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Can I Afford to Publish? A Dilemma for African Scholars
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  • Addisu Mekonnen,
  • Colleen Downs,
  • Edu Effiom,
  • Mohamed Kibaja,
  • Michael Lawes,
  • Patrick Omeja,
  • Fanomezana Ratsoavina,
  • Onja Razafindratsima,
  • Dipto Sarkar,
  • Nils Stenseth,
  • Colin Chapman
Addisu Mekonnen
Bahir Dar University
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Colleen Downs
University of KwaZulu-Natal
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Edu Effiom
Cross River State Forestry Commission
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Mohamed Kibaja
University of Dar es Salaam
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Michael Lawes
University of KwaZulu-Natal
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Patrick Omeja
Makerere University Biological Field Station
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Fanomezana Ratsoavina
Université d’Antananarivo
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Onja Razafindratsima
University of California Berkeley
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Dipto Sarkar
Carleton University
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Nils Stenseth
University of Oslo
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Colin Chapman
Wilson Center
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Abstract

With open-access publishing authors pay an article processing charge and subsequently their article is freely available online. These charges are beyond the reach of most African academics. Thus, the trend towards open access publishing will shift the business model from a pay-wall model, where access to literature is limited, to a pay-to-publish one, where African scholars cannot afford to publish. We explore the costs of publishing and the ability of African scholars to afford to publish as open access. Three-quarters of the 40 top ecology journals required payment for open-access publishing (average cost $3,150). Paying such fees is a hardship for African scholars as grant funding is not available and it is not feasible to pay the fees themselves as salaries are low. We encourage funders and publishers to facilitate an equitable publishing model that allows African scholars to make their research available through open-access publishing.
29 Aug 2021Submitted to Ecology Letters
01 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
01 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
03 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
13 Nov 20211st Revision Received
16 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
16 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
17 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Nov 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Nov 20212nd Revision Received
22 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
22 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
24 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Nov 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
Apr 2022Published in Ecology Letters volume 25 issue 4 on pages 711-715. 10.1111/ele.13949