Presentation Open Access

Global open access to scholarly literature: Progress and evidence of African leadership

Cameron Neylon

A talk given for the Academy of Sciences of South Africa Open Access Week program on October 20, 2020.

There is accumulating evidence of large-scale global progress towards open access, with most current estimates placing the proportion of scholarly content that is freely available to read at around 50%. This progress has been accompanied with significant debate on the most efficient, most affordable, and most equitable routes towards a goal of 100%. Relatively little attention has been paid to how different regions and countries are achieving open access and the different routes they are taking. In this talk I will discuss global progress, and evidence that far from following that progress, many African institutions are leading it, with measured open access levels amongst the highest in the world. What are the policy implications for scholarly communications from Africa and how can we build greater visibility for African research on a global scale?

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