NIGERIA’S LOW CONTRIBUTION TO RECOGNIZED WORLD RESEARCH LITERATURE: CAUSES AND REMEDIES: Accountability in Research: Vol 0, No ja

Abstract:  We present a first time study on identifying the causes and remedies to Nigeria’s low contribution to research literature. A mixed research approach involving 300 academic staff from several areas of specialization in southern Nigeria was adopted, using structured questionnaire and semi-structured interview schedule. Data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic technique. Furthermore, 43.7%, 28.6%, and 27.7% of the respondents were from the university, polytechnic, and the college of education system, respectively. While 78.4% of the respondents agreed that the high cost of open access publication in top journals influenced Nigeria’s low contribution to research literature, over 75% reported that the low contribution was due to high cost of attending international conferences. Other factors identified were stringent conditions for paper acceptance (89.7%), scarcity of relevant information about Africa (85.4%) and paucity of high impact journals in the libraries of Nigerian tertiary institutions (6.7%). Others were poor funding, non-usage of research findings by policymakers, lack of adequate facilities, and high penchant for publication in predatory journals, informed by promotion criteria not supportive of quality. Participants advocated for increased funding, reduced conference fees and entrenchment of collaboration between reputable publishers abroad and African publishers.

 

OpenEd20: Open Education Practices in Zimbabwe Hig…

“This paper presents the concept of Open Education as it is practised in Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions. The idea of investigating the concept of open education practices was to examine how the Zimbabwe Government is using the concept in widening access to higher education by the diverse population in an environment of melting economy and the era of COVID-19 pandemic. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. The study was underpinned by the theory of constructivism. Data were generated through a structured review of all Zimbabwe registered universities, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development (MHTEIST) and Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ). Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are mandated to deal with the associated challenges of structural inequalities that hinder equal access to higher education. The current task of HEIs is to make all students access and participate fully in the creation and exchange of knowledge in an environment of melting economy, abject poverty and global pandemic. Except for one Open and Distance eLearning University, all the other universities use the face-to-face conventional mode, with some introducing regional campuses, weekend and evening classes as well as block release mode of teaching and learning. Open Education Practice (OEP), by contrast, has not been explicitly supported by Zimbabwe government initiatives, funding, or policy. The advent of COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for implementing OEP in an environment that is disconnected, with isolated examples of good practice that have not been transferred beyond local contexts. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. A structured desktop review of all 24 Zimbabwe registered universities were conducted based on a range of indicators and criteria established by a review of the literature. The study was guided by constructivism theory. The review generated evidence of engagement with OEP using publicly accessible information via institutional websites. The criteria investigated strategies, policies, open educational resources (OER), infrastructure tools, platforms, professional development and support….”

COAR, TCC Africa and AfricArXiv sign partnership agreement – AfricArXiv

“We are pleased to announce that the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and TCC Africa in collaboration with AfricArXiv have signed a partnership agreement focused on strengthening capacity and infrastructure for Open Science in Africa. …

The aim of the partnership is to work together to foster the concept of bibliodiversity through information sharing, capacity building, and advocacy work, as well as enable AfricArXiv to engage with international peers in Africa and globally about best practices and next generation repository functionalities….”

African Minds kicks off open access book hosting service on ScienceOpen – ScienceOpen Blog

“ScienceOpen has partnered with the not-for-profit, open access publisher, African Minds, to host its scholarly books in a unique Collection on ScienceOpen. While ScienceOpen has been hosting open access journal content for years, it is the first time ScienceOpen has hosted open access book content. With the implementation for African Minds, we kick off a new service for open access publishers. The technical team of ScienceOpen has built a user-friendly interface that produces streamlined, machine readable metadata to quickly integrate rich book records onto ScienceOpen, provide Crossref DOIs, long-term archiving and more. Our partners at African Minds have tested and implemented the new interface to create a collection of books and book chapters that will extend the reach and accessibility of science from Africa.  …”

Welcoming the Pan African Medical Journal Collection – ScienceOpen Blog

“PAMJ is one of the largest open access publishers in Africa working to help disseminate research. Through its journals (PAMJ, PAMJ Clinical Medicine, PAMJ One-Health), PAMJ aims to increase availability of African research for a better understanding of Africa’s specificities, and generally improve the health outcomes of people living in Africa. ScienceOpen has worked with PAMJ to index its content in the Pan African Medical Journal Collection, making PAMJ content stand out among the 65 million records on the platform. This will help attract more readership to PAMJ, improving awareness of current health topics in Africa. …”

The rise of citizen science: can the public help solve our biggest problems? | Universities | The Guardian

“For instance, in Kenya, University College London (UCL) scientists and their local partners are working with the Maasai to protect their environment against the climate crisis.

The researchers are co-developing a smartphone app that will help the community map the location of vital medicinal plant species and, as a result, better manage them. The app will allow the Maasai to upload the location of the plants, analyse the results and display them using icons like a thumbs up, an ant, and a red no entry sign next to invasive species, as well as pictures of the plants they want to protect….

Despite its obvious merits, citizen science still faces challenges. Researchers have a reputation for arriving in a community, exploiting it for data, and leaving it without giving any credit for its contribution….

In the end, citizen science is about shifting power from scientists to the public. A new £1.3m project called Engaging Environments led by the University of Reading, which is running in its own city as well as Birmingham and Newcastle, aims to do just that by training researchers to work with a wide range of communities to address their concerns about issues like pollution, climate change and air quality. This might be through getting sixth formers to monitor wildlife, or mosques encouraging their congregation to develop environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding single-use plastics during festivals.

This project is needed because of the social divide that exists between the public and many scientists. …

It doesn’t benefit scientists to isolate themselves from the public, either….”

Scholarly Publishing Experience of Postgraduate Students in Nigerian Universities: Accountability in Research: Vol 0, No ja

Abstract:  The study examined scholarly publishing experience among postgraduate students in Nigerian universities. A survey design was employed, using a questionnaire as an instrument for data collection from 919 postgraduate students selected from twelve universities in Southwest Nigeria. The findings revealed that scholarly publication means the procedure of generating, producing, and judging scholarly content, distributing and circulating it to the scholarly community and conserving it for future use, and writing and publishing novel academic ideas in scholarly communication outlets. A (23.7%) of research students had published academic papers and the majority of those research students had 0–2 years’ experience. Knowledge of data analysis, literature search and review, development of relevant research questions, methodology, access to relevant materials, e-mail, phone, identification of relevant keywords, and ICT skills are considered necessary for scholarly publishing. Postgraduate students are aware of predatory journals and publishers. Challenges to scholarly publishing experience are inadequate mentorship and support, skills, knowledge; lack of funds, and limited access to available materials including journal articles, databases, and others. Also, universities in Nigeria should consider funding scholarly publications for any postgraduate students that put in the effort to get published; and mentorship, support, and collaboration with supervisors should be more emphasized.

 

Co-designing open access publishing infrastructures | EIFL

“In June 2020, WACREN (the West and Central African Research and Education Network), EIFL and the Coko Foundation launched a series of LIBSENSE online meetings, ‘Co-designing collaborative free and open source (FOSS) open access (OA) publishing infrastructures in Africa’, with journal editors and publishers, researchers, librarians and tool builders. 

Join the fourth and final meeting in the series, a four-hour session that will focus on turning the principles for collaborative FOSS-OA publishing infrastructures into action….”

Co-designing open access publishing infrastructures | EIFL

“In June 2020, WACREN (the West and Central African Research and Education Network), EIFL and the Coko Foundation launched a series of LIBSENSE online meetings, ‘Co-designing collaborative free and open source (FOSS) open access (OA) publishing infrastructures in Africa’, with journal editors and publishers, researchers, librarians and tool builders. 

Join the fourth and final meeting in the series, a four-hour session that will focus on turning the principles for collaborative FOSS-OA publishing infrastructures into action….”

Open Access Colloquium: Transformation in Universities hosting Dr Peter Suber (Harvard University) – UP Libraries Bookings – University of Pretoria

“The 2020 Open Access Colloquium of the Department of Library Services at the University of Pretoria is an annual event entering its second year. It is an opportunity for the university community to discuss the challenges and potential benefits of Open Access, to reflect and to understand how to transition to Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research….”