Documentation:Open UBC/OpenScholarship

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Open Scholarship is a broad and somewhat loose term that has emerged in response to a need to identify and speak to a growing number of open practices within academia. Open Access, Open Science, Open Data, and Open Education make up a sprawling landscape of interconnected approaches to and focuses on “openness”. With roots in democracy, equality, and social justice, all areas of Open Scholarship operate under the assumption that knowledge creation and dissemination should be understood as social practices. In this sense, “Open is a purposeful path towards connection and community,” and the values of inclusion, social impact, and participation are integral to the practice of open (Grush, 2014). In recent years, there has also been increased emphasis on open methods to advance the speed, sharing, and integrity of scientific discovery.

Open Access

The term Open Access was first clearly articulated in 2002 in the Budapest Open Access Initiative and in its simplest expression refers to academic research that is freely accessible “on the public internet” (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002) and available for the public to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to”(2002). Importantly, Open Access is a public good, based on the belief that the public, who largely funds education and research, should have broad and unfettered access to the knowledge being produced by the academy.  Since the Budapest Open Access Initiative, approaches to achieving Open Access have proliferated.

Today, multiple forms of Open Access - Green, Gold, Platinum etc. - provide researchers with a variety of paths and approaches that allow them to achieve varying degrees of openness. While the multiplicity of paths provides a necessary flexibility, it has also allowed various stakeholder groups - funders, publishers, governments, universities - to present and promote “lesser, degraded forms of open access” (Budapest Open Access Initiative 15, 2017) and frustrate attempts to truly transform scholarly publishing. In 2017, reflecting on the 15 year anniversary of the original declaration, the BOAI reiterated its foundational principles and acknowledged that further work would need to be done to “align incentives for scholars to share their work openly and ...lower costs related to Open Access publishing” (2017) if Open Access was to supplant traditional publishing methods. Today, this is where much of the work around Open Access is concentrated, not in articulating the public good of Open Access, but in developing strategies to make it the default method of academic knowledge dissemination. Finally, the values inherent in the Open Access movement continue to be influential and have come to form a set of foundational principles visible in all areas of Open Scholarship.

Open Research

Open Science and Open Data work together to further the reach of scientific research outputs. Open Science is a “movement which aims to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society” (LERU, 2018). It supports the scientific community and the advancement of scientific discovery by promoting transparency and in turn supporting reproducibility and credibility. Open Data focuses on making machine-readable datasets from a primary source accessible within the confines of privacy and cultural protocols.

Transparency is a core value in both Open Science and Open Data and refers to open sharing of data, research design, and materials, making it easier to reproduce the evidence derived from research (McKiernan, et al., 2016). Openness in the sciences also seeks to make research outputs comprehensible to a broader public providing the opportunity for scientific research to have applications in non-academic environments (Bartling & Friesike 2014).  The “citizen science movement” creates the opportunity for public participation in research and practical applications supporting the greater reach of scientific outputs.

Open Education

The literature defining Open Education has focused on teaching and learning practices and instructional resource development. Open Practice, as defined by Tom Woodward, is “a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities that make the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all the people involved” (Grush, M., 2014). Open Practice engages students in collaborative knowledge creation processes that are then openly shared through networked technologies to add to the information ecosystem. Instructors facilitate this kind of engagement by empowering students to assume the role of creators and peer mentors through opportunities to participate, evaluate, and share.

Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources made freely available through the public domain or open copyright licenses. They include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge (ARL, “Open Scholarship). OER creates accessible learning opportunities on a large scale by eliminating cost barriers to educational resources and providing opportunities to use, reuse, adopt, and adapt resources for sustainable use in classrooms.  

Values of Open Scholarship

While there are a variety of objectives associated with the different aspects of OS, there are also commonly held values that operate across the different areas.  Some of these values are more prevalent in specific OS areas (e.g. transparency and reproducibility in Open Science); however, the core values of participation, community building, and free and unrestricted access to research outputs are fundamental to all facets of OS.  The following is a list of values held by OS found within the literature:

Open Scholarship Values.jpg


  1. Association of Research Libraries. (n.d.). Open Scholarship. Retrieved from
  2. Bartling, S., Friesike, S., Opening science the evolving guide on how the internet is changing research, collaboration and scholarly publishing. Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00025-1
  3. Chan et. al. (2012). Budapest open access initiative (2002)., 3(2) doi:10.4403/
  4. LERU. (2018). Open Science and its role in universities: A roadmap for cultural change. Retrieved from:
  5. Grush, M. (2014, November 12). Open Pedagogy: Connection, Community, and Transparency. Retrieved from
  6. McKiernan, E., Bourne, P., Brown, C., Buck, S., Kenall, A., Lin, J., Yarkoni, T. (2016). How open science helps researchers succeed. Elife, 5 doi:10.7554/eLife.16800
  7. Plutchak, T. (2018, December 20). OSI Brief: What do we mean by "open"? Retrieved from
  8. PraxisUnico, ARMA and AURIL. (2012). PraxisUnico, ARMA and AURIL issue joint statement supporting open-access publishing of research data.  Retrieved from
  9. Tennet, J. et al. (2018). Foundation for Open Scholarship Strategy Development. Retrieved from
  11. Veletsianos, G., & Kimmons, R. (2012). Assumptions and challenges of open scholarship.International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(4), 166-189. doi:10.19173/irrodl.v13i4.1313