The Open Access Movement and Information for Development

“Open Access” refers to the growing practice of making research articles available online, free of charge in order to share knowledge more effectively worldwide.

From May 29 – June 9, 2006, the Coady International Institute convened an online discussion on Open Access using the Dgroups : Development through Dialogue forum. This created a space for people to share their views on what Open Access can mean in terms of information for adult education and development in the Global South. Participants were invited to think about challenging issues related to the potential, the relevance, and the barriers to Open Access, and to identify what it would really mean for development workers.

More than 140 participants from 35 countries took part in the forum. The group was diverse, including librarians and other information workers, adult educators, IT specialists, development workers, academics, youth and retired persons. Over 150 messages were exchanged during the forum’s two weeks, and a number of participants proposed an ongoing dialogue after the formal discussion period ended.

Several papers were prepared to stimulate the discussion, and the online messages were summarized. These papers may be accessed below. Most are published under a Creative Commons license, so please share them widely.

Open Access for Librarians in Developing Countries Heather Morrison (Canada)

Open Access: Is it a Futile Option for Developing Countries? Lydia Anjiah (East Africa)

Open Access, Adult Education and Development in Nigeria Olutoyin Meijiuni (Nigeria)

Open and Distance Education in Mongolia: Possible Relevance of Open Access Batchuluun Yembu (Mongolia)

Open Access and Information for Development in Vietnam Arlene Whetter (Vietnam)

The “Open Access” (OA) Movement and Information for Development DidiBahini Youth Forum (Nepal)

Open Access and Information for Development: Summary of Online Discussion Messages Sabina Iseli-Otto (Canada)