Would Plan S disadvantage researchers in the Global South?

6 June, 2019

Below are extracts from an article and interview with Arianna Becerril-García, Chair of AmeliCA (hat tip to Margaret Winker, WAME). Full text here: https://poynder.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-oa-interviews-arianna-becerril....

... As Chair of AmeliCA, Becerril-García has become a vocal critic of Plan S – the European OA initiative announced last year by a group of funders that call themselves cOAlition S. While AmeliCA shares cOAlition S’s goal of achieving universal open access, says Becerril-García, it fears that, as currently conceived, Plan S would disadvantage researchers in the Global South and exclude them further from the international scholarly publishing system...

A move to an OA system almost exclusively based on pay-to-publish (which Plan S seems likely to lead to), says Becerril-García, would see researchers in the South struggling to find the money to pay the article-processing charges (APCs) needed to publish their work in international journals. One problem would be replaced by another...

What is needed, she says, is to build a “collaborative, non-commercial, sustainable and non-subordinated” system in which control is removed from commercial publishers and handed back to the academy.

... she would like to see the funders provide money for “non-APC journals, academic open access platforms, technologies to support scholarly publishing, repositories and other scholarly communication tools.”...

All of which leaves us with what Becerril-García calls the “million-dollar question”: is it possible to build a global system of scholarly communication able to meet the needs of everyone, and on a fair and equitable basis? My suspicion is that this is unlikely to prove possible for so long as the Global North remains so deeply wedded to the principles of neoliberalism...

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Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

http://www.hifa.org/working-groups/access-health-research

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org