IDS and Open Access

How we are Supporting Open Access to Research

At IDS we are committed to making knowledge available, accessible and relevant to those who can use it to bring about positive change. Open Access to research provides an exciting and challenging opportunity to support our vision of research knowledge driving positive social and economic development.

What is Open Access and how is IDS responding to it?

Open Access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. To support Open Access at IDS our flagship publication, the IDS Bulletin, is available to freely download and published under Creative Commons licence. Another key commitment is the development and improvement of OpenDocs, our digital repository.

IDS will continue to bring the views of developing country researchers, librarians, university administrators, knowledge intermediaries and policymakers to the forefront of the debate on Open Access. We will continue work around the broader aspects of access including supporting capacity development of knowledge intermediaries, information literacy training, and integrating research uptake activities into research projects.

Our publications strategy

The majority of IDS publications are freely downloadable – research reports, working papers, policy briefs, and other outputs, and made available through OpenDocs. This repository not only includes work from the IDS Research Community (by IDS Fellows and partner research centres and consortia) but also 2,000 publications digitised on behalf of research institutes in developing countries.

OpenDocs offers a powerful platform for making research available to all free of charge, as well as provision of specialist advice for authors, promotion of the resource, and monitoring uptake of publications included within it.

We are also making efforts to publish as much of our material under a Creative Commons licence as possible.

IDS Knowledge and Communications for Development

IDS is committed to the open agenda. Fundamentally our work is based on the principle that decision-making and practice will ultimately be more effective where it demands, and is informed by, good quality, contextually relevant evidence.

In breaking down technological barriers we aim to increase the availability of research evidence and present diverse perspectives on development issues.

We work in partnership, through networks and consortia, to bring together a diversity of engaged stakeholders to co-create, share, mobilise and evaluate the impact of this evidence.

To achieve this, we apply a range of knowledge exchange approaches to the design and delivery of research programmes and share learning to strengthen the development research sector to do the same. We believe that effective knowledge exchange can be achieved if you combine three main ingredients:

  • Open, equitable accessibilty and visibility of research and knowledge products;
  • Increased ability and capacity of stakeholders to share, use and apply open knowledge;
  • Increased demand for and use of research knowledge by decision-makers.

Journals, books and multimedia

Journal articles from IDS may occasionally be available as Open Access, dependent on the author's contract with their journal publisher and the funding available.

IDS’ institutional Open Access Policy, launched in October 2015, advocates the use of gold Open Access publishing for IDS members where possible. Where the gold route is not feasible IDS supports deposit of works into institutional repositories under green Open Access.

This Policy covers publication in peer-reviewed journals, books, and book chapters, conference proceedings, grey literature and other media such as photographs, video and audio material, and website content. It emphasises that Creative Commons licences are encouraged and should be applied after due consideration for the specific piece to which they attach.

The IDS Bulletin

Since 1968 the IDS Bulletin has been an integral part of IDS’ research uptake and engagement strategy, covering the major themes and influencing debates within international development. Each thematic issue is edited by IDS Research Fellow(s), drawing on contributions from within IDS and its global network of partners and collaborators.

This Open Access journal is published under a Creative Commons licence, with both new and archive content freely available. It is supported by robust editorial and peer review processes with an Editorial Steering Group made up of IDS Research Fellows from its key research areas, plus an external advisory body to provide oversight. Issue Editors are drawn from across the IDS community, including partners in the global south, with a small in-house editorial team undertaking production and digital publication.

We welcome feedback on our approach to Open Access

IDS would welcome feedback on our approach to Open Access publishing. We are actively seeking ways to both engage with this crucial debate and share experiences and learning as we move forwards.

Email your feedback to Alison Norwood.