monOApoly: a new board game about Open Access

CC-BY-NC-SA EPFL Library

CC-BY-NC-SA EPFL Library

As a researcher, do you know how not to get lost in the quest to publish an Open Access article? Discover monOApoly: a new board game about Open Access.


The EPFL Library has developed monOApoly, a new board game which aims to engage researchers with the main concepts of Open Access publishing. Through the use of playful learning, researchers will explore the different ways – the “colors” of Open Access - to achieve the compliance to institutional and funders’ policies. As the game reflects as closely as possible the reality of scientific publishing landscape, players will discover their options to get financial support to publish Open Access (transformative agreements, funders’ support and dedicated library funds), as well as the conditions to deposit articles in their institutional repositories.

A group of the EPFL Library team in the middle of a game session.

“On the occasion of the Open Science Summer School organized at EPFL in June 2022, the Library was asked to intervene on Open Access publishing. We immediately decided to accompany a theoretical intervention with a playful approach to sensitize researchers to the challenges of Open Access publishing. The EPFL library's training offer already addresses all aspects of scientific publication, including Open Access. But this time we aimed to focus specifically, in a relatively short game (40 minutes), on the possible ways to achieve compliance with the Open Access requirements that researchers must meet today. The monOApoly game deals with high level topics, such as transformative agreements with scientific publishers, library budgets devoted to support the Gold OA, or predatory journals, which are not particularly funny. But when you integrate these topics into a game, the theory becomes instantly more concrete”, explains Manon Velasco, one of the game creators.

An open-access game about Open Access

The game is published under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-SA) and is freely accessible online. Anyone interested can download and print the game components (board, cards, and instructions) from Infoscience, the EPFL institutional repository, and Zenodo. It is even possible to adapt the game to a particular institutional environment and to organize own game sessions by adapting the number of teams and players.

Don’t miss the opportunity to play with the monOApoly game during the Open Access Week 2022. Register now for one of the two sessions, scheduled on October 25th and October 27th on EPFL campus.