Publishing in the Open: Exploring pathways for open access publishing

14 Sep 2016 - 13:30

On Tuesday 20 September at 13h00 (SAST) e/merge Africa will host a 1 hour online session with Associate Professors Laura Czerniewicz and Maha Bali of the University of Cape Town and the American University of Cairo respectively. There will also be an asynchronous discussion from 19-23 September. You can sign up here

Why publish in the open...
Scholars in the global south have a particular imperative to engage with open access publishing. While enabling access should be an ethical imperative, we scholars are often caught defining our own publishing practices by institutional requirements or by what we perceive to be beneficial judging from the work produced by those in the global north. 

But for how long? University library budgets for subscriptions to closed access journals are shrinking as journal packages have become unbundled.

Does open access mean equal access?
Just as all closed proprietary journals are not equal, nor are all open access journals the same. In an age of predatory publishing recognising which journals are legitimate is an additional skill for academics for whom online engagement is an essential part of professional identity. 

Choosing the right open access journal can improve the readership of your scholarly work by making it more accessible, which is especially important to scholars in the global south as CILT Director Associate Professor Czerniewicz highlights in the video below: 

So why aren't more scholars doing it?
University systems enforce a 'publish or perish' mindset where an economy of impact factors and citations is deeply entrenched. There are various pathways to open access publishing, which can be confusing and it is not always clear how to best benefit from the potential of open access while maintaining important standards of scholarly quality and becoming recognized as a serious scholar in one’s field. Open publishing is also not easily separated from the broader phenomenon of open scholarship.  Associate Professor Maha Bali of the American University in Cairo explains the distinction between open access publishing and open scholarship in the video below: 

She also shares her experiences and advice in this podcast:  

In the online session, Czerniewicz and Bali will review the “whys and wherefores” of open access publishing, and will engage in a conversation with one another and with participants who have questions and concerns. The event is free and anyone can join. Click here to sign up.