Social Justice: The Golden Thread in the Openness Movement

Authors : Reggie Raju, Jill Claassen, Kaela De Lillie

The current publishing landscape perpetuates biases that continue to exclude those who have been previously marginalized, specifically from the Global South including Africa. Incorporating philanthropy as the only driving principle to openly share knowledge is insufficient to truly empower and be inclusive to those who have been relegated to the periphery of the scholarly communication ecosystem.

Social justice principles have to underpin the foundation of this ecosystem, in tandem with philanthropy, to shed light on these exclusionary, systemic publishing practices and processes. This will entail first breaking down these unfair practices and then rebuilding the ecosystem by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion.

This paper highlights the current gaps in the openness movement and demonstrates, through an exemplar of a publishing platform, how the publishing landscape can be transformed. The publishing platform employs a multi-tenant model that enables multiple institutions to publish and disseminate knowledge on one shared instance of the software.

The continental platform and the tenant model that it utilizes address the technological and infrastructural barriers often experienced in the Global South and Africa, while simultaneously serving as a collective hub for hosting African scholarship.

This case study methodology is used to investigate how the alternate publishing route recaptures the philanthropic pillars of the openness movement. The findings provide evidence for a return to the founding principles of the openness movement and, as importantly, demonstrates the impact of open access on student success.

URL : Social Justice: The Golden Thread in the Openness Movement