South African responses to open access publishing : a survey of the research community

  • Allison Fullard Research Librarian Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of the Western Cape
Keywords: open access, scholarly publishing, journals, survey


Open access publishing offers wide benefits to the scholarly community and may also afford relief to financially embattled academic libraries. The progress of the open access model rests upon the acceptance and validation of open access journals and open archives or institutional repositories by the academic mainstream, particularly by publishing researchers. To what extent are the key actors in the South African research system aware of the advantages of open access? This article reports on the findings of a recent survey undertaken to assess the current awareness, concerns and depth of support for open access amongst local researchers, research managers and policy makers in South Africa. The study focuses on issues of quality, article or author charges and the established academic reward system. It concludes that within the prevailing framework, there is little prospect that academics would choose to publish within open access journals. Recommendations for advocacy by the library community are proposed.


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