5.3 Issues for Developing Countries
Many developing countries still depend on paper format articles in journals so the changeover from print to electronic form requires to be assessed on a local basis. Open access presumes electronic content to be delivered over internet though it could be traditional paper based environment but it would be very cumbersome, slow and difficult to replicate. The cost of open access (in its Gold form) is very high for many in developing countries and authors cannot often afford to pay publication fee. The onus is on the publishers to find alternative arrangements for these authors in developing countries. Many publishers, including Elsevier, offer alternative pricing options to developing countries. Countries that are part of the Research4Life program can benefit from free to low-cost access to subscription journals and in many cases reduced or free open-access publishing. Humanitarian programs are a good way to initiate access to journals in these countries, but ultimately market-based models (whether gold OA or subscriptions) will be most effective in ensuring that services from publishers are tailored to fit the local needs of funders, institutions and researchers.