Type of work: Article (academic)
| Open Access
The science base in the developing world cannot be strengthened without access to the global library of research information. Currently, this is nearly impossible due to the high costs of journal subscriptions, with the result that even the most prestigious institutes in poorer countries cannot afford to buy the journals they need. Many initiatives have been started to resolve the access problem, but progress has been slow and, since they are generally dependent on grants or subsidies, are unlikely to be long-term solutions. With the advent of the Open Access (OA) initiative, the outlook for building science capacity in developing countries has improved significantly. In particular, the establishment of interoperable open access archives that is now underway by a rapidly growing number of institutes opens opportunities for true global knowledge exchange. OA archives are described and progress in both developed and developing regions is recorded, concluding with recommendations of what remains to be done to achieve the goal of free access to all publicly-funded research publications.