Scholarly communication plays a vital role in the perception of expertise and the allocating of power, granting privileged actors ability to set the agenda and to control the development of knowledge. Hence, it is essential that a variety of voices stemming from diverse backgrounds and worldviews, irrespective of their geographic locations, have an equal opportunity to participate in research and knowledge-making processes. The absence of such diversity within scholarly publishing is an indicator of epistemic injustice (Miranda Fricker).
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieving inclusivity and equity in open access publishing for all historically marginalized contributors simultaneously. Nevertheless, it remains crucial to thoroughly explore their identities, assess the barriers they face, and build a foundation that fosters an equitable environment for knowledge production and sharing.
The focus of the IDAHO project is on researchers with weak institutional ties, and in particular on the difficulties and barriers they face in publishing open access. Our goal is to identify and describe these barriers and to propose measures to remove or mitigate them.
To this end, a multi-part explorative mixed-methods study will be conducted. After an in-depth review of the literature on the topic, qualitative interviews with researchers will be conducted. The hypotheses developed from these will be tested in a quantitative survey. Then, in a third survey, the perspective of OA journal operators will be described. The synthesis of these three surveys will enable recommendations to be made on how OA publishing can be made more accessible or easier for this group of researchers in particular. Among the issues addressed are the impact of perceptions of quality and the impact of Article Processing Charges (APCs). The project aims to describe the underlying mechanisms and derive recommendations for the development of an inclusive, equitable and diverse OA culture.
Phase 1: Background and Preparation
Conducting a comprehensive literature review focusing on the barriers and challenges that researchers with weak institutional ties face in open access publishing.
Phase 2: Active research phase
Conduct qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey.
Phase 3: Synthesis and recommendations
Conduct a workshop with OA journals and publishers to validate the findings from the first two phases; develop and publish recommendations.