Open Scholarship and the Global South: Opening Access, Software, and Data
The Global South features prominently in both the history and the ideals of open scholarship. Where the legacy of the scholarly communications system is premised on the restriction of scholarly information to a rarefied few, concentrated in the Global North, open scholarly practices promise an alternative better-suited to fostering global intellectual conversations by facilitating the free flow of information, thereby addressing barriers to equitable access. Little wonder, then, that Southern scholars and institutions have been pioneers and adopters of open scholarship practices including open access, open data, and open source software.
But within the universe of open practices, there remain a diversity of approaches, models, methods, and complications. As open scholarly information increases in scope and adoption, are there approaches to openness in scholarship that create or perpetuate exclusion or hierarchy between various regions of the world? How are Southern scholars’ perspectives and experiences with open access and open data taken into account in developing standards and models for open scholarship in the Global North or more broadly? Are there the unanticipated opportunities or risks created through the implementation of models for open data, open software, or open access? How are ideals of scholarly openness implemented on the ground and how are these debated?
This special issue for First Monday is edited by members of the interdisciplinary Innovating Communication in Scholarship project at the University of California, Davis, and builds on the conversations and conclusions of the project’s Open Digital Global South conference of May 2017. The issue explores the promises and risks of openness in scholarship in relationship to the Global South, addressing topics that include:
What are the effects on and implications for the Global South of the various approaches to open access publishing?
When and how do open policies and practices improve global participation in both the production and consumption of open scholarship?
How are risks in information openness understood differently in the Global South and North?
How do or should Global South needs shape the best practices for protecting sensitive information while realizing the goals of openness in research and knowledge sharing?
Do concerns such as histories of imperialism and fears about biopiracy shape attitudes about information openness?
Please consult with First Monday’s style guidelines and submit your paper to Michael Wolfe (mrwolfe at ucdavis dot edu) by December 15, 2017.