Malaysia has initiated many projects which set the stage for open data environment for the growing country. The academic sector has lead the boom of IT applications for the education growth, as it is evident from the open access journals and number of institutional repositories. Compared to other ASEAN Member States, Malaysia has a high number of OA publications. As of March 2021, there are 87 open access journals listed in DOAJ. MyLibrary is a pilot project of the proposed larger National Digital Library Initiative, functioning as a national portal to promote knowledge for the society. Malaysian government has been proactive to promote open source initiatives and programmes under the umbrella project MSC Malaysia National ICT Initiative to develop local talent and technical workforce in computer programming projects in social networks, applications, creative content development and for business avenues. Malaysia has now more than 37 institutes of higher learning and as of March 2021, reports 25 repositories in OpenDOAR.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has developed (Knowledge Resources for Science and Technology Excellence)to be a one-stop access point to all information on research, development, commercialization and activities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

The government mandate for access to public information is strong. Most ministries have an official portal for housing information and publications created by each ministry. For example, the Official Portal of Department of Islamic Development Malaysia. University libraries have implemented digital libraries to house local content such as the International Islamic Digital Library, Digital Library of Malay Manuscripts, and Siti Hasmah Digital Library.

Creative Commons Malaysia was launched in 2006 to boost knowledge and creative content sharing in Malaysia.

Enabling Environment

Malaysia is pursuing technology-based development strategy, being one of the new developing industrial economies in Asia. Among the R&D sector there is an awareness to make valued research outputs openly available to enhance their availability and visibility to the global academic communities. The Open Access movement in Malaysia had a direct impact on the development of the institutional repository services and in collaboration between scholars (Abrizah, 2009), reports that nearly 54% of researchers (surveyed) had deposited articles into OA repositories.

Potential Barriers

Although the public and academic sector has seen growth in infrastructure and services, the technical know-how and personnel needs to be strengthened. Developing technologies and software for localizing information resources in Malay/Arabic language seems to be the pressing need. Government has to set the policies which would promote open content development, pilot testing and interoperability for furthering the knowledge.

The ICT infrastructure is heavily invested which results in expansion of connectivity, which is a fundamental component of OA development. Although the OA movement in Malaysia is growing, it still needs policies that would help to promote OA development. There is currently no national OA policy in place and no institutional/ research funders' OA mandates registered (ROARMAP, SHERPA/JULIET, MELIBEA).

Events and Programs

Past and Future OA related Activities


  • Erfanmanesh, M. 2019. “Quantitative Portrait of Open Access Mega-Journals.” Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science 24(2):115–31. doi: 10.22452/mjlis.vol24no2.7.

  • Pitchford, L. C., L. L. Alves, K. Bartschat, S. F. Biagi, M. C. Bordage, I. Bray, C. E. Brion, M. J. Brunger, L. Campbell, A. Chachereau, B. Chaudhury, L. G. Christophorou, E. Carbone, N. A. Dyatko, C. M. Franck, D. V. Fursa, R. K. Gangwar, V. Guerra, P. Haefliger, G. J. M. Hagelaar, A. Hoesl, Y. Itikawa, I. V. Kochetov, R. P. McEachran, W. L. Morgan, A. P. Napartovich, V. Puech, M. Rabie, L. Sharma, R. Srivastava, A. D. Stauffer, J. Tennyson, J. de Urquijo, J. van Dijk, L. A. Viehland, M. C. Zammit, O. Zatsarinny, and S. Pancheshnyi. 2017. “LXCat: An Open-Access, Web-Based Platform for Data Needed for Modeling Low Temperature Plasmas.” Plasma Processes and Polymers 14(1–2). doi: 10.1002/ppap.201600098.

  • Abdullah, B. J. J., and K. H. Ng. 2005. “The Birth of an Open Access Multidisciplinary Online Journal.” Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal 1(1). doi: 10.2349/biij.1.1.e1.

  • Abdullah, S., and H. Timan. 2010. “Knowledge Management: A Bibliometric Analysis of Open Access Journals.” Pp. 338–41 in Proceedings - 2010 International Conference on Information Retrieval and Knowledge Management: Exploring the Invisible World, CAMP’10.

  • Abrizah, A., A. Noorhidawati, and K. Kiran. 2010. “Global Visibility of Asian Universities’ Open Access Institutional Repositories.” Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science 15(3):53–73.

  • Chik, R., and Z. Ismail. 2013. “Converging Contents from Multiple Broadband Service Providers Based on Open Access Policy to Enhance Subscriber Viewing Experience.” in 2013 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for the Muslim World, ICT4M 2013.

  • Choon, D. 2016. “Editorial: Open Access Model for the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery.” Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery 24(2):143. doi: 10.1177/1602400201.

  • Erfanmanesh, M., and J. A. Teixeira da Silva. 2019. “Is the Soundness-Only Quality Control Policy of Open Access Mega Journals Linked to a Higher Rate of Published Errors?” Scientometrics 120(2):917–23. doi: 10.1007/s11192-019-03153-5.

  • Fadzil, M. Z. M., J. Zakaria, and N. M. Kiram. 2018. “Open Access as a Medium of Malay Language Empowerment [Akses Terbuka Sebagai Medium Pemartabatan Bahasa Melayu].” Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication 34(2):263–77. doi: 10.17576/JKMJC-2018-3402-16.

  • Ghanbari Baghestan, A., H. Khaniki, A. Kalantari, M. Akhtari-Zavare, E. Farahmand, E. Tamam, N. A. Ebrahim, H. Sabani, and M. Danaee. 2019. “A Crisis in ‘Open Access’: Should Communication Scholarly Outputs Take 77 Years to Become Open Access?” SAGE Open 9(3). doi: 10.1177/2158244019871044.

  • Hashim, H. N. M. 2019. “Developing a Model Guidelines Addressing Legal Impediments to Open Access to Publicly Funded Research Data in Malaysia.” Data Science Journal 18(1). doi: 10.5334/dsj-2019-027.

  • Hoh, B. P., L. Deng, M. J. Julia-Ashazila, Z. Zuraihan, M. Nur-Hasnah, A. R. Nur-Shafawati, W. I. Hatin, I. Endom, B. A. Zilfalil, Y. Khalid, and S. Xu. 2015. “Research Open Access Fine-Scale Population Structure of Malays in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore and Implications for Association Studies.” Human Genomics 9. doi: 10.1186/s40246-015-0039-x.

  • Khalili, L. 2011. “Familiarity and Experience with Open Access among Iranian Medical Researchers.” Libri 61(4):338–50. doi: 10.1515/libr.2011.028.

  • Khalili, L., and D. Singh. 2012. “Factors Infuencing Acceptance of Open Access Publishing among Medical Researchers in Iran.” Libri 62(4):336–54. doi: 10.1515/libri-2012-0026.

  • Lee-Hwa, T., A. Abrizah, and A. Noorhidawati. 2013. “Availability and Visibility of Open Access Digital Repositories in ASEAN Countries.” Information Development 29(3):274–85. doi: 10.1177/0266666912466754.

  • Ling, K. H., N. M. A. Aziz, and N. Nordin. 2018. “Free Open Access to Liberate and Unleash Neglected Science.” Neuroscience Research Notes 1(1):1–2. doi: 10.31117/neuroscirn.v1i1.4.

  • Mamtora, J., T. Yang, and D. Singh. 2015. “Open Access Repositories in the Asia–Oceania Region: Experiences and Guidelines from Three Academic Institutions.” IFLA Journal 41(2):162–76. doi: 10.1177/0340035215582219.

  • Massoro, Z. Z., and R. Othman. 2017. “Antecedents for Actual Usage Intentions of Open Access Journals in Agricultural Research Institutions in Tanzania.” Library Philosophy and Practice 2017(1).

  • Milliken, J., K. M. Yap, and A. Marshall. 2014. Design and Analysis of Independent, Open- Access Wi-Fi Monitoring Infrastructures in Live Environments.

  • Mustafa, S., A. Estim, and S. R. M. Shaleh. 2020. “A Call for Open Access for Marine Bioprospecting.” Environmental Policy and Law 49(4–5):232–36. doi: 10.3233/EPL-190168.

  • Nicholas, D., H. R. Jamali, E. Herman, J. Xu, C. Boukacem-Zeghmouri, A. Watkinson, B. Rodríguez-Bravo, A. Abrizah, M. Świgoń, and T. Polezhaeva. 2020. “How Is Open Access Publishing Going down with Early Career Researchers? An International, Multi-Disciplinary Study.” Profesional de La Informacion 29(6):1–22. doi: 10.3145/epi.2020.nov.14.

  • Öchsner, A. 2013. “Publishing Companies, Publishing Fees, and Open Access Journals.” SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology (9783642386459):23–29. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-38646-6_4.

  • Panchadcharam, C. 2012. “The Popularity of Open Access Publications.” Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology 3(3). doi: 10.4172/2157-7579.

  • Peñaloza, C., D. Robledo, A. Barría, T. Q. Trinh, M. Mahmuddin, P. Wiener, J. A. H. Benzie, and R. D. Houston. 2020. “Development and Validation of an Open Access SNP Array for Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus).” G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 10(8):2777–85. doi: 10.1534/g3.120.401343.

  • Shah, A. A. 2013. “Open Access: Publish with Caution.” Current Science 105(6):746–47.

  • Singeh, F. W., A. Abrizah, and N. H. A. Karim. 2013. “What Inhibits Authors to Self-Archive in Open Access Repositories? A Malaysian Case.” Information Development 29(1):24–35. doi: 10.1177/0266666912450450.

  • Sood, S., S. K. Chua, A. M. Qureshi, V. Krishnan, D. R. Pai, L. B. Kamal, S. Gunasegaran, M. Z. Afzal, L. Ambawatta, J. Y. Gan, P. Y. Kew, and T. Winn. 2017. “The Impact Factor of an Open Access Journal Does Not Contribute to an Article’s Citations.” F1000Research 6. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10892.1.

  • Sulaiman, M. H., O. Aliman, M. W. Mustafa, and I. Daut. 2007. “Tracing Generators’ Output in Transmission Open Access.” in 2007 5th Student Conference on Research and Development, SCORED.

  • Tayyab, S., and A. N. Boyce. 2013. “Open Access: Good or Bad.” Current Science 104(7):810.

  •  Wah, L. L. 2010. “An Open-Access Repository of Multimedia Resources to Support Special Needs Instruction.” in i-CREATe 2010 - International Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology.

  •  Wahid, R., and B. Mat. 2016. Open Access Policies: Between Rights and Obligations.

  •  Zainab, A. N. 2010. “Open Access Repositories and Journals for Visibility: Implications for Malaysian Libraries.” Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science 15(3):97–119.

  • Zainab, A.N. (2010). Open Access repositories and journals for visibility: Implications for Malaysian libraries. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 15(3), 97-119.

  • Abrizah, A. (2009). The cautious faculty: their awareness and attitudes towards institutional repositories. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 14(2), 17-37

  • Asirvatham, D., Woods, P., Takahashi, K., & Kaur, A. (2003). E-Learning Initiatives in Malaysia.

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