Conceptualizing, Financing and Infrastructuring: Perspectives on Open Access in and from Africa
- Author(s): Okune, Angela;
- Adebowale, Sulaiman;
- Gray, Eve;
- Mumo, Angela;
- Oniang'o, Ruth
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12632
In the 1970s and early 1980s, parastatal and independent indigenous publishing houses were established in capital cities across Africa, but these emerging operations and institutions were quickly undercut by structural adjustment programmes; African scholars had little alternative but to turn to organizations and publishing systems in Europe and North America. Unfortunately, contemporary scholarly publishing on the African continent remains largely dominated by Western corporate academic publishers. Even as the notion of open access has gained popularity, a growing body of scholarship indicates that the concept is in fact re‐entrenching the power of traditional academic publishers under a revised business model. This piece offers perspectives from African scholars and activists on the politics of open access, revealing different experiences of and imaginaries for open access in Africa. The piece is supplemented by data from the in‐depth discussion that informed it, which is published on an open‐source platform in an effort to invite readers to also lend their analytic perspectives and contribute towards iterative analysis and ongoing dialogue.