Electronic publishing has enabled the publisher of scholarly journals to offer an enhanced high quality product, but one that comes bundled with unsatisfactory conditions: high prices, inflexible terms and copyright obstacles that severely restrict the optimal flow and use of information. Dissatisfied with the terms and limitations of traditional journals, individuals, groups and organizations have opted to advance a different model of journal. The open access movement may be seen as part of a critical trend that seeks to break the stranglehold of commercial expropriation of information. Open access journals are freely available for reading, copying, and disseminating. With growing support from many different quarters, the challenger to the $3,5 billion publishing industry packs a potentially destabilising punch. This paper covers the rise of open access journals and examine the economics of the ‘author pays’ business model. Notwithstanding the appreciable benefits to readers, the impetus to overturn deeply entrenched traditions must also overcome significant barriers. These include the practice of the academic reward system, funding issues, perceptions about quality and integrity, as well as the fundamental problem of the digital divide. While the open access model also presents a serious threat to scholarly society publications, all initiatives to promote visibility of African journals should be explored.
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|Title of Paper:||The rise of open access journals: their viability, and their prospects for the African scholarly community|
|Keywords:||Publishing, Publication, Journal, Copyright, Open Access, Scholarly Communication|
|Relationship:||Presented at the CODESRIA Conference on electronic publishing and dissemination, 1st -2nd September 2004, Dakar, Senegal|
|File Size:||336 KB|
|Additional information:||Presented at the CODESRIA Conference on electronic publishing and dissemination,|
|Date Added:||14 February 2006|