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Access research in the developing world with STAR

Advice from researcher Yaw Owusu-Agymeman

Special Terms for Authors & Researchers (STAR) is a Taylor & Francis initiative that gives researchers in emerging regions access to articles across our journals. We spoke to researcher Yaw Owusu-Agymeman to find out how STAR has helped his own research.


I found out about the Taylor & Francis STAR initiative when I visited one of the journal sites for open access articles related to my research. Information on the STAR initiative was displayed on the journal’s website and I curiously read the details. I was very happy because I thought that it was a good opportunity for researchers in developing countries to get free access to articles from Taylor & Francis Online. I registered and was given a voucher that gave me access to articles on Taylor & Francis online for free.

How I used STAR to access research

Access to articles in journals is very important to all researchers. This is because research articles serve as sources of information and research output from other researchers. In other words, one of the best ways of getting information on emerging theories and knowledge in a research area is by reading the research output of your colleagues. In some developing countries, access to research articles remains a major challenge. Some researchers rely on open access articles which may not be what they need. The STAR initiative helped me to access other research articles in my field of study. This has helped me to update my references with the new knowledge from other researchers in the journals I consulted.

An article that grabbed my attention

All the articles I downloaded through the STAR initiative were inspiring, but an article by Chad Raymond, ‘Civic Engagement – A Problem in Search of a Solution?‘, I found especially interesting. It provided arguments that supported community-based learning as well as discussing some of its challenges. It had the right balance of what the author termed ‘the good, the bad and ugly’ – revealing the benefits of community-based learning, as well as its challenges in the institution.


Yaw Owusu-Agyeman (PhD) is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), UK, a research associate at the Centre for Higher and Adult Education, Stellenbosch University and the Head of Examinations, Ghana Technology University College. He obtained a PhD in Curriculum Studies from Stellenbosch University and his dissertation focused on increasing resource and knowledge support for adult learners in the telecommunications and energy sectors of Ghana. His current research focuses on enriching civic engagement curriculum in higher education setting in Ghana through cultural diversity experience and high-level institutional commitment.

Find out more about STAR and how to register for free access to articles on Taylor & Francis Online.