Open Sesame? Open access priorities, incentives, and policies among higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates

Abstract:  Higher education institutions (HEIs) have an instrumental role in the move towards Open Access (OA) by shaping the national strategies, policies, and agendas. This study sets out to explore the role of HEIs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) OA uptake and refect on the ongoing international initiatives pushing for universal OA to research. The study is based on an online survey targeted at UAE higher education institutions research management units. In order to measure the institutional views, only one response was solicited from each institution. A total of 19 valid responses were received, making up 47% of HEIs included in the population of organisations. Our results suggest that there is low commitment to OA among UAE HEIs as attested by the low number of OA policies, scarce OA funding, limited proliferation of institutional repositories, perceived lack of urgency to migrate from current access models, and little consideration of OA for promotion purposes. The study is the frst of its kind in the UAE, Arab and Middle Eastern countries, providing rare insight into a growing phenomenon that is global, yet most vocally discussed from a western perspective and context. The study contributes to the debate on the role of HEIs in the transition to OA and in shaping national and regional OA policies, as well as informing international initiatives about the current status of OA in the region. 

Charting the Open Access scholarly journals landscape in the UAE | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The purpose of this study is to chart the scholarly journal landscape in the UAE in order to provide a scientific perspective on research productivity, distribution, and access in the country and lay the foundations for further research in this area. The study aims also to contribute to research endeavoring to paint a global picture of scholarly publishing. We carried out a mapping of scholarly journals published in the UAE compiled from international and local sources. The resulting journal list was studied focusing on the share of OA titles, language of publication, discipline, and type of publisher. Our results show that: (1) 534 journals are published in the UAE and that the share of OA is quite noteworthy with about 64% of all online journals; (2) the APC-based OA model is prevalent with around 75% of OA journals levying a publication fee; (3) UAE journals are predominantly in English while the number of Arabic-language journals is marginal; (4) science, technology and medicine prevail as the most prevalent subject areas of the journals; and (5) commercial publishers control most of the publications especially in the medical field. The study lays a foundation for further studies on scholarly journals in the UAE. The combination of regional indexes and international directories to measure the country’s scholarly journal output can also be replicated and built upon for other countries where the major international bibliometric databases do not provide a comprehensive representation of scholarly publishing activities.