Open access in Africa – green and gold, the impact factor, ‘mainstream’ and ‘local’ research –

Connotea: graysouth's bookmarks matching tag oa.new 2012-09-05

Summary:

Use the link to access the full text post introduced as follows: “I have been following the debate raging in the UK and beyond about whether the Finch Commission and the Research Councils UK  - and then the EC with a slightly different emphasis – were right in opting for support for the ‘gold route’ of open access publishing rather than prioritizing only the ‘green route’ of open access repositories. There seems to have been a general consensus in the commentaries that I have read that this will disadvantage the developing world, which will be faced with the barrier of high article processing fees and become increasingly excluded. The green route, through continuing creation of institutional repositories, would be better for us, we are told.  I don’t agree. The reasons are complex, but at heart this takes us back to the question of whether we are seeking access to or participation in the production of global literature. Which policy path would most effectively give voice to research from Africa, largely silenced in the current system? Access to world literature is also important, but is inadequate on its own, risking perpetuating a neo-colonial dispensation that casts the dominant North as the producer and the developing world as the consumer of knowledge.  I have come to think that the green/gold debate is in fact a distraction from dealing with more insidious issues in our research publishing systems. These include the dominance of journals at the expense of other forms of publication; the almost universal adoption of the ISI and its Impact Factor as the basis for recognition and reward; and, most insidious of all, the marginalization of great swathes of global research through the implementation of this commercialized ranking system.  Another related but under-recognised issue is the extent to which there is an assumption that scholarly publishing is a commercial business, built around profit creation. This has led to a free rider syndrome, allowing senior administrators to remain oblivious to the need to address support for research communication as a policy issue. In this regard, Finch sets a good precedent, in making it clear that getting beyond the issues that block effective research communication requires government investment.  Once the argument moves to discussion of what the impact of these new open access policies would be on the participation of the developing world, then the nature of the debate changes. I would argue that the either/or dichotomy between green and gold is in fact a distraction –  the wrong question, generating the wrong answers. Whether green or gold is not that relevant in the African context unless one understands the mechanisms of exclusion that consigns our research publications to the margins. Even then there is unlikely to be a clean either/or solution. What is important is an understanding of the contextual issues and the power dynamics that are at play...”

Link:

http://www.gray-area.co.za/2012/09/04/open-access-in-africa-%E2%80%93-green-and-gold-the-impact-factor-%E2%80%98mainstream%E2%80%99-and-%E2%80%98local%E2%80%99-research/

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com
Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » Connotea: graysouth's bookmarks matching tag oa.new

Tags:

oa.new oa.gold oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.government oa.mandates oa.green oa.uk oa.impact oa.prestige oa.funders oa.africa oa.profits oa.jif oa.rcuk oa.recommendations oa.rankings oa.world_bank oa.debates oa.finch_report oa.imf oa.europe oa.repositories oa.policies oa.journals oa.metrics oa.south

Authors:

graysouth

Date tagged:

09/05/2012, 04:44

Date published:

09/05/2012, 08:04