Abstract: This paper highlights open access activities and resources from Western Asia. The development of open access journals from this region is analyzed through regional listings in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and information about the development and implementation of open access repositories is taken from the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) platform. Additional information about OA resources and development projects was found through UNESCO’s Global Open Access Portal. The study’s findings show that, even with support from international groups like EIFL and OpenAIRE, the region’s open access market lags behind that of more developed countries. Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stand out among Western Asian states, and Cyprus took the important step of instituting a national public open access policy. Awareness projects and workshops will be a vital step in helping the countries of Western Asia to see the value of open access and to build a stronger OA infrastructure.
Abstract: The evolving research landscape in the time of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic calls for greater understanding of the perceptions of scholars regarding the current state and future of publishing. An anonymised and validated e-survey featuring 30 questions was circulated among rheumatologists and other specialists over social media to understand preferences while choosing target journals, publishing standards, commercial editing services, preprint archiving, social media and alternative publication activities. Of 108 respondents, a significant proportion were clinicians (68%), researchers (60%) and educators (47%), with median 23 publications and 15 peer-review accomplishments. The respondents were mainly rheumatologists from India, Ukraine and Turkey. While choosing target journals, relevance to their field (69%), PubMed Central archiving (61%) and free publishing (59%) were the major factors. Thirty-nine surveyees (36%) claimed that they often targeted local journals for publishing their research. However, only 18 (17%) perceived their local society journals as trustworthy. Occasional publication in the so-called predatory journals (5, 5%) was reported and obtaining support from commercial editing agencies to improve English and data presentation was not uncommon (23, 21%). The opinion on preprint archiving was disputed; only one-third believed preprints were useful. High-quality peer review (56%), full and immediate open access (46%) and post-publication social media promotion (32%) were identified as key anticipated features of scholarly publishing in the foreseeable future. These perceptions of surveyed scholars call for greater access to free publishing, attention to proper usage of English and editing skills, and a larger role for engagement over social media.
ANKOS (The Anatolian University Libraries Consortium) established Open Access and the institutional Repositories Working Group(OAIRWG) in order to raise awareness on Open Access (OA) and Institutional Repositories (IRs) among information Professionals in Turkey. Ankara University is one of the first Open Access initiatives in Turkey. Over seven hundred and fifty scientific papers produced by faculty members have been self-archived (http://acikarsiv.ankara.edu.tr/) and made accessible to public since the beginning of 2006. The ‘Hacettepe University Electronic Theses Project’ has been carried to make the full-texts of graduate theses and dissertations accessible through the internet. In September 2003, The Middle East Technical University Library Theses and Dissertation Archive was established and since then students have been submitting their theses in electronic format to their IRs’ system. Because of these good practices, We started to establish our own institutional repositories. Istanbul Ayd?n University Institutional Repositorie (IAUIR) contains valuable scientific contents like articles, proceedings, visual materials, poster sessions, books and book chapters etc.
“Today, the Turkish Constitutional Court has held that the more than two and a half year access ban of Wikipedia in Turkey was unconstitutional. We hope that access will be restored in Turkey soon in the light of this new ruling from Turkey’s highest court and will update this statement if we receive notification that the block has been lifted. We join the people of Turkey, and the millions of readers and volunteers who rely on Wikipedia around the world, to welcome this important recognition for universal access to knowledge….”
“Today, the Wikimedia Foundation welcomes the news that our case brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to lift the block of Wikipedia in Turkey has been communicated to the Turkish Government and given priority status by the court, just two months after the case was filed with the court. Priority status is granted rarely and reserved for the most important, serious, and urgent cases before the court and signals the critical impact our case could have in curbing government censorship online.
Two years ago, the Turkish government blocked Wikipedia. We believe free access to knowledge and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights, and by blocking Wikipedia, the Turkish government violated these rights for everyone living in the country. After extensive discussions with the Turkish government and challenging the block in Turkish courts, we were left with no choice but to bring our petition to the ECHR, an international court which hears cases of human rights violations within the Council of Europe….”
“At the Wikimedia Foundation, we believe that free access to knowledge and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. We believe that when people have good information, they can make better decisions. Free access to information creates economic opportunity and empowers people to build sustainable livelihoods. Knowledge makes our societies more informed, more connected, and more equitable.
Over the past two years, we have seen governments censor Wikipedia, including in Turkey and most recently in China, denying these rights to millions of people around the world.
Today, we proceed to the European Court of Human Rights, an international court which hears cases of human rights violations within the Council of Europe, to ask the Court to lift the more than two-year block of Wikipedia in Turkey. We are taking this action as part of our continued commitment to knowledge and freedom of expression as fundamental rights for every person….”
“What happens when science becomes open? And what drives researchers to publicize scientific articles where they have the result of their work? It is from these two questions that has taken the International survey of scientific authors (Issa), a project devoted to the OECD by Brunella Boselli and Fernando Galindo-Rueda.
A research involving over 6,000 researchers who responded to a questionnaire sent by email at the end of 2014. With the goal of measuring the spread of openness, it is the choice to freely publish research results. And the result is that between 50 and 55% of publications are available in open format within three or four years of publication. A choice, that of open access, widespread in emerging economies.
In Indonesia it is over 90%, in Thailand 80, in Turkey 70%. And even though it is limited to the more mature economies, South Korea is the 66%, followed by Brazil with 64 and Russia with 61. In Italy, however, only 46% of the research is published in open format….”
“Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. By providing a platform for the distribution of peer-reviewed journals (currently from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela), BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community world-wide….”
“The Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST), a peer reviewed publication indexed is pleased to announce that it has now gone open access. JAST will now be published twice a year in the Spring and Fall. Interested readers will have access to the entire list of back issues and new issues will now be publised electronically with limited print options still available for those interested. This a huge step forward as JAST was previously a print only subscription journal available only to members of the American Studies Assocation of Turkey. We hope that you will examine the articles available in issues 1 through 44 (http://www.asat-jast.org/index.php/jast/issues) and consider submitting articles and reviews for consideration for publication in future issues of our revamped journal….”