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.
“As is the case in Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere across the Global South, the majority of publications from the Middle East (Southwest Asia), North Africa and the diasporas are print-only, and are not available in electronic formats. Therefore, collecting policies which prefer electronic acquisitions at the expense of print risk excluding from their growing collections a significant portion of the cultural and scholarly production of these regions. Such policies threaten the diversity of representation in library collections by further marginalizing already marginalized voices….
We are particularly concerned that research materials and resources will be concentrated in a handful of wealthy, often private, institutions. Commitment to area studies in general and to Middle East studies librarianship in particular is also instrumental for maintaining diverse and inclusive collections that reflect and support the wide ranging scholarly and creative interests of our users.”