The benefits of open access publications have been discussed at length. Here I just wanted to highlight an argument that is discussed less frequently: open access enables developing and lower middle-income countries to do proper research. Indeed, researchers and universities in these countries cannot normally afford journal subscriptions. Unless a pre-print is available, researchers in such institutions often face pay walls that are impossible to overcome. It is encouraging to see publishers like OUP to offer free access for universities in the poorest countries, but unfortunately many universities in lower middle-income countries also find the “greatly reduced rates” impossible to square with their budget.