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Asian Countries Demonstrate a Strong Presence of Open Access Policies, Repositories and Journals

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Launch World Science Report, November 10, 2015 | © Courtesy of UNESCO General Conference and P. Chiang-Joo.

As a latest survey shows, in Asia Open Access enjoys robust state and institutional support for repositories, consortia memberships and article processing charges funds.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

In their recent survey of Open Access activities in Asia conducted on behalf of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories published in June, 2017, Kathleen Shearer, Kostas Repanas and Kazu Yamaji have put Open Access policies in the context of the rapidly growing scientific profile that Asian countries have, which, according to the 2015 UNESCO World Science Report have their share of global economic output match their proportion of world’s research and development spending standing at 45% and 42% respectively. As China is poised to become a global leader in the number of scientific research articles published in short order, an increase in the coherence of Open Access practices, funding, and policies backed by both institutional and technological infrastructures across Asian states is likely to have far-reaching consequences both regionally and globally.

Yet, at present 50% out of Asian countries surveyed, e.g., Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, have no Open Access funding policies, even though in the other half of these states funding agencies supporting Open Access are present. By contrast, 70% of these Asian states have Open Access policies promulgated on either institutional or university levels, whereas in only 5 countries no policies of that type have been found to be present. This indicates a proactive stance of academic and research institutions in regard to the promotion of Open Access primarily through repositories for theses and dissertations, journal articles and other local and other language content.

This is supported by the finding that, only in close to 55% of cases, Asian countries enjoy centralized support for Open Access, which by implication shows a significant presence of decentralization (circa 45%) as far as Open Access is concerned locally or regionally. In cases where centralized Open Access funding has been available, it has been primarily directed toward the maintenance of national Open Access repositories (30%), Open Access publishing consortium or project membership (20%), and article processing charges payment mechanisms (10%), whereas 40% of that funding is allocated for other purposes. This is reflected in the overwhelming presence of Open Access communities, advocacy groups, support committees and educational resources in close to 90% of these Asian countries, which indicates strong grassroots foundation for Open Access in Asia.

For instance, according to the data collected by this report, China has over 600 Open Access journals in social sciences and approximately 400 in natural sciences. In India, the number of journal titles that various scientific organizations and publishers publish ranges from 18 to 1,855. Likewise, the absolute majority of over 1,891 scientific and academic journals that are published in Japan are Open Access ones. Similarly, based on DOAJ data, Taiwan publishes 31 Open Access journals.

This portents a growing presence of Open Access institutional repositories, support policies and scientific journals in Asia.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Launch World Science Report, November 10, 2015 | © Courtesy of UNESCO General Conference and P. Chiang-Joo.

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