This week is International Open Access Week! This year’s theme, ‘It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity’, is closely aligned with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.

Open access is integral to Open science for data and publication outputs and affords greater discovery of peer-reviewed findings. In discussing open solutions, UNESCO pointed out the value and necessity of Open access in facilitating research and public information on COVID-19.

Open Access Week events

As part of Open Access Week, universities around Australia are hosting presentations to promote the free flow of academic research:

Find out more about these and other upcoming events on the OA Australasia site.

Griffith’s commitment to Open Access

In November 2020, Griffith University’s Research Committee endorsed an Open Research Statement:

‘Griffith University aims to make a major contribution to society through high quality, ground-breaking research. Griffith is making an explicit commitment to foster an Open Research culture within the University to help drive greater societal and economic impact from that research. Our research and scholarship will be accessible both within and beyond the academy so as to advance scientific knowledge and understanding, inform public debate, and provide access to the public who fund research through their taxes.’

This International Open Access Week, Griffith Research Online (GRO) is contributing to a global effort to improve the apparatus for equitable research access. GRO is a digital repository of research and scholarship from Griffith University which assists and supports the discovery and dissemination of Griffith research to the general public. The GRO team increases the impact and influence of Griffith research and scholarship by ensuring it is visible, discoverable and accessible via search engines like Google and discovery services like the National Library of Australia’s Trove. GRO works with Griffith researchers to allow readers without subscriptions to journal databases to discover and access unrestricted versions of publications.


Close up shot of a keyboard with a golden key sitting on its Enter key.

Source: Pixabay


GRO’s public accessibility allows research publications to be included in individuals’ efforts to inform themselves. For example, the GRO team noticed a trend in our usage statistics that reflected an elevated public concern and interest in research during the pandemic.

  • 40% of GRO records provide open access to published material and have been downloaded 23.5 million times collectively.
  • Access to GRO’s research content has exceeded the monthly average for 14 of the last 20 months.
  • GRO recorded more than 5.3 million downloads between April 2020 and October 2021; 730,270 more than the 20 months prior.

Griffith students, academics and researchers can see the broad trends in interest and access to research on GRO using simplified popularity metrics. The chronology of public interest and concern in the interactions with GRO content can also be seen; top queries reveal public research interest in ‘antiviral agents’, ‘nursing practice’, ‘supply chains’, ‘tourism’, ‘sport and sporting events’, ‘disaster recovery’, ‘global health data methodologies’, ‘mental health’, and ‘vaccine candidature’.

Searching Open Access resources

Griffith’s success in growing its open access scholarship has led to us being ranked 11th in Australia and 287th internationally for open access in the 2021 CWTS Leiden Ranking. Griffith students, academics and researchers can search for open access research at any time via the GRO website or conduct an Advanced search via the Library catalogue. To do this: click on the Library catalogue, select Advanced search, type in key words or phrases, select Open Access items only and then Search.

Open Access Week is a time for the wider community to coordinate to make openness the default for research and ensure equity is at the centre of this work. For more information about International Open Access Week, check out their website!