(8 Sept 2020) The Research4Life initiative has expanded in scope since 2002 to provide free or very low- cost access to the current research literature in over 10,000 registered institutions in eligible countries, helping address research inequalities from the readership side.
Given an increasing focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a global transition in scholarly publishing models towards Open Access, a newly published white paper: ‘Achieving an equitable transition to open access for researchers in lower and middle- income countries’ examines how the playing field can be levelled from the authorship side also, permitting knowledge production in lower and middle-income countries (LMICs) to find a wider audience.
Published as part of the ICSR Perspectives series, the short report has been authored by Andrea Powell STM’s Outreach Director and Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life, Rob Johnson Director of Research Consulting and Rachel Herbert Senior Research Evaluation Manager at Elsevier.
It summarises that in 2018, 75% of all publications from authors in Research4Life countries were still published under a subscription model. It also notes that while Gold OA is the most frequently utilised model, the current lack of funding and poor understanding of article publication charge (APC) waivers were both barriers to a wider adoption of OA within the Global South.
According to Andrea Powell from Research4Life, this timely ICSR Perspectives report examines the barriers to adoption of Open Access and considers the steps needed to ensure that a transition to OA does not inadvertently widen the knowledge gap between North and South. The analysis presented suggests practical ways in which researchers in LMICs can be supported in making the transition while also ensuring thsouth t the outcomes of this evolution are no less inclusive than the current model.
The original press release is here.