Plan S and the Global South – What do countries in the Global South stand to gain from signing up to Europe’s open access strategy? | Impact of Social Sciences

“Plan S raises challenging questions for the Global South. Even if Plan S fails to achieve its objectives the growing determination in Europe to trigger a “global flip” to open access suggests developing countries will have to develop an alternative strategy. In this post Richard Poynder asks: what might that strategy be?…”

Payouts push professors towards predatory journals

If South Africa truly wants to encourage good research, it must stop paying academics by the paper…

Why are South Africans relying so much on journals that do little or nothing to ensure quality? In an effort to boost academic productivity, the country’s education department launched a subsidy scheme in 2005. It now awards roughly US$7,000 for each research paper published in an accredited journal. Depending on the institution, up to half of this amount is paid directly to faculty members. At least one South African got roughly $40,000 for research papers published in 2016 — about 60% of a full professor’s annual salary. There is no guarantee (or expectation) that a researcher will use this money for research purposes. Most simply see it as a financial reward over and above their salaries….

In my experience, publication subsidies promote several other counterproductive practices. Some researchers salami-slice their research to spread it across more papers. Others target low-quality journals that are deemed less demanding….”

 

Europe’s Plan S aims for expansion to US and beyond | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Plan S, a project initially signed by a coalition of 11 funding agencies, was unveiled by Science Europe just one month ago. Since then, two more funding bodies, from Sweden and Finland, have joined. Enthusiasm for the scheme, however, extends well beyond Europe.

Speaking to Times Higher Education, Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s senior adviser on open access and the architect of Plan S, said that he had already embarked on discussions with White House representatives in the US, where invitations to discuss the policy had come in “one after another”.

Furthermore, Mr Smits said that colleagues from Science Europe had earlier this month engaged in “exploratory talks” with sector leaders in Japan, where the concept had been met with “real interest”. “Next I want to start conversations with India, with South Africa [and with] China,” he added. “It has really taken a global dimension, and the only issue that is my biggest enemy at the moment is time.” …

A Plan S implementation task force has been set up, with a target to deliver the policy details by the end of the year….”

The use and perceptions of open Access resources by legal academics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa | Moll-Willard | Journal of Open Access to Law

Abstract:  Although access to primary legal materials in South Africa is now easily accessible as a result of the Free Access to Law movement, access to legal scholarship is not as easy. Through using the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a case study, due to its research intensive nature, it is possible to see how academics are publishing their legal scholarship through the use of bibliometrics and data mining. After the success of a Research Visibility month, law librarians were able to attest to the perceptions of legal academics around the importance of the openness and visibility of their research. The author contrasts these two to see if the perception of legal academics around the visibility of their resources reflects their publishing practices. It is seen that although academics at UCT publish mostly in closed journals, the publishing in open and hybrid journals has slowly increased during the period 2011-2015. Further it is evidenced that legal academics are exploring other avenues, including that of self-archiving, to boost the visibility of their work. Law Librarians are able to assist in boosting at least the visibility, if not the openness of legal academics’ work.

White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation

“To respond to a changing world, policy approaches are introduced to ensure an open, responsive and diverse knowledge system. These include adopting an open science paradigm, supporting a diversity of knowledge fields, a greater focus on inter- and transdisciplinary research and the contribution of the humanities and social sciences to addressing complex societal problems….

Increasing access to public science has the potential to make the entire research system more effective, participative and productive by reducing duplication and the costs of creating, transferring and re-using data….

As part of its commitment to African STI cooperation, South Africa will also work to advance the open science agenda elsewhere on the continent and within regional frameworks. …”

DIRISA – Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa

“The Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) forms part of the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System (NICIS).

DIRISA aims to fulfil the following:

  • Implement a Certified Tier 1 (national) Trusted Repository for research data and to operationally deploy and maintain data services and virtual research environments that enable researchers to leverage this ICT platform for data intensive research.
  • Initiate the establishment of federated Tier 2 (regional) data repositories that support thematic data intensive research and capacity development.
  • DIRISA is required to formulate national strategic frameworks for data intensive research and data stewardship; as part of its role to advocate and promote research data sharing and sound data management. …”

Open Access for the Development of Africa’s Science | National Research Foundation

“The 2016 Dakar Declaration on Open Science in Africa called for urgent action by institutions and governments for open access in order to better Science in Africa. Two years later, the continent is making strides in this direction.  

In this lecture Professor Ismail Serageldin – Advocate for Open Science in Africa, Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and Former Vice-President of the World Bank – will share his insights and explore the case for the combined power of scholarly information in the service of the public good in Africa.”

The South African Journal of Business Management is now open access and published by AOSIS

“AOSIS is pleased to announce that the South African Journal of Business Management, a research journal of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, has joined our collection of open access journals.  As an open access journal, readers now have unrestricted access to all the journal articles. Studies have shown that open access articles are twice as likely to be cited as their non-open access counterparts (source). They increase the readership and the impact of an article, particularly in developing countries (source), and there is a 77% economic advantage to publishing in open access (source). AOSIS supports the statement made by the National Research Foundation, in March 2015, requiring all publicly funded research to be made available in open access. We believe that open access is the way forward to move research from obscurity into the public domain — where it can be of most use (source). When you publish your research in an open access journal, you retain the non-exclusive right to do anything you wish with the published article(s), provided you cite the details of the original publication in the relevant journal, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories. The South African Journal of Business Management continues to publish articles that are important for management theory and practice, and covers all aspects of managerial theory and management practice. Read more about the journal focus and scope. When you write for the journal, the new website allows you to track and participate in all the activities related to the processing of your manuscript, such as the review process, copy editing, layout editing and proofing of manuscripts, which are all managed on the electronic platform.  Please visit the journal website and contact us should you have any questions on the submission guidelines and procedures….”

Siyavula

“Our mission is to create and enable engaging, integrated, high-quality learning experiences in Mathematics and the Sciences; to have a long-lasting, enriching impact on learners and teachers in South Africa and globally; to constantly seek out and build the most relevant, effective technology whilst remaining rooted in the science of learning and instruction; and to engage and motivate young minds, helping them to master and develop the skills our future….

We believe in openness, a key principle in our philosophy that every learner and teacher should have access to high quality educational resources as a basis for long-term growth and development….”

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.”