Researchers adapting to open access journal publishing: the case of the University of Cape Town

  • Reggie Raju University of Cape Town Libraries University of Cape Town
  • Jill Classeen UCT Libraries UCT
  • Elizabeth Moll UCT Libraries UCT
Keywords: Open access, open access publishing, article processing charges, social justice, scholarly communication, University of Cape Town


This paper reports on the contribution of the openness movement to the changing mode of distributing scholarly literature. It is argued that the University of Cape Town (UCT), a leading research university on the African continent with relatively high research output, has a social justice obligation to distribute freely its scholarly research to the widest audience possible. Contributing to this social justice obligation through the sharing of research output via open access (OA) platforms are the university’s progressive OA policy and activities to ensure roll-out of the policy as well as its commitments to support article processing charges (APCs) and follow the global trend with regard to OA publishing. The authors, using a case study design, report that these factors have contributed to UCT’s researchers adapting to publishing their journal articles on OA platforms. The investigation concludes that, in an era of fiscal constraints, the visibility of research is important to source funding and to meet the institution’s social justice obligation; and therefore adapting to new publishing trends is an imperative for UCT researchers.


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