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There is evidence which clearly indicates that Open Access (OA) has entered mainstream discourse. Open access can work in the immediate and short term in providing better access to the research literature, whilst some of the longer term consequences and effects are still emerging. But is this just for rich contries?

The old publishing system we have inherited from the 20th century, has marginalized research from developing countries. With Open Access there are new opportunities and possibilities and this gives also new hope for academic publishing in the developing world. Yet, in the developing world context there remain specific challenges and untapped opportunities for OA. The African Commons Project now has published a positioning paper on “Open Access and Development: Journals and beyond” (PDF). This report sets out to explore the current and potential uses of open access in the context of the developing world and how OA can be used to redress some of the imbalances, which currently exist within the traditional models of scholarly communication.

Note: If you want tp take part in the discussions on OA in the developing world aimed at world critical thinkers, activists and academics by the UNESCO’s Knowledge Communitiy, you can Register for the online discussions on the UNESCO’s WSIS Open Access Knowledge Communitiy Forum. The first debate with the topic “Production, publication and consumption of scholarly knowledge and OA.” will kick off on Tuesday, 27 November 2012.

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Christian Heise

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Research Associate at the Hybrid Publishing Lab and Member of Board of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, currently working on his Ph.D thesis about Open Science. More about me...

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