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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The ethics of open access publishing

Michael Parker

BMC Medical Ethics 2013, 14:16  doi:10.1186/1472-6939-14-16

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"Open access" a 3rd world view

Riaz Uddin   (2013-04-15 17:23)  Stamford University Bangladesh

Apart from the ethical concerns I think open access initiative is a blessing for the researchers in low income countries (LIC). For example you may search Scholar Google or PubMed with specific keywords and get thousands of results. If it is not an open access article you will find "get access...pay X USD". Assume X = 30 USD. You need to access 10 articles for the purpose of literature review. So, you need 300 USD (this is hypothetical) for writing the introduction.

In LIC a university lecturer's income varies around 400 USD. However, WHO has an initiative to promote research in developing countries; HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme [1]. This platform allows researchers in developing countries free access to many publishers who charge for their articles.

Open access does cost. But many publishers like Biomed Central itself have their policy regarding open access publishing for the researchers in LICs. Discussions about open access model or criticism regarding open access publishing should consider the 3rd world perspectives.

1. HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme http://www.who.int/hinari/en/

Competing interests

None

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