eLife introduces the Global South Committee for Open Science

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eLife has launched the Global South Committee for Open Science, with the aim of learning directly from its peers in the Global South on how best to promote equitable collaboration and inclusion in scientific publishing. Researchers from the Global South are often underrepresented and minoritised in scientific publishing; for those in lower-income or less-developed regions prevailing structures, systems and mindsets can make it harder for them to participate in or benefit from innovations in scientific communication.

eLife says its new model has the potential to make publishing a more inclusive enterprise, offering the benefits of scholarly review while giving authors more agency in the publishing process. To fulfil that potential it says it needs coordinated efforts and to hear from the communities most impacted by the inequity in the status quo.

The Global South Committee for Open Science brings together researchers from countries and territories that share characteristics with regard to socioeconomics, politics, limited representation and policy influence on key issues and who are therefore often minoritised. The group provides a dedicated space to work with eLife towards greater involvement within science communication and innovation. It aims to be be "a pillar of guidance in improving the chances of Global South researchers and increase eLife’s outreach and support in the regions".

The 10 initial members are advocates of open science, open access and equity, diversity, and inclusion in science. In accordance with the committee’s scope, its membership spans Africa, many parts of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific Islands.

The committee's goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving the prospects of Global South researchers in science communication;
  • Amplifying the voices of Global South researchers in science publishing and communication;
  • Increasing eLife’s outreach and support in the Global South;
  • Exploring avenues to increase the use of preprints;
  • Increasing awareness of open publishing and review practices, as well as open science in general; and
  • Increasing recognition of open research and open publishing in research evaluation in the Global South.

Damian Pattinson, Executive Director at eLife, said: “Our new publishing model has the potential to dramatically improve the inclusivity of the publishing ecosystem. However this will not happen on its own, and we will need guidance and advice from scientists around the globe to understand how we can support their needs. The Global South Committee members all bring immense insight and expertise, and we are excited to start working with them to make sure our model is genuinely representative of the global scientific community."

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