This article argues that open access publishing — where published research papers are freely available to readers — is particularly important for improving developing country scientists' access to research. Following a brief introduction to the concept of open access publishing and its development since emerging in the early 1990s, the article details several initiatives in low-income countries including the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative and the Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture.

The article also discusses a number of journals and repositories aiming to increase the visibility of work from authors in the developing world, such as Bioline International and SciELO. Finally, initiatives to spread awareness of open access and the resources available, for example the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, are mentioned.