May 21, 2022

New White Paper Explores How the Transition to Open Access Could Be Made More Equitable for the Global South

From the STM Association and the International Center for the Study of Research (Elsevier):

The Research4Life initiative has expanded in scope since 2002 to provide free or very low-cost access to the current research literature in over 10,000 registered institutions ineligible countries, helping address research inequalities from the readership side.

Given an increasing focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a global transition in scholarly publishing models towards Open Access, a newly published white paper: ‘Achieving an equitable transition to open access for researchers in lower and middle-income countries’ examines how the playing field can be levelled from the authorship side also, permitting knowledge production in lower and middle-income countries (LMICs) to find a wider audience.

Published as part of the ICSR Perspectives series. The short report has been authored by Andrea Powell STM’s Outreach Director and Publisher Coordinator for Research4Life, Rob Johnson Director of Research Consulting and Rachel Herbert Senior Research Evaluation Manager at Elsevier.

It summarises that in 2018, 75% of all publications from authors in Research4Life countrieswere still published under a subscription model. It also notes that while Gold OA is the most frequently utilised model, the current lack of funding and poor understanding of article publication charge (APC) waivers were both barriers to a wider adoption of OA within the Global South.

Direct to Full Text White Paper
12 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.