Seeking Impact and Visibility: Scholarly Communication in Southern Africa

“African scholarly research is relatively invisible globally because even though research production on the continent is growing in absolute terms, it is falling in comparative terms. In addition, traditional metrics of visibility, such as the Impact Factor, fail to make legible all African scholarly production. Many African universities also do not take a strategic approach to scholarly communication to broaden the reach of their scholarsí work. To address this challenge, the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) was established to help raise the visibility of African scholarship by mapping current research and communication practices in Southern African universities and by recommending and piloting technical and administrative innovations based on open access dissemination principles. To do this, SCAP conducted extensive research in four faculties at the Universities of Botswana, Cape Town, Mauritius and Namibia.”

Scholarly Communication in Africa Project – SALDRU

“The Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) was a three-year initiative aimed at increasing the publication and visibility of African research through harnessing the potential for scholarly communication in the digital age. Jointly led by the Centre for Educational Technology and the Research Office at UCT, the project engaged four African universities [the Universities of Botswana, Cape Town, Mauritius, and Namibia] in action research to better understand the ecosystem of scholarly communication in Africa and address the scholarly communication needs and aspirations at the various participating institutions….”

Library celebrates C. Judson King’s new open access book on the University of California | UC Berkeley Library News

“The book is close to King’s heart for many reasons. During his time as UC provost, King helped launch both the California Digital Library, one of the world’s largest online libraries, and eScholarship, the University of California’s open access, electronic repository for publications by UC authors. King is passionate about the power of open access materials to strengthen scholarship and has made his book freely available online through eScholarship. The goal, King said, is to allow administrators in developing countries interested in building a university to access his book free of restraints….

King has experienced the role of open access publishing in spreading scientific knowledge firsthand. In 1980, King published a second edition of a seminal chemical engineering textbook he’d written on separation processes — operations that pull apart two or more chemicals in a mixture, like in the purification of seawater. After the book went out of print, King put it on eScholarship. Today, the book racks up 100 to 150 downloads per month on the digital platform, King said — which is equivalent to what it sold when it was brand-new. That highlighted for King the potential of open access publishing to help countless researchers around the world….”


Looking ahead: EIFL’s plans for open access

“Open scholarship is growing in importance as a way of ensuring that there is global participation in research, improved quality and efficiency of education and science, and faster economic and social progress.

Over the next two years, the EIFL Open Access Programme will support open scholarship by focusing on four key areas: open access policies, open science training for early career researchers, sustainable open access journals and repositories, and Open Educational Resources….”

Digitising archives, sharing knowledge | Interview | Nepali Times

“The South Asia Materials Project is now digitising as the means of preservation, and many of the resources are being made available online. Further, the newly formed South Asia Open Archives initiative is laying plans for massive efforts to digitise and make available important cultural resources for open access.”

Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay | ROER4D

“Titled “Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay”, this chapter arises from research work undertaken in ROER4D sub-project 2 and presents an overview of the funding, policy, legislative and procedural mechanisms adopted by governments in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay with respect to Open Access and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Findings indicate that while each country has its own approach to funding higher education, there are few or no specific national and/or institutional policies aimed at promoting Open Education in the higher education sector. In Chile, this appears to be largely due to low OER awareness and a commercialised model of higher education. In Colombia, various national and institutional strategies reveal that there is nascent Open Education policy development, and in Uruguay there appears to be an enabling environment for future open policy development. All of these countries are making investments in science, technology and innovation programmes, making this the most fruitful field for potential Open Education advocacy….”

Open up access to advance healthcare – Yiba | Be informed. Be more. Because you can.

“Within a context categorised by an already small emergency medicine research output, one in six African emergency care publications is inaccessible to African researchers. This was the finding of a paper published by Associate (now visiting) Professor Stevan Bruijns together with two undergraduate health science students, Mmapheladi Mosly Maesela and Suniti Sinha. The research was conducted during Bruijns’s special study module with the second-year students. The team set out to determine the level of access that African emergency medicine researchers had to each other’s work. In an examination of 666 publications from 49 journals (59.3% of which were open access), they found that 105 of the publications (15.8%) were cost-prohibitive….”

Whose Knowledge? – Re-imagining the internet to be for and from us all

“We are a global campaign to center the knowledge of marginalized communities (the majority of the world) on the internet.

Most public knowledge online has so far been written by white men from Europe and North America. To address this, we work particularly with women, people of color, LGBTQI communities, indigenous peoples and others from the global South to build and represent more of all of our own knowledge online….”

Queen announces launch of Edraak’s free online platform for school learners in Davos | Jordan Times

“Her Majesty Queen Rania on Wednesday announced the launch of a new learning platform catering to school-aged children across the Arab world, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s Office. …”

MOOC on Technology-Enabled Learning reaches 94 countries – News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

“The massive open online course (MOOC) on Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL), offered jointly by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Athabasca University, has attracted 3,926 participants from 94 countries….A statement by Dr Obinna Okwelume, COL’s Communications Manager and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja said that…the highest number of registrations were from Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada, India, Mauritius, Rwanda and South Africa….The course equipped learners with the knowledge to use appropriate technologies and online resources, including open educational resources (OER) for improving student learning….”