Open Access

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There is amazing research and knowledge coming out of Africa – you just need to know where to look. Shutterstock

Here’s one way to recover and protect Africa’s ‘lost science’

African research is largely invisible, kept in the shadows by publishing barriers and structural obstacles. A platform built in Brazil and rolled out across the developing world could be the solution.
It’s one thing for a country’s academics to produce great research – but what’s the point if ordinary citizens can’t access it? Shutterstock

Why it’s getting harder to access free, quality academic research

South Africans' access to important knowledge and research is incredibly limited. In this time of Open Access, why is this the case – and will it ever change?
Open access allows users to download, copy, print and distribute works, without the need to ask for permission or to pay. Meredith Kahn/Flickr

Your Questions Answered on open access

To the mark the eighth annual Open Access Week, we asked our readers what they wanted to know about the initiative. Here are their questions with answers from our experts.
Data needs to be an open book if science is to be made more reliable. Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Science is best when the data is an open book

If we want the best possible research, it's not just the journal articles that ought to be openly available to all, but the data behind them as well.
A majority of academic research is still locked away from public eyes. Shutterstock

The battle for open access is far from over

We have the technology and the will to expand open access to publicly funded research, but large vested interests are still putting up stiff resistance.
Pay wall or no pay wall? Students study at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, one of the most advanced scientific libraries in Germany. Shutterstock

Open access is not free. Someone is doing the work. Someone is paying

Much of what's being said in support of open access publishing misses one key point: that is there is always a value chain and costs are incurred. Someone somewhere is paying for open access.
Academic publishers are attempting to build a walled garden around their content, blocking it off from public eyes. the.Firebottle/Flickr

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

A new policy by publisher Elsevier is threatening to wind back the gains made by the open access movement.
Another myth is that we all look like this. U.S. Army RDECOM/Flickr

Seven myths about scientists debunked

As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally…
Just make your access open, and do away with the silly wrapper. biblioteekje

Macmillan may now offer ‘free access’, but is it really open?

Earlier this week the publisher Macmillan announced (in somewhat breathless prose) that subscribers to 49 of its Nature journals would be able to share links to the full text of articles that would otherwise…
Sunlight is the best medicine. rishibando

What counts as an academic publication?

What is it that sets academic publications apart from articles on The Conversation? Peer review might be your first answer. While The Conversation is built around a journalistic model, there is a big growth…
The majority of edits to Wikipedia are done by volunteers. Flickr/mikeedesign

Paid editors on Wikipedia – should you be worried?

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people…
Open access, as long as you’re a scientist. Shepherd Zhou/EPA

Humanities left behind as China embraces open access science

Two large Chinese funding bodies for scientific research are promoting so-called “open access” to research outcomes, according to an article in Nature. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National…

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