Open Science in Research and Innovation for Development

“The Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) is a 5-year Initiative which aims to strengthen the capacities of Science Granting Councils (SGCs) in sub-Saharan Africa in order to support research and evidence-based policies that will contribute to economic and social development. The Initiative is jointly funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The SGCI theme on Networking Africa’s SGCs is being implemented by the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) in partnership with The Scinnovent Centre.

The SGCI convenes Annual Forums (AFs) that brings together the Initiative’s participating Science Granting Councils (SGCs) from 15 African countries1 and other key stakeholders around the world to deliberate and develop interventions in strategic areas of interest to the Councils and the wider science, technology and innovation (STI) community. To facilitate sharing of lessons and good practices, the SGCI commissions a state-of-the-art paper on topics/themes of interest for Africa’s development. The selected theme for the 2019 Annual Forum is tagged “Open Science in Research and Innovation for Development”. This document provides guidelines on the concept for a research paper to be commissioned on the topic ahead of the Annual Forum scheduled for 11-15 November 2019 in Tanzania….”

Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges – UNESCO IITE

The publication “Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges” is the result of partnership between the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and OER Africa, an initiative established by Saide.

It critically reviews the growth of open educational resources (OER) and its potential impact on education systems around the world; and points at some significant achievements as well as key challenges hindering the growth and potential of OER that need to be addressed.

The publication summarizes the conclusions of a series of country case studies conducted by experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. It seeks to shed light on such important issues as the economic and pedagogical value of investing in OER; the role of OER in fostering diversity, inclusion, and in purposively pursuing quality improvement and innovation; and, finally, the extent to which these important issues are being researched.

The publication is addressed to decision-makers, educators and innovators, and is aimed to stimulate the debate about the impact of OER and encourage governments to engage with OER in ways that drive defined pedagogical improvements, while encouraging equity and diversity in global knowledge networks….”

“Open Access” and the Fate of Knowledge from Africa: A Theoretical Discussion on JSTOR

Abstract:  Open Access, is often understood as referring to the free circulation of research outputs from and to all parts of the planet. It is argued that this definition is deceptive because it ignores the fact that the imposition of the epistemological paradigm of the hegemonic culture on the indigenous people of Africa translates to the partial destruction of their epistemological paradigm. The thesis that this author defends is that Open Access ought to be preceded by the “open production of knowledge.” This is necessary so that the research that becomes freely available globally through Open Access genuinely reflects the diversity of its knowledges and producers

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

São Paulo Statement on Open Access | National Research Foundation

The representatives of African Open Science Platform, AmeLICA, cOAlition S, OA2020, and SciELO – five of the major worldwide Open Access initiatives – met on 01 May 2019 during the annual meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) in Sao Paulo. They are united in their common mission of making knowledge available and accessible wherever it can have the greatest impact and help solve humanity’s challenges regardless of where it was produced.

The combined effect of the five initiatives has generated a new momentum in the push towards universal, full and immediate Open Access.

The Five Initiatives jointly state that:

  • They consider that scholarly and scientific knowledge is a global public good. When generated by public funds, free access to it is a universal right.
  • They share one common ultimate objective: providing universal, unrestricted, and immediate Open Access to scholarly information, including use and re-use by humans and machines.
  • They share the belief that this common goal can be achieved through a variety of approaches.
  • They will pursue points of alignment among their approaches and ways to co-operate towards reaching the shared objective.
  • They seek an active dialogue with all stakeholders, including researchers, research funders, universities, libraries, publishers, learned societies, governments, and citizens to take into account the diversity of the global scholarly community….”

Short statement from the SG of AAU on Open Access to all HEIs on the continent | Association of African Universities

“Policies:

* In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.

* faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.

* Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints

* all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.

* all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book. This is compatible with charging a registration fee for the conference.

* all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. For example, see the list of what journals can do….”

African Institute of Open Science & Hardware | AfricaOSH

Africa Open Science & Hardware (Africa OSH) is a grassroots effort that brings together researchers, technologists, hacker hobbyists, educators, government officials, and start-up innovators from around the world. Our goal is to create a conversation and set of actions on OSH, among African actors, and between them and the international community, in order to adopt OSH principles and practices appropriate to our context. After two editions of the Africa OSH Summit, it is time to take another step forward in our community’s development strategy. We are delighted to launch the African Institute of Open Science & Hardware, with its main campus in Yaoundé, Cameroon….

The mission of the Institute is to meet current research and training needs in the field of Open Science. This choice is part of the contextualisation of the Global Open Science Hardware Roadmap which lays out recommendations to make open hardware ubiquitous in science by 2025. This would be pursued through (i) activities that enable anyone to gain knowledge and find information about OSH and/or the community (Learn section) and (ii) actions aimed at creating the necessary enabling conditions for the present and future of the OSH community (Support section).”

 

African Institute of Open Science & Hardware – Mboalab

“Africa Open Science & Hardware (Africa OSH) is a grassroots effort that brings together researchers, technologists, hacker hobbyists, educators, government officials, and start-up innovators from around the world. Our goal is to create a conversation and set of actions on OSH, among African actors, and between them and the international community, in order to adopt OSH principles and practices appropriate to our context. After two editions of the Africa OSH Summit, it is time to take another step forward in our community’s development strategy. We are delighted to launch the African Institute of Open Science & Hardware, with its main campus in Yaoundé, Cameroon….

The institute will open its doors on June 3, 2019, with an open residency in Biotechnology and DIYbio. For more information, please contact us at organisers@africaosh.com….”

São Paulo Statement on Open Access

“The representatives of African Open Science Platform, AmeLICA, cOAlition S, OA2020, and SciELO – five of the major worldwide Open Access initiatives – met on 1 May 2019 during the annual meeting of the Global Research Council in São Paulo, Brazil. They are united in their common mission of making knowledge available and accessible wherever it can have the greatest impact and help solve humanity’s challenges regardless of where it was produced. The combined effect of the five initiatives has generated a new momentum in the push towards universal, full, and immediate Open Access….”