The Struggle of Open Access Publishing: The Indonesian Perspective

The Struggle of Open Access Publishing: The Indonesian Perspective

Ida Fajar Priyanto
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9805-4.ch004
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Open access (OA) publishing has been in existence for almost 30 years. The development is not without barriers. So much effort has been needed to develop OA publishing, including OA books, OA repositories, OA journals, and open data repositories. Indonesia has been experiencing growth in OA publishing, especially in the last 10 years. To realize OA publishing requires much effort. Lack of understanding of OA, lack of OA policy, and contrasting views of OA have resulted in weak recognition of OA publishing. Further and more efforts are needed.
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The year of 1665 marked the beginning of scholarly communication with the introduction of a journal publication entitled Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. This was believed to be the first journal publication that applied peer-reviewing before publishing it. From that year, science has grown faster and scientists have shared their research findings more easily. Scholarly and scientific communication is an important part of academic life that plays a role in a system that creates, evaluates, disseminates, preserves, and reshapes new knowledge (Academic and Research Libraries (ARL), 2007; Cullen & Chawner, 2011; Kumar et al.,2011; Sawant, 2012).

However, since then, science has two different sides, one side is in the research itself within the academic and scientific world and the other is the commercial world of publishing research. Publishing has been a practice of business in the scientific world for many years.

The research within higher education institutions are purely for the benefit of humankind and they are not-for-profit activities. Meanwhile, the commercial side of research focuses on financial profit. This commercial part causes the rich countries can develop science better as they find no difficulties in getting access to scholarly and scientific publications; while the poor cannot afford to get access to the scientific resources. The awareness of this access divide has existed at least in the last few decades and the idea of opening access to scientific resources for anyone resulted in the Open Access Movement.

In practice, Open Access (OA) is believed to begin in the mid-1990s when Arxiv began uploading full-text articles on the Internet, although actually the effort has been done some years earlier. Parang and Sanders (1994) also mentioned that experiments in launching digital publications had actually taken place in the 1980s but were unsuccessful as the technology could not support it. Meanwhile, Papalardo, et al. (2007) emphasize the OA realization made a real progress in the 1990s with “the launch of several databases and free online peer reviewed journals” (2007, p. 1). Figure 1 shows the OA timeline in the early stages.

Figure 1.

Timeline of open access initiatives. Adapted from Folder of International Seminar on Open Access for Developing Countries, by BIREME.


The success of OA publishing in the 1990s was then followed by the OA declarations. The 3Bs (Budapest, Bethesda, and Berlin) declarations are considered as the biggest international declarations of OA Movement. Other similar declarations have also been held in various countries; while the academic and other institutions started to provide online access to their research results especially after the 3B declarations.

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) defines OA as

The free availability of articles on the public Internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself (para 3).

The Bethesda Declaration of Open Access (2003) emphasizes the definition of OA by proposing two conditions of publications as follows:

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