Achieving an Equitable Transition to Open Access for Researchers in Lower and Middle-Income Countries [ICSR Perspectives]
12 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020 Last revised: 16 Jul 2023
Date Written: June 11, 2020
The origins of this White Paper can be traced to a discussion started in mid-2019 between a number of scholarly publishers and the Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life. These interlocutors voiced concern that while the publishing and research communities in the developed world were making steady and positive progress towards universal Open Access based on a ‘pay to publish’ model, those same communities in the less developed lower and middle-income countries (often referred to as the “Global South”) were being excluded from these discussions. An informal Task Force of publishers and other interested parties was set up to explore ways in which a transition to Open Access could be made more equitable, avoiding a situation in which the new model would simply shift the barrier from one place to another. The Task Force agreed that the first step towards addressing these challenges was to gather evidence about the progress already made towards Open Access in less advantaged regions, using the Research4Life country list as a proxy, and about the obstacles preventing it from progressing more rapidly. The International Centre for the Study of Research at Elsevier offered to carry out this analysis and to make the result widely available as a basis for further discussion and analysis. This paper presents those results and captures the conclusions from a workshop held at the 2020 Researcher to Reader Conference, at which the data formed the basis for debate over how to make an Open Access publishing system more equitable.
The Chinese language version is available here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3914547
Keywords: research4life, open access publishing, equitable, lmic, global south
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