Becker Celebrates Open Access Week with Digital Commons@Becker Milestones

“Open in Action” is the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week, which begins October 24. Established by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and partners in the student community in 2008, International Open Access Week highlights the importance of making research and scholarly works more openly available, and how institutions, researchers, librarians, students, and others are making that happen.

Becker Library has been playing an active role in supporting the goals of open access since 2010 through our institutional repository for the School of Medicine – Digital Commons@Becker. With over 40 digital collections from more than a dozen departments and programs, Digital Commons@ Becker brings together a wide variety of openly available scholarly and research communications including peer-reviewed articles, capstones, research papers, poster presentations, newsletters, videos, and podcasts.

This past month, Digital Commons@Becker reached two significant milestones – 10,000 submissions and over 800,000 total downloads from users across 210 countries. In keeping with this year’s theme of “Open in Action”, one of the most heavily used collections is Open Access Publications. The collection contains peer-reviewed articles authored by Washington University School of Medicine faculty that have been published in open access journals or authorized by the publishers for open access availability.

A dedicated team of library staff led by Amy Suiter, Scholarly Publishing Librarian, and Angie Rosengarten, Evening and Weekend Supervisor, continuously updates Digital Commons@Becker, bringing in new collections as interest in highlighting and sharing research and scholarly works with the broadest possible audience continues to gain interest across campus. If you would like to learn more about how the library can help you create a Digital Commons@Becker collection, please contact Amy Suiter at

The library has created an extensive guide for anyone interested in learning more about Open Access and the resources currently available to the campus community. The Open Access guide is available at

International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. The event is celebrated by individuals, institutions and organizations across the world.  For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit