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Established by SPARC and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week is happening worldwide between 23 and 29 October 2017. The Theme of the 2017 International Open Access Week  is:

Open in order to…

  • Increase access to knowledge
  • Facilitate collaboration
  • Raise your research visibility

The Office of Scholarly Communication is preparing several events, blogs and announcements to mark this year’s theme.

OAWk Events


Improving Openness and Reproducibility of Scientific Research

A talk which is part of the Seminars on Quantitative Biology @ CRUK Cambridge Institute series.

Speaker: Dr Timothy Errington

Popping the Filter Bubble: How Facts Can Help You

So-called “fake news” is everywhere and is having a major impact on daily life from politics to education. The rapid growth of information and the numbers of people who can create it means that we need more sophisticated tools to process the news we receive. Join us to learn about different methods you can use to be your own fact checker and pop your filter bubble.

Further details and booking information: SOLD OUT


How to Spot a Predatory Publisher

As part of Open Access week 2017 the Office of Scholarly Communication is pleased to offer this popular course as a webinar for library staff.  

So-called predatory publishers regularly approach researchers via email to solicit manuscripts and conference papers. With the emphasis on publishing as a measure of academic success still strong it can be easy to give in to temptation and flattery but this can do more harm than good to a future career. This session will look at the problem of predatory publishers using case studies. Attendees will be given tips on how to spot a predatory publisher or conference and the best advice to offer if one of their researchers is approached.

Further details and registration:


Helping Researchers Publish in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Join us for a new addition to our series exploring resources to help with the process of publishing our research in HASS disciplines – from recording observations to peer review.

This session offers the chance to learn about available resources and options in publishing and reviewing, and ask questions of the experts. If you are already using these resources user support will be available.

Further details and booking information:​


Helping Researchers Publish in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Join us for the third in our series exploring resources to help with the process of publishing your research in STEM disciplines – from recording observations to editing to peer review.

This session offers the chance to learn about available tools and options in publishing and reviewing, and ask questions of the experts. If you are already using these resources user support will be available.

Further details and booking information:

OAWk Blogs

A series of blog posts on the OSC’s Unlocking Research blog will be announced throughout Open Access Week. We will be discussing a variety of topics, from how open Cambridge is to the challenges of advocating for open access while working with publishers.


"How open is Cambridge? 2017 edition" continues on from the tradition of last year, with Cambridge sharing an analysis of how our work is available above and beyond in the University repository, Apollo. You can compare and contrast (if you desire) with last year’s figures


"Open Research: Adventures from the frontline" is a brand new blog platform for Open Research at Cambridge that we are delighted to announce today! This platform will publish blogs and observations from the Open Research Pilot but also musings and findings from our research community.


"Choosing from a cornucopia: a digitisation project" discusses the decision making process the OSC underwent to ensure the BL digitisation project (see Wednesday announcements below) focused on those theses most likely to be used into the future.


"Flipping journals or filling pockets? Publisher manipulation of OA policies" considers what happens when a government changes its policies and invests significant amounts of money into the open access landscape. While most publishers have adapted their offerings to allow hybrid and permit researchers to make their work available, a notable few have created pricing structures that exploit the policy situation to their financial advantage.


"It’s hard getting a date (of publication)" considers the problem of establishing the publication date of a particular article. It is  'the earliest date that the final version-of-record is made available on the publisher’s website' - But is that the online date or the print issue date? We could go on… In fact we do!

OAWk Announcements

We have a number of exciting announcements to come throughout Open Access Week. Stay tuned to find out more about the winner of the 2017 OpenCon sponsorship and some big changes for the OSC.


"Properties of expanding Open Access"

The Office of Scholarly Communication is delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Hawking has given the University permission to make his thesis freely available and Open Access in Apollo. By making his PhD thesis open anyone in the world can now freely, and without any barriers, download and read this important piece of research by the world’s most recognisable scientist.

Professor Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis “Properties of expanding universes” ( is the most requested item in the University of Cambridge’s Open Access repository, Apollo. The Apollo record for Prof. Hawking’s thesis is regularly viewed over 300 times per month, and since May 2017 the University has received over 200 requests from interested readers who want to download Prof. Hawking’s thesis. You can also view this seminal work on the University of Cambridge Digital Library:

"Digital theses revolution at the University of Cambridge"

The University of Cambridge is now enabling wider dissemination of the unique research generated by the hundreds of PhD students who graduate each year.  In order to prevent the need to digitise theses into the future, from October 2017 onwards all PhD students graduating from the University of Cambridge will be required to deposit an electronic copy of their doctoral work for future preservation. Students will be able to keep their thesis under embargo for a period if required.


Open Access enables research by eliminating barriers between people and knowledge. PhD theses contain a vast trove of untapped and unique information just waiting to be used, but which is often locked away. The Board of Graduate Studies is facilitating improved access to the University’s internationally significant body of work, for the first time opening the digital borders to researchers from across the globe. Find out more here:


"Alumni Theses"

Cambridge is offering to support the digitisation of PhD theses for alumni who are prepared to make their PhD freely available on the University’s repository, Apollo.

A vast amount of research undertaken at Cambridge is locked up in PhD theses held in paper form in the Library. To help unlock this resource, the Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) is offering to cover the cost of digitisation of PhD theses for alumni who are prepared to make their PhD freely available on the University’s repository, Apollo

This is an opportunity for alumni to join luminaries  such as Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Lord Christopher Smith in making their PhD freely available. More information about this project is available here The Office of Scholarly Communication gratefully acknowledges the support of Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for this project.


"Boosting the thesis count"

The Office of Scholarly Communication is pleased to announce that 1,400 newly digitised theses will be shortly made available in the repository Apollo. These are works that were part of the large collection of University of Cambridge microfilmed theses held in physical form in the British Library. Now, thanks to a digitisation and deposit project due to conclude in November of this year, readers will be able to find and request copies of these works through the Apollo repository Find out more about how the theses were chosen from the full collection of 14,000 works in the British Library, read the blog (see above).

"Disseminating a new brand"

Our second announcement today involves the Office of Scholarly Communication’s brand. We have been closely working with Lihua Zhu of the University Library Digital Services team to develop a new and improved brand encompassing the OSC, the Open Access team, the Research Data Facility and the Theses Management team.

The universal padlock symbol for open access was a no-brainer, and coming up with a logo to represent the Research Data Facility we wanted to symbolise the sharing a reuse of data, with a joined up approach. There was much discussion over the thickness of the arrow lines! When brainstorming for a theme to tie together the whole under the banner of the OSC, we thought in much more abstract terms. A dandelion was chosen, representing the vast free dissemination of knowledge that the Office prides as a cornerstone of our mission. Such humble flowers can reach across great distances, as we hope to do with our message of free and open research for all.


"1 Million downloads for 2017"

What a week! On top of everything that is going on we are really (and we mean really) happy to announce that the University of Cambridge repository, Apollo has reached the 1 million download mark for 2017. In Open Access Week! Who would have guessed? It is partially thanks to all the people who have been accessing Professor Stephen Hawking’s theses since Monday’s announcement. With 2.2 million hits on the Hawking record alone and visits from more than 750,000 unique IPs, we have managed to reach the one million mark. Thanks everyone!


"ORCID winner announced!"

Thanks to all of the people who have responded to this competition. We have run the prize draw and are delighted to announce that Caroline Oedekoven of the Dept of Haematology has been successful in winning a £150 Heffer’s voucher. Happy reading!

ORCID Competitions 2017 in Cambridge

ORCID Competition, October 2017

We are delighted to announce that the lucky winner of the ORCID competition that took place between 16/10/2017 and 26/10/2017 is Miss Caroline Oedekoven, Department of Haematology.

ORCID Competition, November 2017

To keep the momentum going, the OSC has decided to run a second competition for those researchers who have already linked their accounts. It will also allow PhD students who did not have an Elements account during Open Access Week to take part.

The OSC will run the draw on Thursday 23 November2017 and notify the winner by email. Further details will appear soon.

Register for a free ORCID at and connect your ORCID to your Symplectic Elements profile.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to link your ORCID in Elements.

For further information regarding the competition, how to set up your ORCID, how to get an Elements account or how to link your ORCID in your Elements account, please contact (see below for Terms and Conditions of the competition)

Both competitions are supported by the Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

Terms and Conditions of ORCID competition (November 2017)

1. The competition is open to any member of the University of Cambridge community who has a Symplectic Elements profile.

2. To be eligible, the link between the entrant's ORCID and their Symplectic Elements profile must have occurred before 12.01am Monday 16 October 2017 and after 11.59pm Thursday 26 October 2017.

3. The winner will be chosen at random from identified linked accounts during the relevant period.

4. The winner will be notified by email.

5. The OSC will announce the winner on Friday 23 November through social media channels such as Twitter (@CamOpenAccess) and through this website.

6. The prize is a £150 voucher for Heffers bookshop.

7. No cash alternative will be available.

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