Open access movement in the scholarly world: Pathways for libraries in developing countries

Authors : Arslan Sheikh, Joanna Richardson

Open access is a scholarly publishing model that has emerged as an alternative to traditional subscription-based journal publishing. This study explores the adoption of the open access movement worldwide and the role that libraries can play in addressing those factors which are slowing its progress within developing countries.

The study has drawn upon both qualitative data from a focused literature review and quantitative data from major open access platforms. The results indicate that while the open access movement is steadily gaining acceptance worldwide, the progress in developing countries within geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania is quite a bit slower.

Two significant factors are the cost of publishing fees and the lack of institutional open access mandates and policies to encourage uptake. The study provides suggested strategies for academic libraries to help overcome current challenges.


Evolution of research data management in academic libraries: A review of the literature

Authors : Arslan Sheikh, Amara Malik, Rubina Adnan

This study provides insights into the evolution and conceptual framework of research data management (RDM). It also investigates the role of libraries and librarians in offering data management services and the challenges they face in this regard.

The study is qualitative in nature and based on an extensive literature review survey. The analysis of the reviewed literature reveals that the idea of RDM has emerged as a new addition to library research support services.

The more recent literature clearly established the pivotal role of libraries and librarians in developing and managing RDM services. However, data sharing practices and the development of RDM services in libraries are more prevalent in developed countries.

While these trends are still lacking among researchers and libraries in developing countries. Creating awareness among researchers about the benefits of data sharing is a challenging task for libraries.

Furthermore, institutional commitment, collaboration, academic engagement, technological infrastructure development, lack of policies, funding, and storage, skills, and competencies required for librarians to offer RDM-based services are some of the other significant challenges highlighted in the literature.

Certainly, RDM services are difficult and complicated; therefore, librarians need to master the skills of research data to offer library-based RDM services.


The International Open Access Movement and Its Status in Pakistan

Author : Arslan Sheikh

The objective of this study is to analyze the present status of the open access movement in Pakistan, identify challenges, and make recommendations for the effective use of this publishing model.

The article looks primarily at the open access movement in Asia, with special reference to Pakistan, India, and China. Findings show that, since the emergence of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001, the open access movement has developed rapidly at the international level. From the Pakistani perspective, gold open access, in which articles or monographs are freely available in their original form on publishers’ websites, developed quickly.

However, green open access, which relies on authors to self-archive their articles in institutional or subject repositories, has been relatively slow to develop. A lack of support from educational institutions, libraries, library associations, and funding bodies may explain the slow growth of green open access in Pakistan.

The author recommends that Pakistani universities, research institutions, and funding agencies develop open access policies, set up institutional repositories, and encourage publishing in open access journals and self-archiving in institutional repositories.