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Open Access Week: Start Here

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is an international social justice movement that advocates making scholarly research, post-secondary textbooks, and teaching materials freely available to all, regardless of socioeconomic standing, and usually with no copyright or licensing restrictions.

It is about unlocking the doors to knowledge and sharing research results with everyone. Furthermore, funding agencies such as NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR support the movement by requiring grant recipients to ensure that the research is made publicly available within one year of publication.

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Open Access and Copyright

While Open Access works are available at no cost, it doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with them. Creators may place restrictions on allowed usage of their works by adopting one of the available Creative Commons licences. 

Creative Commons (CC) licences help authors control how others use their work, and are easy to understand. Each allows copying and sharing as long as the creator receives credit, plus additional permissions or limitations.

Creative Commons licences Examples of online works
  • CC-BY: You may share and adapt the work. (Most accommodating)
  • CC-BY-SA: You may share and adapt the work, but adaptations must be under the same licence. (Wikipedia)
  • CC-BY-ND: You may share the work, but only in whole.
  • CC-BY-NC: You may share and adapt the work, but only for non-commercial purposes.
  • CC-BY-NC-SA: You may share and adapt the work, but only for non-commercial purposes, and adaptations must be under the same licence.
  • CC-BY-NC-ND: You may share the work, but only in whole, and only for non-commercial purposes. (Most restrictive)
  • Online journal articles
  • Scholarly e-books
  • Images & photos
  • Charts, tables, & figures
  • Videos & audio
  • Lesson plans & rubrics
  • Digital images & photos
  • News reporting
  • Industry & government reports
  • Professional & non-professional blogs
  • Collaborative projects like wikis

(Adapted from Centennial College Copyright LibGuide,

Open Education Community of Practice

Are you interested in or curious about open education and open educational resources (OERs)? Would you like to connect with other like-minded individuals? Come together for the first meeting of Centennial’s Open Education Community of Practice. Whether you are completely new to open education or you have already embraced the open movement, all are welcome! Bring a friend! We will learn, share, curate, and create together! Let's champion open education and OERs at Centennial!

What’s the time commitment? Come to the first meeting to discover the various opportunities, but you can participate at a level that works for you (from an occasional learner, to an active contributor, to a thought leader!).

Are you interested in joining this community of practice, but can’t make the first meeting? Don’t worry, register anyway! We’ll connect with you and send you a recording of our first meeting.

Meeting Details:
Wednesday, October 21, 10-11am
Register with COLT

Open Access Databases

The library provides access to several open, peer-reviewed journals and databases!

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