessible journals. 

Institutional repositories are another great place to look for resources. Iowa Research Online is a collection of over 100,000 research papers, theses, dissertations, books, conference presentations, and more, written by University of Iowa. If you’ve submitted a thesis as part of your work here at the University of Iowa, you may find your own work on there! 


Open Science

Open Science takes the principles of Open Access and applies them to the scientific process. Researchers working in the Open Science framework actively share their data, tools, results, and more. Going further, Open Science seeks to include and learn from groups that have traditionally been excluded from the publishing process. 

The six principles of open science are:

  • Open Methodology – Publicly sharing processes, procedures, and materials in detail so that others can analyze and reproduce your experiments faithfully.
  • Open Source – Developing and sharing open source software, making tools for recording and analyzing data more accessible. 
  • Open Data – Sharing your results allowing for reanalysis and comparison by others.
  • Open Access – Publishing your findings in ways that are accessible to the most people (i.e. not behind a paywall).
  • Open Peer Review – A review process with a wider community of reviewers, review reports published alongside the article, and known identities of those reviewers.
  • Open Educational Resources – Freely accessible teaching, learning, and research materials. 

Keeping data, tools, and results open means that others can freely reanalyze and recreate studies, which will either reinforce or question the results, meaning the science gets better. 

Open Science elements from the 2021 UNESCO presentation on Open Science

Celebrate Open Access Week!

This week we’ll be highlighting Open Access on the blog in celebration of Open Access Week!  Let’s start with the basics, what is Open Access? From our Scholarly Publishing LibGuide, “Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of learning materials, research, and creative work.” Open Access helps to remove barriers to people who are traditionally kept out of academic circles, making research more accessible and equal. The traditional publishing model places a lot of valuable research behind a paywall. As a student, you can go right through many of these paywalls because of the access granted to you by the University of Iowa, but for the majority of people, these resources are out of reach. Open Access takes down those paywalls, and with more people having more access to more information, more research and collaboration happen, which means science, math, art, and every other discipline improves. The University of Iowa Libraries supports Open Access through negotiating transformative agreements and publishing discounts, and other open access agreements. Your professors may also publish their own works in Open Access! Follow along this week as we explore Open Access, Open Science, and how it impacts you.

Open Education Resources and the 5 R’s

One of the best kept secrets of education are Open Educational Resources. The University of Iowa’s adopted definition is: “Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses)” These can be videos, images, and audio recordings that can be used to enhance your teaching. You may already be using them – like TED Talks, or images from Flickr! 

OER make teaching accessible, but you aren’t limited to using resources in the way they are found. Because of their public domain or creative copyright licenses, users are able to use them for the 5 R’s: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute. From the UI LibGuide on OER these are defined as:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

By contributing your remixed work to OER resources, you can help further the cycle of Open Access. What are some ways you have used OER? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for following along for our celebration of Open Access Week. We hope you have learned something that will help you to further your learning, research, and life. If you have any questions about Open Access, don’t hesitate to  reach out. You can find us through our contact page.

Open Science

In 2019, UNESCO created their Recommendation on Open Science, a set of guidelines to help encourage collaboration across national boarders, language barriers, and institutional divides. Open Science advocates for Open Access, but widens the scope to include Open Data, Research, Evaluation, Policies, and Tools. 

A taxonomy of Open Science from the Foster Open Science initiative (click to see in detail!)

Open Science leads to more collaborative and democratic discoveries. Institutions that lack funding may not be able to access the expensive databases that can be the only point of access for important papers and other resources. Removing hurdles is good for everyone! By following Open Science guidelines, publishing in Open Access journals, and making their processes widely available, scientists can ensure that their results are accurate by making their tests easily reproducible. Expanded access means more diverse worldviews are contributing to the science. Learn more about the development of Open Science with the resources below!

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. Available: 

UNESCO. (2019). Preliminary study of the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a UNESCO recommendation on Open Science. 40th Session of UNESCO General Conference, Paris. Available:  

UNESCO Director-General. (2020). Preliminary report on the first draft of the Recommendation on Open Science. Available:  


Library to Help You Publish for FREE in Open Access

UI corresponding authors can now publish their journal articles Open Access and free of cost to them with 8 different publishers! The University Libraries have entered into “transformative agreements” covering the cost if you want your article to be open access. 

  • American Chemical Society(ACS): UI corresponding authors can publish open access in any ACS journals without a fee. Under this agreement, UI authors can publish 34 articles per year OA, it is part of a first come pool and not unlimited. 
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): Any UI corresponding author can publish open access in ACM journals with no fee. The publisher’s website contains additional information 
  • Cambridge University Press (CUP): There will be no charge for UI corresponding authors who publish open access in CUP’s gold (40 titles) and hybrid journals (330 titles). See CUP’s announcement for more details. 
  • Cogitatio Press: UI corresponding authors can publish in Cogitatio’s four journals without a cost. This announcement provides more detail. 
  • Microbiology Society: Articles published in this society’s journals will be OA by default for UI corresponding authors. 
  • PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology: UI corresponding authors can publish in these two PLOS journals with no fee. PLOS’ announcement provides more detail. 
  • Royal Society: No-fee OA publishing in the society’s nine journals for UI corresponding authors. Royal Society’s read and publish page contains more information. 
  • The Electrochemical Society (ECS): UI authors can publish open access in ECS journals free of charge.

This will not only broaden access to UI articles, but will meet the requirement of some granting agencies to publish OA without embargo. These articles can be immediately read by anyone, anywhere, without the paywalls that traditionally accompany academic journals. 

Learn More at:

These programs are only for new papers/articles. It is not retroactive to previously published   

If you have any questions, please contact Kari Kozak ( 

ORCiD and Open Access

What is ORCID and why does it matter to Open Access? 

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a personal identifier that helps to make sure that work gets attributed to the correct person. To learn more about ORCID and to get started with your own, visit ORCID @ The University of Iowa.

What does this have to do with Open Access?

ORCID is founded on principles of open access and works to build networks between researchers through expanding access. They back this up in practice, since their own software is open access. 

Have you ever started searching for an article by searching an author’s name only to find in the results that there are multiple authors by the same name, or can’t tell if the author of two papers is the same person because their associated institution has changed? By creating unique searchable ID’s for researchers, ORCID helps overcome both of these problems. If properly maintained, ORCID records can also be full lists of work that a researcher has done. If you can’t access a paper because it is behind a paywall, check the author’s ORCID! You may find they wrote a similar paper that is published in an open access journal.

Want even more information? Watch this short video for more explanation. If you are ready to get started, use the UI ORCID Planter tool to claim your ID today! 

Celebrate Open Access Week with us!

Happy Open Access Week! 

What is Open Access? 

According to UNESCO, Open Access is “free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone.” The hope of Open Access is that increased access to research will lead to more collaborative projects and that the removal barriers will create a more equitable research environment.

We’ll be putting up mini blogs every day, so check in here to learn about ORCID, Open Educational Resources, and more. Also follow along on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you don’t miss anything!


Works Cited:

What is Open Access? | UNESCO