Asia Open Access Survey: A Report on Publication Accessibility

Asia’s presence in science has become prominent with the increasing investment in research and development. This advancement has equally increased the scientific publication output. China is already leading the way as one of the most prolific countries in Asia as well in the world in terms of research output. While open access (OA) movement has gained acceptance and is evolving rapidly in Europe and the United States, Asian countries too have started implementing policies and began supporting the mandates to promote OA publishing. However, the acceptance level in Asian regions varies with government policies and jurisdictions. Recently, a report was published by Asia OA, a forum hosted by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). The report analyzed the status of OA publishing in sixteen countries in Asia.

Key Findings from the Report

  1. All regions involved in the survey were adopting open access model. However, a gap exists in the funding to support OA infrastructure and implementation of policies. Many regions did not have an organized effort to make the OA movement impactful in their respective regions. While governments generally approve of the OA movement, only half of the regions (8 out of16) reported that there were funding agency or university/institutional OA policies in place.
  2. Only nine regions reported the presence of a centralized support for OA policies. Importantly, countries that have a centralized support of OA often also support national repositories. They additionally provide support for membership in an open access consortium, national coordination of open access centralization, and charges for open access publication
  3. Moreover, the funds directed towards OA were majorly utilized for national repositories (30%) & consortia membership in OA projects etc. (20%).
  4. Additionally, only two of the regions out of sixteen reported absence of any communities, groups, or committees that support OA publishing

According to the report, the presence of institutional repositories varies greatly across the major research universities in each region. Furthermore, these repositories often contain theses and dissertations, local language content, and journal articles.

The Future of Open Access in Asia

Increased efforts and improved coordination among governments to promote OA policies throughout Asia will help in acceptance and implementation of OA policies. As the publishing industry moves to adjust their model to embrace open access, COAR’s findings of increased open access publishing across Asian communities is a promising sign for global open and easily accessible research.

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