South African Government places DOAJ on list of accredited journals – DOAJ News Service

“DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is pleased to announce its inclusion in the recognised list of journals, lists and indexes accepted by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. The move represents the first time that an open access listing has been recommended to South African University academics, encouraging researchers to publish in open access and make use of the free quality content available on DOAJ….

Articles published in DOAJ journals by South African scholars, will receive publishing points. Only articles published in approved scholarly journals can be subsidised by the Department of Higher Education and Training. …”

South African Government places DOAJ on list of accredited journals – DOAJ News Service

“DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is pleased to announce its inclusion in the recognised list of journals, lists and indexes accepted by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. The move represents the first time that an open access listing has been recommended to South African University academics, encouraging researchers to publish in open access and make use of the free quality content available on DOAJ….

Articles published in DOAJ journals by South African scholars, will receive publishing points. Only articles published in approved scholarly journals can be subsidised by the Department of Higher Education and Training. …”

A reproducible picture of open access… | Wellcome Open Research

Abstract:  Background: Open data on the locations and services provided by health facilities have, in some countries, allowed the development of software tools contributing to COVID-19 response. The UN and WHO encourage countries to make health facility location data open, to encourage use and improvement. We provide a summary of open access health facility location data in Africa using re-useable R code. We aim to support data analysts developing software tools to address COVID-19 response in individual countries. In Africa there are currently three main sources of such open data; 1) direct from national ministries of health, 2) a database for sub-Saharan Africa collated and published by a team from KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and now hosted by WHO, and 3) The Global Healthsites Mapping Project in collaboration with OpenStreetMap.     

Methods: We searched for and documented official national facility location data that were openly available. We developed re-useable open-source R code to summarise and visualise facility location data by country from the three sources. This re-useable code is used to provide a web user interface allowing data exploration through maps and plots of facility type.

Results: Out of 52 African countries, seven currently provide an official open facility list that can be downloaded and analysed reproducibly. Considering all three sources, there are over 185,000 health facility locations available for Africa. However, there are differences and overlaps between sources and a lack of data on capacities and service provision.

Conclusions: These summaries and software tools can be used to encourage greater use of existing health facility location data, incentivise further improvements in the provision of those data by national suppliers, and encourage collaboration within wider data communities. The tools are a part of the afrimapr project, actively developing R building blocks to facilitate the use of health data in Africa.

Case study: Disseminating early research findings to influence decision-makers | UCL Open@UCL Blog

“Recently a researcher asked for our advice on the best way to disseminate her preliminary findings from a cross-disciplinary research project on COVID-19. She wanted to ensure policy makers in East Africa had immediate access to the findings so that they could make informed decisions. The researcher was aware that traditional models of publishing were not appropriate, not simply because of the length of time it generally takes for an article to be peer-reviewed and published, but because the findings would, most likely, be inaccessible to her intended audience in a subscription-based journal.

The Research Support and Open Access team advised the researcher to take a two-pronged approach which would require her to: (1) upload the working paper with the preliminary findings in a subject-specific open-access preprint service; and (2) to publicise the research findings in an online platform that is both credible and open access. We suggested she use SocArXiv and publish a summary of her findings in The Conversation Africa, which has a special section on COVID-19. The Conversation has several country-specific editions for Australia, Canada English, Canada French, France, Global Perspectives, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States, and is a useful vehicle to get academic research read by decision makers and the members of the public. We also suggested that the researcher publicise the research on the IOE London Blog….”

An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | JLSC

Kakai, M., 2021. An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 9(1), p.eP2276. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2276

Abstract: Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.

New Program Encourages Transnational Collaboration Among Scholarly Publishers – Association of University Presses

“The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has launched a pilot program that seeks to deepen transnational dialogue and collaboration among mission-driven scholarly publishers. The AUPresses Global Partner Program will pair member presses with non-member presses in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, aiming not only to amplify the work of presses in the “Global South” but also to expand the knowledge base of the university press community worldwide….

“Because we aim to foster access, openness, and debate in the pursuit of growing and deepening the African knowledge base, my colleagues and I look forward to wide-ranging discussions with our counterparts at Duke, especially with regard to our mutual interest in open access publishing,” said Francois van Schalkwyk, managing editor and trustee of African Minds….”

New Program Encourages Transnational Collaboration Among Scholarly Publishers – Association of University Presses

“The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) has launched a pilot program that seeks to deepen transnational dialogue and collaboration among mission-driven scholarly publishers. The AUPresses Global Partner Program will pair member presses with non-member presses in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, aiming not only to amplify the work of presses in the “Global South” but also to expand the knowledge base of the university press community worldwide….

“Because we aim to foster access, openness, and debate in the pursuit of growing and deepening the African knowledge base, my colleagues and I look forward to wide-ranging discussions with our counterparts at Duke, especially with regard to our mutual interest in open access publishing,” said Francois van Schalkwyk, managing editor and trustee of African Minds….”

Enhancing African Research Visibility Through Use of Repositories

“Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 13·5% of the global population but less than 1% of global research output.

Part of the problem is that there is low visibility of its research output.

Open access repositories have created a paradigm shift in enhancing African research output.

Where are these repositories and how can we take advantage of them?

How should African researchers make use of these repositories to increase their visibility?…”

UnisaRxiv – ScienceOpen

“UnisaRxiv is designed to provide a platform which allows for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics and to promote submissions from any grade of researcher at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and beyond. Researchers at all career stages, including early career researchers, professionals, and senior scholars are invited to submit high quality research manuscripts.

Operating as a preprint repository, with open peer review, the entire publishing process will be accessible, transparent and accountable. Submission will be approved for posting after moderation, but not full peer review. Articles will be judged on the merit and scientific validity (sound scholarship) of the work. After posting authors are encouraged to invite open reviews and comments and to upload revised versions of their manuscripts.”

UnisaRxiv – A cutting-edge Preprint Server for the University of South Africa Press – ScienceOpen Blog

“In the last several years, preprint servers have become increasingly attractive to publishers as strides have been made, such as the assigning of digital object identifiers, that make preprints a better, more trackable form of scientific communication. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the scientific community has seen preprints play a major role in enabling the swift relaying of research results. Thus, there is a lot of excitement over the future of preprints and how they could transform the scientific publishing landscape. We are therefore excited to announce a new cooperation with the University of South Africa (Unisa) Press, with whom we have created a new preprint server: UnisaRxiv. UnisaRxiv will be a forum to facilitate open peer-review of preprint manuscripts and allow for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics. …

As a preprint repository with open peer review, UnisaRxiv will help alleviate a lot of the burden from the peer-review process, while also making the process accessible, transparent and accountable. UnisaRxiv will be available free of charge to researchers affiliated with the University of South Africa, but researchers not affiliated with the university will be required to pay an article processing fee upon acceptance of their manuscript.  …”