Open access in South Africa

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Open access to scholarly communication in South Africa occurs online via journals, repositories, and a variety of other tools and platforms. Compared to other African nations, open access in South Africa has grown quickly in recent years.

According to UNESCO, South Africa is a leading African country in terms of open access policies on the governmental level and grass-roots initiatives in universities and research organizations.[1] South African signatories to the international "Open Access 2020" campaign, launched in 2016, include the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC) and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.[2] As of January 2018, there are nine research entities with policies in the international Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies.[3]


Many editorial boards of scholarly journals in South Africa have decided to publish in open access form,[citation needed] allowing readers to access articles for free and to freely reuse the information therein. Typically, the intention is to foster further research, to advance scholarship and the production of knowledge, and to encourage reuse of research without the obstacle of costly access.[citation needed] As of April 2018, the international Directory of Open Access Journals records some 79 open access journals produced in South Africa.[4]


South African research organizations and academic institutions have joined the global drive of making knowledge available in a free and open manner.[citation needed] The drive within South Africa is gaining momentum as more academic institutions and research organizations are starting to participate.[citation needed] As of March 2018, the Directory of Open Access Repositories lists several repositories in South Africa.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "South Africa". Global Open Access Portal. UNESCO. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "OA2020 Expression of Interest: List of Signatories". Münich: Max Planck Digital Library. Retrieved 10 June 2018. 
  3. ^ "Browse by Country: South Africa". ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies. United Kingdom: University of Southampton. Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  4. ^ "Directory of Open Access Journals". Directory of Open Access Journals. United Kingdom: Infrastructure Services for Open Access. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "South Africa". Directory of Open Access Repositories. United Kingdom: University of Nottingham. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 

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