South African higher education institutions are the largest producers of research output on the African continent. Given this status, South African researchers have a moral obligation to share their research output with the rest of the continent via a medium that minimizes challenges of access; open scholarship is that medium. The majority of South African higher education libraries provide an open access publishing service. However, in most of these cases this service is via engagement with the green open access route, that is, institutional repositories (IR).
Some of the libraries have piloted and adopted gold open access services such as publishing of “diamond” gold open access journals and supporting article processing charges. The experiment with publishing open monographs is a new venture. This venture must be viewed against the backdrop of the need for open educational resources (OERs). OER is an area that is very much in a fledgling stage and is gaining traction, albeit, at a slow pace.
The growth of IRs, the growth in support for gold open access including the library acting as a publisher, the experimentation with open monographs, and OERs are all shaping South Africa’s scholarly publishing roadmap.