The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

What is open access?

HSRC Press is Africa’s leading scholarly publisher committed to the dissemination of high-quality social sciences and humanities research-based books, in print and electronic form. HSRC Press has an online open access platform, a pioneering model established in 2003, ensuring strong worldwide impact and dissemination of its distinctive, evidence-based books, as well as global access to the important research content inside these books.

Our open access also contributes significantly to knowledge production. The worldwide access to our knowledge helps broaden the research base, particularly for African-led research, and results in high citation for researchers. Our online readership is 35 times the number of books we sell annually worldwide.

Based on 2013 Google Analytics data, HSRC Press book titles were downloaded from 212 countries worldwide in the 10 years since HSRC Press launched its open access platform. Initially, the US and Europe were our top regional users. Today, India and Kenya are on our top 10 list, with Zimbabwe, China, Brazil and Botswana among the top 20 list of countries that download our books. Africa is the fastest-growing region in terms of readership of HSRC Press books on open access, having grown from zero percent of our downloads in 2003 to over 25% in 2013 and more than 30% in 2016. Recent entrants to our open access platform include Myanmar, Russia and Indonesia.

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

HSRC World Map
Hsrc Graph V2@2X 100

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.