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ERIC Number: EJ861517
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1041-7915
Be Creative, Determined, and Wise: Open Library Publishing and the Global South
Baker, Matthew
Computers in Libraries, v29 n10 p6-10 Nov-Dec 2009
Libraries throughout the world are increasingly involved in the production of scholarly publications. Much of this has been thanks to the growth of open access (OA) publishing in all its forms, from peer-reviewed "gold" journals to "green" self-archiving, and electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) repositories. As a result, more and more of the world's scientific, medical, and scholarly research is freely available online. Libraries' quickly evolving capacity as OA publishers holds great promise for students, teachers, and researchers--not to mention farmers, entrepreneurs, and civil society groups--in developing regions of the world. The vast majority of research is still produced and used in a handful of economically powerful countries. This disparity of access to knowledge is slowly being corrected, at least in some disciplines, thanks in no small part to the work and advocacy of librarians. Although many of the challenges to OA library publishing apply in any context, there are some particular challenges faced by libraries in the Global South (areas also referred to as the Third World), not only in gaining full access to available resources but in participating more fully as "producers" of information and knowledge. Overcoming these challenges is an ethical imperative, enshrined in many a library mission statement, with profound consequences for freedom of thought and expression, democracy, and sustainable development. Libraries have already played a significant role in shaping the future of scholarly communication. Their capacity to lead the way into publishing's uncertain future is greater, and broader, than has generally been acknowledged so far. They have the history, the intellectual and practical skill sets, and the "big picture" perspectives needed to be instrumental in shaping the forms that publishing--scholarly and otherwise--takes in the years to come. As libraries continue to work on opening access to scientific and scholarly research, and as they assume more and more the roles, responsibilities, and capacities of publication, they are strategically placed to help significantly reduce the global digital information divide. There is much work to be done. By keeping the important ethical and social justice priorities of the OA movement at the heart of the evolving publication roles of libraries, librarians can bring the best instincts and practices of libraries to bear on this important issue. The author calls on librarians to be creative, determined, and wise in continuing to champion open publishing, for the Global South in particular, for the benefit and betterment of everyone.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A