Demystifying Open Access

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The UTFA Librarians Committee, with the support of the Membership Committee, is hosting an event about Open Access (OA) on Tuesday May 16, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. 

The event will include a panel and Q&A and will be followed by an early evening reception with refreshments.

The goal of the event is to introduce the U of T community to OA, connect the community to OA experts on and off campus, and to foster a discussion at the event that extends beyond the evening. It will be of particular interest to UTFA members currently working on grant applications. 

Please RSVP to as space is limited.


Graeme Slaght, Copyright Outreach Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries

Graeme Slaght is the Copyright Outreach Librarian in the Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office at the University of Toronto Libraries. In this role, Graeme works closely with faculty, students and staff to both respect and take full advantage of their rights as authors, users and stewards of intellectual property. He leads the Zero to Cost Courses Program, which aims to make course readings more affordable and accessible to students.

Among other work related to open access and scholarly publishing, Graeme is currently the project manager for the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work’s Sophie Lucyk Virtual Library, a donor-funded open access initiative to increase the impact of the Faculty’s research output.

As a member of UTFA’s Librarians Committee, Graeme looks forward to leading an informative examination of the complex terrain of open access for the benefit of UTFA members.


Kelsey Merkley (née Wiens), Public Lead, Creative Commons Canada

Kelsey Merkley will discuss the work of Creative Commons Canada and her role in OA advocation for 6 years.

Kelsey is the recently-appointed Public Lead for Creative Commons Canada. Creative Commons is the global standard for legal sharing, used on over 1.1 billion works, with communities in over 100 countries. Kelsey has expertise in Open Educational Resources (OER), policymaking to support open collaboration and innovation, open business models, intellectual property law, and community building.

Kelsey is an open innovation practitioner. Kelsey spent 7 years working on open projects in Africa, living and working in Cape Town. Before returning to Canada in 2016 she managed pan-African projects with an open education focus, including the Pan-African Open Advocate Program #openafrica, Kumusha Bus stops, and Africa Toolkits. She is the founder of Open Textbooks for Africa, a project designed to support the adaption and adoption of Open Textbooks for universities across Africa. Previous projects include working with Siyavula the first CC licensed open textbook endorsed by a Board of Education globally, the Creative Commons Library Certificate Program, Nolwazi, WikiAfrica, University of Cape Town IP Unit, City of Cape Town Open Data Project, UNICEF Innovation Unit, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. She hosted the first African Open Textbook Summit in Cape Town, and CC's Institute for Open Leadership.

Kelsey was named one of South Africa’s brightest young minds by Mail & Guardian and was a speaker at 2015 TEDxCapeTown, on designing for trust.

Steven Hermans, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Manager

Steven will extend recommendations and considerations for incorporating an open access budget line into grant proposals.

Steven Hermans is the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Manager in the Faculty of Arts and Science. He advises FAS researchers through the development of research programs and projects, the identification and selection of funding opportunities and the preparation of grant proposals.

Dr. Rachel Harding, Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto

Dr. Harding will discuss emerging open publishing models. She will touch on traditional publishing models as well as preprints/self-archiving and data repositories, including information on her project with an open notebook.

Dr. Harding completed her PhD at the University of Oxford and now works as a postdoctoral fellow supervised by Professor Cheryl Arrowsmith at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), University of Toronto. Dr Harding's research focuses on Huntington’s disease (HD), in particular, trying to understand how the underlying genetic mutation translates to the phenotype seen in patients using structural biology methods. Since February 2016, Dr Harding has been keeping an open lab notebook for her HD lab project through the blog and the data repository Zenodo. By sharing data widely and more quickly than is normally done in biomedical science, Dr Harding hopes to catalyze research on this disease.

Stephanie Orfano, Acting Head, Copyright and Scholarly Communications, U of T Libraries and Mariya Maistrovskaya, Institutional Repositories Librarian, U of T Libraries

Stephanie Orfano and Mariya Maistrovskaya will discuss work on TSpace and OA initiatives in the library, the importance of OA, how to assess which OA journals are “worth” publishing in, and their involvement in other current U of T OA initiatives.

Mariya Maistrovskaya is an Institutional Repositories Librarian at the Information Technology Services (ITS) of the University of Toronto Libraries. She joined the ITS team in 2015 to manage a suite of institutional repositories, including TSpace research repository, Journal Production Services, and MyMedia streaming service. As a strong open access advocate, Mariya has made it a priority to create and promote services and resources that help faculty understand, use, and benefit from this movement.

Stephanie Orfano is currently the Acting Head of the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office at the University of Toronto Libraries. Stephanie collaborates with faculty, staff and students on issues related to publishing, copyright, licensing and permissions, and the many paths to open scholarship. She oversees the University of Toronto Libraries’ Syllabus Service and Zero to Low Cost Courses program, which provides an avenue to affordable readings for students at the U of T. She is currently working with colleagues to support Open Educational Resources on campus.

Leslie Chan, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Arts, Culture, and Media and Associate Director, Centre for Critical Development Studies, U of T Scarborough

Prof. Chan will discuss OA from a global perspective.

Leslie Chan is an early practitioner in the use of the Web for learning, knowledge exchange and partnership building, Leslie is particularly interested in the roles of network openness and control in the flow of knowledge and their impact on local and international development. Since 2001, Leslie has been directing Bioline International, a collaborative platform based in CRIA Brazil for open access distribution of research journals from close to twenty developing countries. The goal is to better understand the design, structural and policy barriers that impede knowledge production and exchange in a global context. Leslie also co-founded the Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook (OASIS) and the Global Open Access Map. He is the Principal Investigator of the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network, funded by the IDRC in Canada and DFID in the UK.


This event is mobile chair accessible. Additional accessibility information is available on the U of T ACE webpage for the room. If you have any questions or requests around accessibility please contact us at

Date and time: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Location: ​
Claude T. Bissell Building, Room 205
140 St. George St.
Toronto ON