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.  …”

Enhancing Academic Visibility of Faculty Members in Nigerian University Community: The Role of Institutional Repositories

Abstract: This paper focused on the role of institutional repositories in enhancing the academic visibility of faculty members in Nigerian university community. It began with a brief clarification of the concept of Institutional Repository (IR) before delving into its origin, spread, contents and mode of population of contents. This smoothened the ground for a detailed analysis of the role which IRs can play as enablers of information provision in Nigerian universities. Subsequently, attention was drawn to the potentials of IRs as avenues through which tertiary institutions of learning can increase access to, and visibility of, the academic outputs of their scholars and researchers. Notwithstanding the challenges to the optimal performance of the few repositories available in Nigerian universities, the paper posits that the prospects and fortunes of these IRs would change for the better with sustained efforts and commitment of various stakeholders. It is on the basis of this conclusion that several recommendations were made, including sustained awareness and advocacy, adequate funding of universities in Nigeria and their libraries, provision of better training opportunities for librarians to improve their IT competency, as well as increase in the rate of population of content deposition. 

Enhancing Academic Visibility of Faculty Members in Nigerian University Community: The Role of Institutional Repositories

Abstract: This paper focused on the role of institutional repositories in enhancing the academic visibility of faculty members in Nigerian university community. It began with a brief clarification of the concept of Institutional Repository (IR) before delving into its origin, spread, contents and mode of population of contents. This smoothened the ground for a detailed analysis of the role which IRs can play as enablers of information provision in Nigerian universities. Subsequently, attention was drawn to the potentials of IRs as avenues through which tertiary institutions of learning can increase access to, and visibility of, the academic outputs of their scholars and researchers. Notwithstanding the challenges to the optimal performance of the few repositories available in Nigerian universities, the paper posits that the prospects and fortunes of these IRs would change for the better with sustained efforts and commitment of various stakeholders. It is on the basis of this conclusion that several recommendations were made, including sustained awareness and advocacy, adequate funding of universities in Nigeria and their libraries, provision of better training opportunities for librarians to improve their IT competency, as well as increase in the rate of population of content deposition. 

SPARC Africa Announces New Partnership with AfLIA to Expand Reach – SPARC

“SPARC Africa has teamed up with African Library & Information Associations & Institutions (AfLIA) in a new effort to advance the open sharing of knowledge and research on the continent.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in December 2020 to formalize the partnership. The MOU sets up SPARC Africa operations as a section within AfLIA, a nonprofit organization for libraries and librarians headquartered in Ghana with 141 member institutions and associations.  …”

A rich-world Wikipeak – Wikipedia’s future lies in poorer countries | Graphic detail | The Economist

“This leaves the Wikipedias of most of the languages of Asia and Africa either bereft of articles or at the mercy of automation. Such sites are prone to including articles written by bots. After English, the language with the most articles on Wikipedia is Cebuano, spoken by just 20m people in the Philippines. Nearly all were translated from English by a computer program created by a physicist in Sweden.

Users frustrated by clunky machine-written prose can soon expect a reprieve. From 2010 to 2018 the number of active editors working in languages spoken in the richer half of countries in the world fell by 5%, but the corresponding figure for those spoken in the poorer half more than doubled. Wikipedia may have done the bulk of its organisation of the world’s information long ago, but most of the work towards making it universally accessible and useful still lies ahead.”