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In celebration of International Open Access Week, UK Libraries hosted a free, drop-in event in the lobby of William T. Young Library on Wednesday, Oct. 25. 

The event provided an opportunity for UK students, faculty, and staff to meet their open access librarians and learn about UK Libraries’ open access resources while enjoying free snacks and hot apple cider. 

Open access materials – including articles, books, and datasets – are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. UK Libraries provides a number of open access resources to help our users reduce student costs, find research data, and make scholarship and research outputs available to global audiences. 

Open Educational Resources

UK Libraries can help instructors across the university find, adopt, and create open educational resources (OER) – shareable, revisable class materials that can include textbooks, articles, podcasts, videos, and more. Free for anyone to use, OER are crucial to providing more equitable access to higher education by eliminating the prohibitive costs of traditional commercial textbooks.

To help reduce student costs and promote the adoption and use of open educational resources, UK Libraries has piloted the Alternative Textbook Grant Program. Every year, the program awards grants to up to 10 faculty members who propose using open textbooks, free course content, and other UK Libraries-licensed information for their courses. Since its launch in 2016, the program has impacted thousands of students, leveraging just over $100,000 in grant funds into over $1.5 million in student savings. 

For more information on open educational resources, contact Affordable Course Content Librarian Stephen Krueger at, or visit our Affordable Course Content page. 

Open Data Resources

UK Libraries is dedicated to helping students and researchers access open data resources for use in their projects. Open data is data that is free, openly accessible, and usable by anyone for any purpose. Our librarians provide discipline-specific strategies to help you determine your data needs, locate and evaluate relevant datasets, and develop search strategies to find the right data for your research.

Along with finding datasets and data sources, our librarians can help users plan projects, develop data management workflows, and preserve and share their data. We provide research data management support to users across all disciplines and at every stage of the research data lifecycle. 

For more information on finding, managing, and sharing research data, contact Research Data Librarian Isaac Wink at, or visit our Managing Your Research Data page.

UKnowledge & Open Access Publishing

UK’s open access institutional repository, UKnowledge, makes research from all disciplines freely available to a global audience. The repository stores, organizes, and provides open and stable access to scholarship, data, and creative works generated by the UK community, including theses, dissertations, journals, open textbooks, conference proceedings, research data, and more. Since its establishment in 2011, the institutional repository has grown to more than 47,000 research outputs, which users have downloaded more than 14.5 million times. 

The open access licensing of UKnowledge’s resources not only benefits the public by providing high-quality research at no cost, but also helps researchers by increasing the impact and reach of their work. UK Libraries mints digital object identifiers (DOIs) for research made available through UKnowledge and provides usage and engagement statistics so that users can track its impact throughout its lifecycle. 

For more information on UKnowledge and open access publishing, contact UKnowledge Library Specialist Kyle Bachman-Johnson at, or visit our Publishing & Impact page.