Author : Marcel Knöchelmann
Open access (OA) is considered to solve an accessibility problem in scholarly communication. But this accessibility is restricted to consumption of Western knowledge.
Epistemic injustices inhering in the scholarly communication of a global production of knowledge remain unchanged. This underscores that the commercial and “big deal” OA dominating Europe and North America has little revolutionary potential to democratise knowledge.
Western academia, driven by politics of progressive neoliberalism, can even reinforce its hegemonic power by solidifying and legitimating the contemporary hierarchies of scholarly communication through OA.
I approach the accessibility problem dialectically to arrive at a critique of the commercial large-scale implementations of OA. I propose a threefold conceptualisation of epistemic injustices comprising of testimonial injustice, hermeneutical injustice, and epistemic objectification.
As these injustices prevail, the notion of a democratisation of knowledge through OA is but another form of technological determinism that neglects the intricacies of culture and hegemonial order.