From a sobering new post on SciDev.Net:
[F]or many researchers in the developing world, who do not have a grant or an institution to cover the fees, the open access system can lock them out of top tier academic journals.
Bonaventure Tetanye Ekoe, honorary dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, says the open access model means African researchers are penalised twice.
“The first time they are penalised because there is no money to fund their research. A second time because even when they manage to do their research, they are asked to pay to publish a paper. “So that means that, since they don’t publish, they will perish,” he tells SciDev.Net.
The cost of submitting a paper can be many times a researcher’s salary. For example, the monthly salary of a PhD assistant researcher in Cameroon is estimated at just over US$350.
It’s telling that the piece equates OA with APC/read-and-publish OA, given the recent read-and-publish momentum. The ramshackle waiver system also comes in for some deserved bashing.
It’s a reminder that the APC/read-and-publish future we’re hurtling towards is likely to worsen global inequalities in scholarly communication.