Last week (23–29 October) saw researchers, scientists and publication professionals from across the globe take part in the 10th annual International Open Access Week, with discussions taking place online (#openaccessweek) and through a series of local meetings. This year’s theme, “#OpenInOrderTo…”, aimed to move conversations from the principles of open access to considering “what openness enables”. Topics included the potential of open access to increase the visibility of research, encourage collaboration, increase participation in research, and improve public health. Researchers also shared their own ideas and examples of the meaning of “open in order to” online. One particularly notable highlight of the week was Professor Stephen Hawking permitting Cambridge University to make his ground-breaking 1966 PhD thesis freely available, prompting 2 million downloads and the website that hosted it to crash, as this article from BBC news reports.
Figshare also published their annual report, The State of Open Data 2017, to coincide with Open Access Week. Survey results included in the report indicate that, in contrast to findings of another recent survey, researchers may be becoming increasingly aware of open data and more willing to both share their data and use open data sets in their own research.