Scholarly Kitchen: Connecting Sustainable Development, Publishing Ethics, and the North-South Divide (7)

16 February, 2022

Bryan Pearson makes an excellent point when he says, "APC waivers make sense for quality OA publications who do well from those who do pay. But it is the soft underbelly of OA equity, as journals published in LMIC countries have to cope with low fees AND waivers. Their development is stunted and renders them largely dependent on personal sacrifice (voluntary labour) of their editors."

The effect of this split between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries is essentially promoting what has been termed epistemic injustice. In the framework recently published by Bhakuni and Abimbola in their paper in The Lancet Global Health ( ), this contributes to the "credibility deficit" and leads to "interpretative marginalisation": "given the foreign-facing and dominant-group-facing production of both knowledge and development of interpretive tools [such as open access papers published in high-income country journals], local or marginalised groups have relatively few interpretive tools in circulation available to be used [since the economic burdens associated with OA in LMICs is much greater than in high-income countries].

How can we prevent Open Access leading to this kind of marginalisation of academic work in LMICs?

Chris Zielinski

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Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and