Document Type

Book Chapter


Open Access (OA) refers to free, online access to peer reviewed scholarship. Many OA proponents view OA as a potential mechanism for reversing inequities in information flows between industrialized and non-industrialized nations. The "green road" of OA (self-archiving in an OA institutional repository) has seen substantial growth in African nations where there have historically been chronic problems both with access to scholarly and scientific materials and participation in the larger scholarly and scientific community. For this study I examined the rhetoric used by OA institutional repositories and what this rhetoric may say about different "cultures of OA". I conducted textual analysis of 46 websites of OA repositories in the United States and 14 Sub-Saharan African nations. Analysis of the specific rhetoric used to present the OA repositories reveals differing views on the importance of OA in terms of cultural ideas about information control, access to information, and social capital.