Why Plan for Open Access?

RDI Network
September 2021
5 min read

Open access means that research publications are available to anyone and everyone. Open access aims to bridge the gap enhance accessibility to those where paying a fee for access (subscription, membership and/or association fees) is not an option.  
Open access means that resources are available throughout every stage of a project, including after completion. This is an important move forward, as often under-resourced regions are the ones that require these resources the most. 

  • Open access is everything
    If the research isn’t accessible, then who is going to see it? By having open access to research, it will allow for larger audience exposure. This means it will have a stronger influential power towards decision making and policies.  
  • Paywalls are another barrier for the Global South
    Small non-profit organisations located in the Global South are immensely isolated from access due to the academic paywalls. They are also faced with the barrier of publishing their own work on the sites, as they are unable to pay the fee. Many have minimal to no international funding for these avenues. Open access is the answer to these barriers.  
  • New initiatives for open access
    There are affordable alternatives that have started to present themselves. Many of these initiatives have been produced from the Global South to close this accessibility gap. In fact, Ethiopia has adjusted their policies to ensure open access availability for their research outputs. The Directory of Open Access Journals has free access and provides a voice to South produced journals, with almost half from this region. 


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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