A Reader on Open Access for Development

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #41, February 2007


The debate of Open Access is really hot — hottest, I’d dare say — as benefits from open science, self-publishing and self-archiving become clearer and clearer and, on the other side, there are new and imaginative solutions — or, at least, attempts — to deal with the (a) inevitable (though downsizeable) costs of publishing and (b) the benefits of peer review, the quintessence of scientific publishing.

While the balance among costs and benefits is a matter of arguments in the developed countries — and this is why we still have a debate and not a clear direction to head towards —, the benefits side of open access seems to gain weight when the scales are placed on developing countries, especially when open access appears to be a perfect second best for a lacking (supposed) optimum: renowned international journals dealing with areas of knowledge that interest developing countries (and people doing science in those issues) and at an acceptable cost for their standards.

I here present a gathering — a reader? — of selected articles that should allow the reader to get a rough picture of the subject of Open Access for Development. Credit should be here paid to Peter Suber and his Open Access News, source of endless resources, information and news: most of the references here came to me through his blog.

Introduction to Open Access

Suber, P. (2005). Open Access Overview. Retrieved April 28, 2005 from

Lessig, L. (2004). Free Culture. New York: The Penguin Press.

Liang, L. (2004). A Guide To Open Content Licences. Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute. Retrieved June 09, 2006 from

Introduction to Open Access for Development

Suber, P. & Arunachalam, S. (2005). “Open Access to Science in the Developing World”. In World-Information City, October 17, 2005. Tunis: WSIS. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Chan, L., Kirsop, B. & Arunachalam, S. (2005). “Open Access Archiving: the fast track to building research capacity in developing countries”. In SciDev.Net, November 2005. London: SciDev. Retrieved April 25, 2006 from


Budapest Open Access Initiative. (2002). Declaration after the Open Society Institute meeting in Budapest December 1-2 2001. Budapest: Open Society Institute. Retrieved February 08, 2007 from http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. (2003). Berlin: Max Plank Society. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Salvador Declaration on Open Access: the developing world perspective. (2005). Declaration signed in the International Seminar Open Access for Developing Countries. Salvador: BIREME/PAHO/WHO. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Bangalore Declaration: A National Open Access Policy for Developing Countries. (2006). Declaration signed in the Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access. Bangalore: Indian Institute of Science. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Selected articles

Aronson, B. (2004). “Improving Online Access to Medical Information for Low-Income Countries”. In New England Journal of Medicine, 350:(10), 966-968. Waltham: Massachusetts Medical Society. Retrieved February 03, 2007 from

Brooks, S., Donovan, P. & Rumble, C. (2005). “Developing Nations, the Digital Divide and Research Databases”. In Serials Review, 350:, (31), 270–278. London: Elsevier. Retrieved August 23, 2006 from

Chan, L. & Kirsop, B. (2001). “Open Archiving Opportunities for Developing Countries: towards equitable distribution of global knowledge”. In Ariadne, 350:, (30). Bath: UKOLN. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Correa, C. M. (2005). “How intellectual property rights can obstruct progress”. In SciDev.Net, 4 April 2005. London: SciDev.Net. Retrieved May 25, 2005 from

Kirsop, B. (2005). “Transforming Access to Research Literature for Developing Countries”. In Serials Review, November 2005, (31), 246-255. London: Elsevier. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Ncayiyana, D. J. (2005). Open Access: Barriers and Opportunities for Lower-income Countries. Communication given in the International Seminar Open Access for Developing Countries. Salvador: BIREME/PAHO/WHO. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Winterbottom, A. (2006). Open Access: scientific publishing and the developing world. Oxford: First Author. Retrieved October 16, 2006 from

Case study in depth

Uhlir, P. F. & Esanu, J. M. (Raps.) (2006). Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China: Summary of a Workshop. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. Retrieved February 01, 2007 from

Keeping up-to-date

Suber, P. Open Access News. http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html

Further information

This is an evolving selection. The up-to-date version of this list can always be consulted here: A Reader on Open Access for Development. Feel free to write back to me with proposals for inclusion in the list and/or corrections for found errors.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “A Reader on Open Access for Development” In ICTlogy, #41, February 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=503

5 Comments to “A Reader on Open Access for Development” »

  1. I just read that you can get free access to Wall Street Journal and several hundred other subscription sites with a Netpass plugin from: http://news.congoo.com

    I thought this was a good tip.

  2. Pingback: Basement Tapes » A Reader on Open Access for Development

  3. Thanks for the reference, Victor. Not exactly related to open access – in the sense of open content -, but fully relevant for those interested in access to the Information Society in general terms :)

  4. Pingback: Introducción al paradigma del Acceso Abierto (Open Access) | UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Blog

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