Open Access: challenges and opportunities for Low- and Middle-Income Countries and the potential impact of UK policy
peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-07-07
"Key findings OA is seen to be of significant benefit to LMICs but there is uncertainty and confusion about what OA entails and tensions in the ways in which OA interacts with prestige, impact and recognition. • LMIC stakeholders believe they do and will benefit from OA, particularly insofar as it enables greater access to research. • OA is often conflated with issues related to broader research processes, and the obstacles researchers encounter when trying to get their work published. • In part this is related to confusion about the publishing process itself, and particularly research norms set in the Global North. • Publishing in a recognised, “international” journal is particularly important, and is part of “playing the game” of scholarly publishing and scientific recognition. At the same time there is a wish to see stronger LMIC publishing outlets and platforms which better meet the needs of their countries and regions....
Northern-published journals are important for LMIC researchers but the costs of publishing in them are unaffordable. • LMIC researchers and research institutions face a dual barrier: their access to research papers is limited, where subscription costs are unaffordable, and they struggle to afford the costs of APCs to publish in Gold or hybrid OA journals. • Well known Northern-published journals, or those which are part of recognised publisher brands, are important publishing outlets for LMIC researchers to reach peers internationally, and because they carry specific prestige. While it is not inevitable that this must continue, it represents an important concern for LMIC researchers for the foreseeable future. • Fee waivers can only ever be a short-term solution for LMICs, acting as a temporary fix to enable LMIC researchers to access Northern driven publishing systems, which do not work for LMIC research economies. • Making publishing affordable is likely to require a combination of more rapid transition towards free readership in LMICs, and a more accessible and comprehensive system to provide APC funding grants and fee waivers...."