IWA Publishing is pleased to announce a new initiative spotlighting the work of our latest cohort of Open Access Ambassadors

Our OA Ambassadors raise awareness in their local communities about global OA movements as well as related opportunities through IWA Publishing. They are representatives of both the International Water Association and IWA Publishing and our joint goals to empower the next generation of water leaders and to shape the future of the water sector. These blog posts highlight their specialty and research focus, as well as expressing the importance of Open Access publishing. 

Our first blog post comes from Kator Jethro Ifyalem, an MSc student from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Kator is a civil engineer committed to environmental sustainability. Connect with Kator on LinkedIn.

A big thank you to Kator for participating! 

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, research and collaboration have become essential components of progress and development. In today's globalized economy, knowledge is a key driver of growth, and research is critical to unlocking new insights and solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.

Unfortunately, many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) face significant barriers to participating fully in the global research community. Limited funding, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of access to cutting-edge technologies and research tools can all hinder the ability of researchers in these countries to produce high-quality research and contribute to the broader body of knowledge.

One solution to this problem is open-access publishing. Open-access publishing refers to the practice of making research freely available online, without the need for paid subscriptions or access fees. This approach has several benefits for LMICs, including.

1. Increased visibility and impact: By publishing research open-access, researchers within low and middle-income countries can increase the visibility and impact of their work. This can lead to more citations, collaborations, and opportunities for funding and career advancement.

2. Greater accessibility: Open-access publishing ensures that research is accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of their ability to pay for subscriptions or access fees. This can help to level the playing field for researchers in LMICs and promote greater global collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

3. Improved quality: Open-access publishing can help to promote transparency and rigour in research. By making research findings freely available, other researchers can more easily scrutinize and replicate the work, helping to ensure that it is of high quality and meets the standards of the global research community.

So, how can researchers in low and middle-income countries take advantage of open-access publishing to advance growth in research? Here are a few steps they can take:

1. Prioritize open-access publishing: Governments and research institutions in LMICs can prioritize open-access publishing as a way to increase the visibility and impact of their research. This can include providing funding and resources to support open-access publishing initiatives, as well as encouraging researchers to publish their work in open-access journals.

2. Build partnerships: LMIC researchers can build partnerships with researchers and institutions in other parts of the world to collaborate on research projects and publish their findings open-access. This can help to increase the visibility and impact of their work, as well as promote greater global knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

3. Take advantage of existing resources: There are many existing resources that LMIC researchers can use to publish their work. These include open-access journals, repositories, archives, funding opportunities, and support networks.

By embracing open-access publishing, low and middle-income countries can help to advance growth in research and promote greater global knowledge-sharing and collaboration. With the right support and resources, researchers in these countries can make valuable contributions to the broader body of knowledge, and help to drive progress and development around the world.

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