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What is open access?

The Open Access platform, hosted through the HSRC Press| AISA | BestRed website, is probably the most famous hallmark offering and significant contributor to its sustainability in terms of public benefit. Countries that have visited the Open Access platform have increased from 154 in 2018 to 174 in 2022.

Our mandate is dual purpose – the first part is one of public knowledge purpose and this is manifest in its Open Access platform that ensures worldwide dissemination of cutting-edge research in, on, and about Africa, so that scholarly books are also for public use and benefit. Our Open Access platform offers various book chapters and complete books for download.

In 2003, the HSRC Press adopted its Open Access publishing model. HSRC Press was and remains the first scholarly publisher to offer a fully-fledged open-access publishing model. In 2007, HSRC Press started its tracking model, whereby it could track and measure the use of its books in countries across the world, and thereby make better-informed assumptions about the impact of its evidence-based publications. Open Access continues to be one our major strengths as a scholarly publisher and advances our knowledge and dissemination mandate. In the period 2018 – 2022, our Open Access readership increased substantially from 20283 in 2018 to 40617 new users in 2022. Countries that have visited the Open Access platform have increased from 154 in 2018 to 174 in 2022.

Top five country downloads for open access worldwide are South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, China, and Germany. The top Open access downloads in five African countries being Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Uganda. HSRC Press Open Access allows one free download per reader, but unlimited page viewing. The HSRC Press site hosting HSRC Press Open Access books has grown significantly as a worldwide resource. The daily use rate has increased from the low hundreds to peaking at more than a thousand users on the site at any given time during the day.

The map of the world below shows the countries using HSRC Press’s open access platform:

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