Is Open Access only for rich countries? Take part in the online discussion

26 November 2012

You are invited to take part in an online discussion on Open Access (OA) from the perspective of the developing world. 

Open Access

There is compelling evidence which indicates that Open Access (OA) has finally entered mainstream discourse. Yet, in the developing world context there remain specific challenges and untapped opportunities for OA. This series of discussions aimed at developing world critical thinkers, activists and academics, seeks to explore insights and articulate opinion on OA in the developing world.

Funded by DFID, through IDS Knowledge Services "Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D)" programme, and managed through The African Commons Project in South Africa and the Centre for Internet and Society in India, the discussion will be hosted on UNESCO’s WSIS Open Access Community Forum.

Open Access and Development: journals and beyond is a report prepared to inform this dialogue. It highlights the risks posed to all scholarly communications, discourse and practices by the publish-or-perish system, and indicates that in the developing world, the detriments are potentially much deeper and more damaging. As researchers are incentivised to publish in overseas-based journals - mostly unavailable in many developing world contexts - this research ‘brain-drain’ risks widening the gap between research and policy.

The first debate will kick off on Tuesday, 27 November 2012.

Programme for the online dialogue

TOPIC: Production, publication and consumption of scholarly knowledge and OA.

This will focus on the greater concern of scholarly research in the developing country context debating the questions:

  • What does OA imply and offer the developing world in terms of production, publication and consumption of academic materials and research activities?
  • What are the specific challenges and opportunities for access to knowledge in developing countries?

Within this topic the following sub-themes will be introduced:

Sub-theme 1: Considering the issues of 'translation' of research for development impact; co-production and increasing access to academic materials; and the importance of OA in producing and sharing of non-state-supported educational materials;

Sub-theme 2: OA in academia and the search for global prestige; the perverse impact of metrics and rankings; scholarly knowledge production; and sharing and consumption challenges in developing countries.

We will keep you posted about the second debate which will take place early in January 2013.

In the meantime you are also encouraged to tweet about the discussions using hashtag #developoa or follow the Open Access debates on Facebook.