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The theme of the ‘Open Access Week (21-27 October, 2019)’ started this year with a right observation; “Open for whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”. It poses an appropriate question at a time when the digital divide is turning further acute, by dividing the societies of the globe as ‘Information Rich’ and ‘Information Poor’.
Planet Earth is known for its socio, economic, linguistic and cultural diversity. However, not all the countries, societies and communities in this globe are enjoying equal access to information that is very essential to excel in their lives. Countries of the globe unfortunately are divided as information rich and information poor and those countries enjoying unlimited access to knowledge and information could advance in every aspect, while information deprived remain under privileged. The digital divide as a result of poor communication infrastructure, low internet penetration is making the divide very acute.
Although ‘Open Access’ movement to certain extent break this barrier by providing free access to the researched information to all, under privileged and economically weaker societies could not participate in this movement and hence unable to ripe the benefits of open access.
In order to have more equitable opportunities for all, the national and the international policies towards communication and the information should be amended effectively to make the societies and communities more participatory.
The information poor societies must focus on strengthening their communication infrastructure while focusing on the basic education for all. Language barrier is equally fundamental here. The English literate countries are alone able to participate in the open access movement and non-English speaking countries are away from getting these benefits as English remains as the dominant language of the ‘World Wide Web’.
International funding bodies must focus on empowering the less privileged societies by investing on communication infrastructure building and providing basic amenities to encourage schooling and universal literacy. Scholars of the third world are unable to participate in the research and publication process due to low or poor access to information. Authors of the low economic countries are unable to afford the high publication charges of the ‘Open Publishing’
OMICS International that started the ‘Open Access Movement’ with a slogan ‘Accelerating Scientific Research’ by publishing journals on all the major basic and applied sciences, technology, management, and humanities on the open access platform is committed to strengthen this movement. In commemoration of the ‘Open Access Week’ from 21-27 October, SPARC and its partners invite open debate on how to promote equality for all in publishing and accessing scientific research. OMICS International offers discounts for the authors of low income countries and the developing countries. Let us take the Open Access Movement forward by including everybody in this process to empower the communes denied information.