Students for open access in Poland

This project helped to set up a network of student open access advocates in Poland and launch an advocacy website

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Students reading documents at a workshop in Poland.
Students at an open access workshop in Poland. The goal of the project was to build an internal capacity of student organizations and connect them with OA advocates in Poland.



Open access (OA) is gaining popularity among Polish researchers, but it has not yet been promoted well among students. Students can benefit from OA on many levels and can see improvements in their academic work quality when OA is practised.


The Students for Open Access in Poland project aimed to raise awareness of OA among students and launch an advocacy website. It was the first OA project targeting students in Poland.

The project was implemented by Centrum Cyfrowe, Fundacja Projekt: Polska in partnership with the following organizations: The Citizens of Science, University of Warsaw Library and Polish Culture Institute at Warsaw University.

Media partners included Tytul Ujednolicony and Students' organizations included: Opener Initiative, Student Scientific Group of Intellectual Property at the University of Warsaw, Libertas et Lex Scientific Group and Scientific Group of Library Science Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun.


  • The project consisted of a series of workshops and a promotional campaign focused on the student community – representatives of students councils, journalists from student media, student organizations working in the field of law and young researchers (PhD candidates).
  • Developed promotional materials on OA targeting students.
  • Launched an OA advocacy website.


June 2013 - March 2014.


  • OA advocacy website was launched: In collaboration with leading Polish OA advocates, the website, Free the Science (, was launched. The website provides a knowledge base on OA for students, librarians, researchers, and publishers. With the students' support, a toolkit about the basics of OA in Polish was created. The toolkit is a collection of materials which includes the following: a presentation on the most important issues of OA, a short animation movie, a brochure, posters, bookmarks and social media posters. All the materials are available under Creative Commons Attribution licence, so that everyone can share and remix them to explain why OA is so essential for everyone.

  • Built a community of the most active students who drive the bottom-up decision-making processes at their universities. Over 50 graduate and undergraduate students – representatives of student leadership organizations and scientific groups – from universities all over the country took part in series of workshops. As a result, institutional OA advocacy groups were established, for example, the Opener Initiative at Warsaw University, which is a scientific group promoting OA among students and researchers at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at Warsaw University. The project successfully engaged undergraduate students and young researchers to collaborate with other students and academic librarians. Students voices have begun being heard in debates around scientific communication in Poland.

  • Launched a platform for OA monographs: To celebrate OA Week 2013, the OA monographs platform Open Science Library (Biblioteka Otwartej Nauki) was launched, which provides tools and a platform for publishing OA monographs. The platform currently has over 400 OA scholarly monographs. It was co-funded by the National Audiovisual Institute and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

  • International recognition: The project was short-listed to the final rounds of the World Summit Youth Award and European Youth Award – annual competitions for outstanding digital solutions and social innovation.


  • 'Training the trainers for Open Access (OA) and Open Science' was a follow-up project supported by FOSTER (Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research) and implemented in October 2014-May 2015.
  • 10 OA trainers were trained during workshops hosted by Centrum Cyfrowe in October 2014 in Warsaw. Trainers discussed and created scripts for running OA workshops for different academic groups (all of them are available online and ready to use under Creative Commons licence).
  • All of the trainers organized OA workshops in their universities/libraries in 2015.  
  • EIFL is continuing to support OA, open research data  and open science in Poland through the FOSTER (Facilitating Open Science Training for European Research) and OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) projects.

Find out more

Read success stories and lessons learnt in our case study about the project, Students for OA in Poland.


Our experience shows that students and scientists are willing to share their knowledge, you only need to create favorable conditions in order to make it more visible.
Klaudia Grabowska, project coordinator, Open Science Library