12 November 2020

Blog series: OA Articles Published by Global South Authors - Pt. 4

Green OA

The final post in this blog series focuses on green open access, i.e., depositing an earlier version of an article in an open access repository (particularly the author's accepted manuscript, or postprint, which has undergone peer review). Green OA offers two key advantages to authors: First, it's free! And second, it enables authors to publish in the journal of their choice. Both of these factors are especially pertinent in the forced migration context, since some of the most reputable and prestigious journals in the field are also hybrid titles with very high APCs (see, e.g., the four Oxford journals). 

However, this path to OA is not commonly used by global South authors; only three preprints were identified in my OA round-ups over the last six months (listed below).  

There are several possible reasons for this: First is the more general issue of familiarity with and support around green open access. Some studies that focus on OA in the global South have pointed to the slow growth of institutional repositories (IR) in certain countries and/or a lack of awareness among academic authors regarding the availability of repositories at their institutions, while others have observed low deposit rates in institutional repositories despite knowledge of their availability (e.g., Nobes & Harris 2019Sheikh 2020, Wilson et al. 2020).

Second, many journal publishers impose embargoes of 12-24 months on access to postprint versions of articles. This delay can serve as a disincentive to authors who may need or wish to provide more immediate access to their studies.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, authors must first have their articles accepted for publication before they can even consider pursuing the green route to OA! Recent analyses of the Journal of Refugee Studies, Migration Studies and Refugee Survey Quarterly found that very few articles were published by authors affiliated with institutions based in the global South. 

Given the financial hurdles that APCs present to GS authors who wish to provide open access to their articles, the green route serves as an important cost-free alternative (along with diamond OA). Here are a few suggestions for addressing some of the obstacles identified above:
- Use OpenDOAR to identify institutional repositories (IR) located in a specific country.
- If an IR isn't available, consider using a subject-related repository like the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) or a multidisciplinary space like Zenodo.
- Select a journal that is published by Brill, Cambridge Univ. Press, Emerald or SAGE - these publishers all offer zero embargo access to postprints! In other words, as soon as your article is accepted for publication in, say, the European Journal of Migration & Law (Brill) or the International Migration Review (SAGE), you can share your postprint immediately and post it pretty much anywhere (use this table to check the fine print for specific details).
- Other journal publishers like Oxford Univ. Press, Springer and Taylor & Francis allow immediate sharing of postprints via authors' personal web sites.
- Finally, journal editors are taking steps to increase the diversity of their boards, editorial staff and contributing authors (see, e.g., Migration Studies); hopefully, this will translate to an increase in scholarship from the global South - the first step needed before green OA can be more widely adopted. 

Communication, Problem-Solving, Teamwork, Responsibility, and Self-Esteem of Syrian Children Refugees Participating in 'Makani' Center in Al Zaatari Camp in Jordan (submitted to Human Affairs: Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly)
- Preprint version of article. 
- Author = Jordan

The Constitutional Right to Asylum and Humanitarianism in Indonesian Law: 'Foreign Refugees' and PR 125/2016 (Submitted to Asian Journal of Law and Society)
- Preprint version of article.
- Two authors; lead author = Indonesia/Netherlands, co-author =Indonesia

"Does Aid Reduce Anti-refugee Violence? Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Lebanon," American Political Science Review, vol. 114, no. 4 (Nov. 2020)
- Preprint version of article.
- Two authors; lead author = Brazil, co-author = US

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