In previous RealKM Magazine articles, we’ve highlighted the importance of open access academic publishing. While some academic journals publish their articles as open access, meaning that anyone can freely access them, many journals lock their articles away behind very expensive paywalls.
Journal paywalls prevent access to research findings that are potentially of great importance to practitioners. Many researchers also can’t reference and build on this paywalled research because an increasing number of universities are unable to afford the spiraling costs of paywalled journals. As I’ve previously discussed, practitioners and researchers in the global South are particularly disadvantaged, and this contributes to knowledge colonialism.
One research institution that is leading the way in addressing the issue of paywalled journals is SOAS University of London. SOAS is commended for its approach to open access, which sets a very positive example for other universities and research institutions.
In the video above, Dr Romina Istratii explains why open access is fundamental at SOAS. Dr Istratii is Research Funding Officer with the SOAS Research Office, and together with Dr Alex Lewis, Director of Research and Enterprise with SOAS, has launched the SOAS Decolonising Research Initiative.