Within the scientific community, the debate about access to research results and the dominance of the main publishing houses has been an ongoing issue in the last years: “You are what and where you publish” in the academic system of the 21st century. In order to receive job offers at universities and research institutions, the publication should show your brilliance in top journal publications. Those top journals only have a limited number of readers due to high subscription fees. Readers and institutions need to have the financial resources in order to gain access to published articles, despite the fact that research is mainly funded by public spending.
In order to address the problem of access to research, South Africa joined the Scientific Electronic Library Online (Scielo), funded by the Department of Science and Technology. Existing peer-reviewed journals are able to join this library and republish articles online while access to the library is kept free. Currently, 26 journals have made some articles available - also from this year.
The Scielo network was developed in Brazil, and South Africa joined Scielo since it addresses problems in developing countries.
Wild, Sara (2013): SA Research now free online. In: Mail and Guardian, 26 July 2013, online: http://mg.co.za/article/2013-07-26-00-sa-research-now-free-online
ScieloSA homepage: http://www.scielo.org.za/