Open access: A bridge to public interest amid commercialisation
Open access (OA) in scholarly research has the potential to benefit the public interest significantly. It offers unrestricted, free access to research outputs. This allows individuals, irrespective of their financial status or institutional affiliation, to utilise this information for various purposes like innovation, policy making, and learning.
Examples of the positive impact of OA can be seen in a recent article published in the Curationis journal titled ‘Challenges of quality improvement in the healthcare of South Africa post-apartheid: A critical review’. The findings in this OA article showed the shortcomings in a national healthcare system, which allows the public, in turn, to hold the government accountable.
However, the goal of serving the public interest could potentially be undermined by commercialisation. When commercial interests are given priority, access to research outputs might be restricted by paywalls. This makes it challenging for those who need more resources to access vital information. Additionally, the direction of research might be influenced by commercial interests, focusing on more profitable areas rather than those of utmost importance to the public.
Therefore, while OA can play an essential role in promoting the public interest, it’s crucial to consider the potential negative impacts of commercialisation on the accessibility and direction of research. In the public interest, a balanced approach is needed between competition and access.
In reflecting on Open Access Week 2023 held between 23-29 October 2023, this year’s theme – ‘Community over Commercialisation’ – is particularly resonant. It encourages a candid conversation about the potential negative impacts of commercialisation on the accessibility and direction of research. It underscores the necessity for action to build community control over knowledge sharing, promoting equity and inclusion in academic and scientific research.
Join the conversation today and make a difference. Embrace the ‘Community over Commercialisation’ spirit by supporting OA in scholarly research. By doing so, you endorse free, unrestricted access to pivotal research outputs that can enrich education, inform policy-making, and drive innovation.
Consider contributing to our OA journals and publishing a OA book with us. Your work could unlock solutions to complex problems or inspire new ideas. We’re open to collaborate if you have plans for a new journal or to have your existing journal published by us. Our platform offers a transparent process for those looking to submit their research, making your work accessible to the world.
Remember, when knowledge is accessible, we all benefit. So, let’s put community interests before commercial ones and ensure that everyone, regardless of financial capacity or institutional affiliation, can access the information they need. Contact AOSIS today to learn more about how you can support and contribute to the OA movement. Together, we can shape a future where knowledge is free for all.
Some additional news releases you might find intriguing in observance of Open Access Week 2023:
- Community over commercialisation: Combating knowledge monopolies in scholarly publishing
- Knowledge for all: The rise and impact of open publishing platforms
AOSIS is a leading open-access publisher of scholarly journals and books. We are committed to promoting scholarly research and facilitating knowledge sharing through our high-quality, peer-reviewed publications.