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The promise of open access for the global South has not been fully met. Publishing is dominated by Northern publishers who disadvantage Southern authors through platform capitalism and open access models requiring article processing charges to publish. The South can reclaim and decolonize open access, nurturing scholarly communities, by employing bibliodiversity, a sustainable, anticolonial ethos and practice developed in Latin America. Self-determination and locality are at the core of bibliodiversity which rejects the domination of international, English-language journal publishing. As articulated by the Jussieu Call, varied scholarly community-based, non-profit, and sustainable models for open access are integral to bibliodiversity as is reform of research evaluation systems. Bibliodiversity’s neoliberal antithesis, predatory publishing, exploits open access and perpetuates the marginalization of Southern scholars. Predatory journals are also conflated with legitimate Southern journals. We conclude by examining Southern open access initiatives, highlighting large-scale infrastructure in Latin America and library-based publishing in Africa that express the true spirit of open access as a commons for knowledge as a public good.


Originally published as Berger, Monica. “Bibliodiversity at the Centre: Decolonizing Open Access.” Development and Change 52, no. 2 (March 2021): dech.12634.



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